Sunday, September 17, 2006

Reading blogs is a great way to kick start one's creativity, and I owe this entry to MARY, http://contrarywoman.blogspot.com/.

I'm not a junkie, unless you count caffeine, nicotine and certain, small obsessive rituals. My clutter loving husband wore me down until I couldn't stand letting tangible memories bury us in the detritus of a life already lived. I broke out the garbage bags and delighted in throwing things away and clearing shelf space which he rapidly refilled. That didn't matter though. I had become free from the stuff and knew I could clear again.

There were a few little things that I couldn't let go, tiny things that had become talismans in my life. I still have the playbill from the first professional play I ever saw, Godspell. I was either 12 or 13 and was going with my best friend, Marsha, and her parents. They were such lovely people that they were an equal part of the draw of the evening. My church did not approve of Godspell. It had been called godless, sacreligious and more. I was amazed by the clown makeup and costumes. I loved the music, and I loved how it all worked. I left the theater humming and inspired. As I expected, when I got home, I got a critique of the play from my family who hadn't seen it and didn't care about what I thought about it. 30 years later, I still find myself humming tunes from the play, like Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord and Turn Back, Oh, Man. That night, the path of my religious life took a turn that I hadn't expected, and it's been an interesting trip since then.

Tucked in my wallet is a fortune from a cookie eaten at a lunch buffet on one of the worst days of my life. I had just picked up the womanchild at school where she had made a serious, serious mistake which I will not detail. It could have resulted in her expulsion. I was seriously angered, saddened, hurt and scared. She was in bad shape as well. We went to this empty restaurant and ate. When she opened the cookie, we both laughed. It seemed impossible. The cookie read, "Your dearest dream will come true." A few days later, we, as a family had to face a district disciplinary committee. For the first time, I told people outside of the family or a therapeutic session, just what all C. had been going through. From the death of her grandmother whose loss inspired her to try lose weight, to my extended absences during the care of my father in his days of senile dementia, and how that morphed into an eating disorder, how she had been bullied at school, and the school knew that they had been pretty much helpless despite their well-intentioned efforts, the all day doctor's appointments every two weeks for two years, the 24/7 monitoring of food and purging behaviors, the six week hospitalization for anorexia, bulimia and depression, the hospital mandated outpatient therapy that was more destructive than helpful. C.'s weight had rebounded from 88 pounds where you could count ribs and vertebrae when she was fully dressed to barely 100 pounds. She seemed so fragile and so determined to try hard to make things better. Her mistake was serious, and all I could do was ask for mercy. Going public with our family's problems was one of the hardest things I've ever done, and we received grace. She was readmitted to school the next week albeit under very strict terms. By the end of the semester, she was near the top of the honor roll, and she's just gotten stronger ever since. That little fortune came true, and it's definitely a keeper.

C. has some definite artistic talent, and it showed itself at a very early age. She uses it in her theater set design now. Also tucked inside my wallet is a drawing she did a long time ago at church. She was too old for children's church and too young for a full service to be anything other than a test of her good behavior. I kept drawing paper for her in my purse then, and at the end of one service, she gave me a picture of a little girl holding hands with a robed and bearded man in sandals, titled Lord and child. The beauty and simplicity of childlike faith got to me with its freedom from theology, dogma, politics and all the bs that interferes in a relationship with God/dess. When I get all twisted up, it serves as a good reminder to just let go, love and be loved. That's what it all comes down to anyway.

These scraps and pieces may be junk and clutter, but Mary knows and I do too, that they're treasures.


5 Comments:

Blogger Wenda said...

What a road you and C. have travelled. Thanks for taking me back there. I wasn't able to get the link to Mary to work.

September 17, 2006 8:15 PM  
Blogger alphawoman said...

Pretty amazing what a scrap of paper does. My heart goes out for C, so glad she is back on track.

September 18, 2006 10:25 AM  
Blogger gigi said...

Wonderful. What are our memories if not treasures? The good, the bad and the ugly; in the end, they're all we have to remind us of who we once were, and how we became who we are now. It's good to see how far you and your daughter have come together.

September 18, 2006 9:28 PM  
Blogger Lisa :-] said...

I don't know why, but it seems like most of the bits and pieces I treasure make me sad. Could be because they invoke memories the people I have lost in my life, either through death or just...attrition...?

September 19, 2006 11:38 PM  
Blogger Becky said...

I envy your ability to let go. I hang on to everything. I can't just keep a couple little things. I keep EVERYTHING... I'm a pack rat. Too sentimental. And I need a bigger house. lol

September 20, 2006 11:08 AM  

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