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As Mother Nature Rocks Her Children to Sleep

November 22, 2008

The month of November is skittering past so quickly I dare not close my eyes.

vermont-fall-foliage-974218-sw

I remembered to place the turkey in the refrigerator, reclaimed from the depths of the freezer where he has rested for a year.  I bought two turkeys last year, planning to have a Thanksgiving feast revisited in February as part of my birthday celebration, but never quite had the energy to follow through.  So this November I did not have to lug the 25 pound frozen block of fowl home from the grocery store.  The picture created doesn’t sound too appetizing, does it?  Sorry.  I adore turkey, and although I have given up meat, I most certainly will indulge next Thursday.  Everything in moderation.

Speaking of variety at the table, today is a buffet, full of a range of topics.  Because I have pared down to writing once a week, it must be so.  I first would like to share a photograph from my childhood that was just given to me by my aunt, whom I had not seen in some time.  I have to back up and tell a bit of a story.  Many years ago, there was a misunderstanding, and a group of siblings grew apart, never to speak again.  These siblings had children, and the children grew to be adults.  The children were not privy to the finer points of the misunderstanding, and actually didn’t give a rip.  One of those children came all the way around the world, back home, for medical treatment.  She spent time with me, with the aunt and her children with whom she was staying, and she communicated with my brother and sister.  Then she began tracking down all of the other children of our generation.  The cousins.  There are fourteen of us, plus spouses, children and significant others!  We all either had or acquired a Facebook page, and then created a group page: The Clan.  We have been talking, posting photos, comparing life experience, for the past couple months.

There have been a few small meetings.  We have found ourselves able to sit for hours and hours and hours and talk and not run out of things to talk about, and without the discomfort of being with someone new.  In two weeks there will be a grand gathering of nine of us.  The rest of the group lives on opposite shores of this wide country.

I am so looking forward to this gathering.  We have been  madly scribbling back and forth,

“What are you bringing to eat?”
“Do you want me to bring a game?”
“Are you allergic to dogs?”

It turns out that half of the group are sci fi fantasy aficionados, and someone suggested we have a marathon watching of the complete trilogy of Lord of the Rings.  Half of us are game players, half are not, most of us love to read, many of us are creative, we all love animals, and we all like to eat!

Back to the photograph.  We all have photos of us together in different groupings at various functions, when we were little – before the great divide.  My aunt gave me a set of photos of myself.  This is my favorite, of which I still have a vague recollection, because I loved that first pair of cowboy boots.  I have owned some form of cowboy boots ever since this first pair.  For a time, I even had the horse that went with the boots.

cowboyboots

Next up on the buffet, Becca’s question for Write on Wednesday.

So tell me, what are the areas closest to your heart?  What aspects of your life in general do you find yourself sharing in writing?  Do you enjoy reading/writing personal essays?

Looking back on my blog, I find I have shifted from writing book reviews to including some posts that are more personal.  Are they essays?  Maybe.  In many respects, I am a very private person, so when I write about something in my life, I find myself depicting a thin sliver of my reality.
Becca quoted Julie Cameron in her post on The Essay,

Writing is an act of self-cherishing. We often write most deeply and happily on those areas closest to our heart.

I came to the ability of self-cherishing at a point well into my life. I remember what it was like to not cherish myself, so now I find this ability quite special. I am very much aware of it at all times. I am grateful for this, and while I had a lot of help and support getting here, I give myself a lot of credit. I think a part of what I write in these essays that are all elbows and knees, is about my awareness and celebration of self-cherishment.

Another thought on essay writing was shared on The Task at Hand in her post Speaking My Heart – Writing, Vision and Truth,

To put it simply, writing satisfying essays requires clarity of vision – an ability and willingness to see the world as it is, and not as we wish it to be.

That says it perfectly, I think. I am not always successful, but I do try to practice the clarity of vision when I write about personal things.

Instead of sticking to Nanowrimo the past week, I have managed to distract myself in spare minutes with my usual wanderings around the internet.  It is a marvelous wealth of information and entertainment at our fingertips, is it not?  I came upon a writer named Patti Digh, and her book, Life is a Verb.  She writes about the six practices of intentional living: “Say Yes, Be Generous, Speak Up, Love More, Trust Yourself, and Slow Down.”  This could be a perfect, first thing in the morning, mantra, don’t you think?

On a more international note, I do not remember where I came upon this video, but I did follow it to its source, Playing for Change.

and found a wonderful concept and a soon to be released film.

It speaks for itself about the power of music and the oneness of humankind.

And lastly, I promise, on a national note, I think this photograph says a lot about the man and his courage, and how alone you, are in many respects, at the top.

obama1

I hope you have a wonderful week with a lovely Thanksgiving, and I hope it snows (when you are not on the road)!

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. November 23, 2008 7:23 am

    Q, this is beautiful. Every picture. Each one speaking volumes. And the stories of your cousins. The games. Lord of the Rings. The food.
    Party on, with depth and wonder!

    (Really? you had the horse to go with the boots? awesome.)

    Oh, I will indeed party on!
    Yes, to the horse. It was a dream that began with that first pair of boots, Tom Mix, The Lone Ranger, Zoro, Annie Oakley, and a host of other cowboys. It culminated at the age of 13 when my father moved his family from the horrors and degradation of the big city, to the relative safety and healthiness of a small town. There was a barn and a field next to our house. Baby sitting money went towards purchase of a horse. I had her until the field turned into a suburb when I was 18. She was sold to a farmer to live out her days in a field, and I purchased a Harley. I was happy with the trade, but I kept my cowboy boots.

  2. November 23, 2008 8:46 pm

    I love the story about the healing of the family split. How lovely to bring everyone together and how lucky we are to have tools like the internet and facebook to facilitate love and chat. And you must have quite a freezer to keep a 25-pound turkey in it for a year! I hope (and am sure) that it will be wonderful. As you know, occasionally I write personal posts too, and I find that I only write about things I’ve digested. I can think through a book on site, but if I’m writing about life then I need to feel I have a handle on it. Well, more or less!

    It really is putting yourself out there, when you post. No agent, no editor leaning over your shoulder, telling you, “That’s probably not a good idea…..”
    Your book reviews are fabulous, but I really enjoy your personal posts. That little peak into your home and heart is always a treat. As far as having a handle on life…. “more or less” says it exactly. It makes me feel safe to think that, anyway.
    As far as that 25 pounder hanging out in my basement – it’s just a wee freezer, mostly used for the quick frozen food that my children adore, and with great guilt, makes my life easier.

  3. November 26, 2008 10:30 am

    The trees and golden leaves in the top photo make a labyrinth!

    Hi Princess. Yes, the National Geographic Society has the most incredible photographers! What a cool job.

  4. November 26, 2008 8:51 pm

    This is such a beautiful potpourri, and you’ve made all the elements of your post fit together. I love the photos and stories you’ve shared, too. (I adore those cowboy boots!)

    Have a wonderful holiday!

    Thanks Becca. I hope your holiday is wonderful, too. I can’t wait to have the house permeated with that turkey smell!
    Those little cowboy boots are great… I have a pair now that looks remarkably like them.

  5. November 29, 2008 6:20 am

    Such a lovely holiday post! And, those cowboy boots! I’m sure you never wanted to take them off. Funny, we’ve been watching Lord of the Rings this evening, too!

    Edward and I wish you a most wonderful, restful, thankful weekend!

    Thank you, Pamela and Edward. So far it has been all – wonderful, restful and thankful. We watched the Fellowship of the Ring tonight. It always is amazing!

  6. November 30, 2008 8:49 pm

    Well, of course I am behind reading and I’ll be more behind while being on semi-vacation (helping Rick at his trade show — I get more time off than he does!). But I loved this post — your aunt’s gift of photos was so thoughtful and I love the one you posted. It takes me back. The photo at the top is amazing — there isn’t a word or image in this post that could be any more thoughtful, warm, and filled with joy and love.

    I hope the day was as happy as you planned (I laughed, because I bought two turkey breasts, because I couldn’t resist!) and that the next week is lovely, too. Back soon!

    Thanks, Jeanie. I hope you have fun at the Trade Show – it is always fun to people watch!
    Thanksgiving was quite lovely. We sat at the table from noon until five o’clock, with a short dog walk in the middle. We really weren’t eating that whole time, but my stomach sure felt like it! The turkey from its year long rest in the freezer was very tasty. I am still enjoying the leftovers.
    I was very pleased to get this photo of myself with my Dad. He has been gone twenty one years this month….. time flies! There was also a photo of my Dad with all of his siblings – one I did not have – so that was a treasure, too.

  7. December 1, 2008 9:24 am

    I am glad to have found a fellow book blogger.

    Hi Yolanda, thanks so much for stopping to make a comment! I hope you will be back.

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