Sunday, January 13, 2013

1969 Love Affair, Compassion and Life

      I have spent more time writing in a journal lately than on this blog. Sometimes I get lost in thought and I neglect to share with you the great things I see and learn.

      I have always written for myself...ok really only since I was about five. By the time I was eight years old...I knew that the journal could save my life. I could write down what I thought and not express it verbally, which was usually a good thing. It is not good when you are constantly in trouble, punished and grounded for the way your mind works....or possibly doesn't.

     You see, I have always thought outside the box. This could be because I never saw the box...figuratively or literally. My wayward thinking was not always received warmly or even welcomed...but no...that never stopped me.

    I had a handful of very close friends in those days. They included Cathy, pens, paper, coffee, music and of course God. I met Cathy when we were in the fourth grade.Cathy always appreciated my sense of humor, especially if the teachers did not. She also encouraged me to write. God gave me the appreciation of words including His. He fed me and my inclination to write.

    As I matured my writing changed. I still love to write poetry and am working on a book or two. I like to put a twist on things. Someday I will explain that. I have written about anything and every thing. I have written about McDonalds and getting stuck in the mud. I have written about spiritual nourishment, domestic violence, the plight of the elderly, being different, what life would be like as a pen, man's inhumanity to man and other injustices. I have written about friendship, love, lovers, relationships, death and a whole host of other things that you would put me in a box for. Ok maybe, you wouldn't put me in a box...but you would ground me, lol.

     Until I was about five things were pretty black and white and then they started going gray. ( and not just figuratively)  I love all of the vibrant colors that rest on the breathtaking  palette that God created...but I think even He understands my great love for the various shades of gray. Just for the record, it has nothing to do with the natural wisdom highlights that I now don.

    In the fall of 1969  I met a boy named Dickey. He was only five or six years old at the time. He had big thick braces on his legs and the most beautiful smile I have ever seen.. Sadly, I did not get to see that smile often. He had a rough way to go because at that tender age so many had not yet learned compassion or empathy. Some of his classmates would tangle his legs in his chair and he would fall when he tried to get up. Do you know what I learned?  I learned that you could punch the class bully in the mouth and not get suspended. It wasn't just because I was a girl either! (yes, I had a temper but that is a blog post for another time.)

    There was another incident when I was at Taft that stands out in my mind. Terry Gifford was my hero for a week when he stood up to another student who actually bullied the English teacher. She was an older lady even by today's standards. Bullying was a bad thing when I was a kid. There were some who were taunted and teased beyond comprehension but nothing that compares to the stories I hear today.
    How can you go through life and not learn compassion and empathy? I don't understand this. I know sometimes it is what you have been taught, but for crying out loud...don't we learn so much just by living.

   Living is what taught me to appreciate the subdued shades of gray...and just so you know, I would not trade the way I see the world... even for 20/20 vision.

    Until next time...