Making music

I started writing another song last night. It was initially to help me organize and express some thoughts around the work situation within my life so far – how it isn’t exactly consistent in terms of title or finances, but it is always part of being my true self and being committed to making a positive difference in this world. But an unexpected line showed up right at the end of the session last night, and it was clearly part of the chorus. It was a line about listening to the angels around me. And it made sense, but seemed almost out of place for the content so far in the song…

Until today, that is. Today, for whatever reason, a deeper fullness arose for the song. My mom and I discussed the situation with my Opa, how he is dying, and how he might finish that process in the very near future. It is an uncomfortable thought, itself, but we both are ready to allow what needs to happen next in the situation. At least, as ready as we know how to be…

However, after she and I discussed their things for a while, and then got off the phone, I started working on the song again, as I had just begun before our phone call (I think I had, anyway). As I got reacquainted with what I’d written so far, I started feeling what ideas needed to come next. I was reminded of the encouragement my Opa had given me one day, and felt immediately that it was perfect to use for the song, as it expressed what I was wanting to express… and then the idea fleshed out a bit…, and, without realizing it, the song had a deeper meaning.

Not only am I listening to the angels around me, having them call me forward in life, but a new one has just joined them, and he has given me further encouragement to follow this path I am forging in my life. Every time I sang that part of the song, I could barely get words out by the middle of the verse, and had to stop altogether for the tears and emotion that arose. And I think the words communicate beautifully in the song, even without someone’s knowing the whole situation.

Anyway, I look forward to finishing that song, but, boy, is it going to be a tough one, emotionally speaking.

Post-a-day 2021

Just breathe

“I’m proud of you… everything that you do… Remember that.”

As far back as I can remember, it has been a bit difficult for me to be around very old people. If they are old and alone, that hurts me already, but , once they have reached a point that their bodies are beginning to fail them openly, it is as though a switch flips in my mind, and I suddenly struggle to breathe, to function, to focus.

My grandfather is at this point. Actually, he is much beyond it. As we talked today, I had to clear myself continuously in order to remain present with him. I have begun missing him more and more in recent years, as there has been less and less of him to see, with whom to speak and interact. I have seen him grow more and more frustrated with his own brain, his own body as a whole, as he has lost ability after ability… ones which he had is such intense abundance. Indeed, he was one of the smartest and most learned people I have ever known. And he didn’t even attend college. Nonetheless, he was the best resource we had growing up – even better than our teachers on most subjects, and more efficient and detailed in his answers than an encyclopedia. He was one of my greatest inspirations as a child and young adult, and I think so much of me longed to be most like he was. And he always made it so clear that we were loved by him. In almost very action, every phrase or look, every article or comic strip he saved for us or television program or clip he recorded for us, it was clear that he loved us.

He, every so often, would call me “Honah Lee” (from “Puff, the Magic Dragon”), and still does. He’s always played around with pronunciations of words, both of English nature and foreign (e.g. jalapeños with a hard j and firm n). So, it was an easy step to get to calling me Honah Lee. After I had learned German, and we had long since begun to use it with one another (college and onward for me), he called me one day, and said that he wanted to share what he’d figured out so far. He then sang to me “Puff, the Magin Dragon”… in German. He had done his best to translate the lyrics. I think I might actually have cried while he sang to me over the phone. There was just something about it, I was quite overwhelmed with the expression of pure delight and love in that act. Indeed, any time he used German, I always noticed how he sparked to life, as though becoming, just for a few moments or minutes, a young child, excited for the unexpected adventure that life could and would unfold. He hadn’t been allowed to use German in school as a boy – it was forbidden by the school. It was his language of home, fun, love, and self-expression. But he hadn’t used it much beyond his childhood. And, by the time I was born he had almost never used German at all; not until I had begun learning and using it with him. And so, every time we used German together, it was like I got to know him as a child, free from the many pressures and stresses that naturally arise from adulthood, from aging. I just got to be with him. And I reveled in that.

And I still do.

However, talking with him today, discussing how, though he is to turn 91 years old in a few months, he hopes yet is not sure he will make it there, it was somewhat terrifying how easy it was to be with him. He was 100% present as we spoke about that, though is isn’t always these days. He said that he has lived a wonderful life, that he is grateful, and that he is not afraid of dying (despite the fact, as he said, that people say not to say that). I merely nodded, and cried as I said that we very much would miss having him here with us. I held his hand for a bit, and we shared multiple kisses on the cheeks and I love yous and Hab’ dich lieb’s before I had to leave.

And then, just before I had to leave, he said to me, slowly and intentionally, looking me directly in the eyes, – something he has struggled to do lately – “I’m proud of you… everything that you do… Remember that.”

And I will.

And I would not be surprised if today was the last time the two of us see one another in his life. We might see one another again, but it is not very likely. He cannot seem to eat almost anything anymore, and his body is, frankly, falling apart and shutting down on him. A could be causing B, and B could be causing A, but both are contributing to the other, and the result is the same: he does not have much likelihood of living in his physical body on this Earth for much longer.

And it’s terrifying for me.

My paternal grandfather died when I was in middle school. It was expected and not. And it was difficult yet not. The same was true of my paternal grandmother. I was in college when she died, but I was still very much in the child mentality, much more so than the adult mentality. Now, I am very much more on the adult side of life than I am on the child side, and it is an entirely different kind of experience to have this happening now. I suppose that, since my maternal grandparents had survived my childhood, something in me had felt that they would be forever present in this life. They had made it to adulthood with me, so to speak, so they were here to stay.

But they aren’t. No one is, really. But they are more obviously likely not to be here for that much longer. A small part of me had felt disappointed in myself for not providing them with what feels like would have been some of the greatest gifts I could have given them. I do not have a stable career. I do not have a partner in life. I have no children. I don’t even have a pet. I know they do not need those things for me. But that is why they would be gifts.

However, when Opa said that to me today, that he is proud of me… of everything I do…, it reminded me of why those other things have always seemed to matter. They are most often expression of success in living one’s life fully. At least, they are mostly seen that way. But, when the ultimate goal is that we live life fully… that we be true to ourselves and fully self-expressed…, I cannot say that I have failed my grandparents or that I have let them down. Indeed, I have fulfilled every wish they could have for me in relation to success in my life. All the other stuff – the marriage, the children, the house, the career – are tiny details by comparison.

I do not say this lightly nor boastingly when I say that I am one of the most loving people I know. I do not do well with keeping people at the standard ‘comfortable distance’ in life. I do not chat about the weather easily. Either I do not know you at all, or I want to know you, embrace you fully. Like Ender Wiggin said, the moment I get to know you, I get to love you. And I love loving people. It is terribly difficult and stressful for me to ‘try to get to know someone’. Just be yourself with me, let go of whatever you are hiding, let me see you, be with you…. let me love you. That’s all I want from the people around me. And that’s how I want them to see me, too – see all of me now, so that you can love me for me. Let us not waste time on pleasantries and weather. Let us dive right in, and have an absolute blast together. Indeed, that is exactly why dating is so difficult for me, why I cannot seem to ‘figure out’ how to interact with this guy with whom I went on a date recently. I don’t do surface level. I do the real you, the real me. And when people avoid that, turn or step away from it, usually in fear, it is so hard for me… it only makes me want to come even closer, that I might love you even deeper. And though this might sound like I am socially awkward, I truly am not. I can be quite quiet in certain circumstances, but I probably am the only person at the party who will know everyone else by the end of it.

And I am grateful for that. So much of who I am is love. And I have no idea what comes next for me in life. (Like… genuinely, I have no idea… please, grasp that for a moment…) But I know exactly who I am stepping forward into that unknown. And I love her and I am grateful every moment for her and for all that she is and for all that she is not. And I learned today that, more than I ever saw, my Opa feels the same way about her. He knows I’m not married, not settled in any way, not career-stable or financially stable. But he knows that I am stable, and that I am ready for whatever is through that next threshold as I step forward into it. And he is proud of that, and all that it involves. He is proud of me, of who I am, of all that he knows I will create out of who I am in this life, even though he will not be here in person to see most of it with me.

I pray only that his love, his support, his guidance help me to move forward confidently and comfortably throughout the rest of my life. I am grateful for him always. And I love him dearly, deeply, truly. Thank you, God, for allowing us the opportunity to spend so much wonderful time together in this life.

In the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. Danke, Gott.

Post-a-day 2021

P.S. Frohe Ostern, folks!! Happy Easter, allen!! (Not to deny the weight of all of that ^, but it was because of Easter that I was able to spend the time with my Opa today at all. And I am grateful for that. And the Easter Egg Hunt in which I got to partake. Today really was a great day, filled with silliness and love and fun. But it also was very real one, in which, I believe, God was helping me to prepare for part of what comes next.)

Money, money

$500 later, I expect next week will feel like childhood Christmas for me – lots of things ordered online last night and today, and all of them with a expectation of intense delight. I do not regret any of my purchases – not in the least. It is certainly more money than I typically spend… on anything. But I see great value in having all the items I purchased, they all bring me joy, and they handle my need to keep checking for things all the time (either online or in a store) anymore – I have them and it is all handled. I am both delighted at their future arrival, and relieved at having them all ordered and on the way. I am quite practical when it comes to things I buy and do not buy, so it is nice to be able to be so practical with all of this and have it handled already.

One odd part is that, likely due to the fact that they are all doing from different places, they are each being sent separately… so, not great in terms of packaging, but great in terms of t feeling even more like childhood Christmas! I won’t know what is in what. I have to wait almost a week for it all to arrive at my mom’s house, then go over there and have a present party. And I get to play with my new toys right when I open them, and forever afterward! Super excited. Happy Early Celebration to me. 😉

Post-a-day 2020

A Memory

I think it was the summer before my junior year in high school that I didn’t really put much effort into playing the trumpet… I had played since sixth grade, and had never had to work too hard to have a good sound and play decently.

At this point, I think I had taken it a bit too much for granted, and so practicing had dropped quite low on my list of activities the summer before junior year.

I had also just spend a chunk of the summer studying in Spain, so my focus was more on Spanish – a subject I did not study in school – than on preparing for August chair placements for band.

My brother picked me up from the audition/chair test – he was an alum of the school, and so had spent a bit of time looking around while we were doing the test – and drove me on his motorcycle to a dance class.  I wasn’t taking the dance class, but I was working the welcome desk for it, in exchange for a free group class of my choosing later on… I also had the added benefit of watching this class happen, and learning from the seated sidelines.

Basically, I was focused on doing my best to live frugally with dance, because I was all too aware of my family’s financial situation – well, my mom’s side, anyway… my dad’s was a different story, but I functioned with the mind of one with extremely limited funds, so that’s why I was spending hours of my time working the welcome table at dance classes, in exchange for a ten-dollar class…

Anyway, so I rushed from the chair test to the dance class, loving the first ride on my brother’s motorcycle – while simultaneously being terrified(!) – and had asked a classmate to send me a text message with the results, when they came out in another ten or so minutes.

I was placed absurdly low in terms of capability…, and it hurt my spirit a lot.

But, I imagine, it was entirely valid based on the amount of practice I had put into it all.

I had begun this with a certain incident in mind, but I am not wondering if that incident was even that year… I am beginning to think it was the following year, my senior year, that this incident happened…, but I’m really not sure.

I shall continue with the incident, nonetheless…

So, I was placed after this one kid, who had become a semi-distant friend of mine.  We sat side-by-side five mornings a week for 45 minutes, and chatted here and there, so we were comfortable with one another’s company, but we didn’t spend time together outside of band, right?

Anyway, I had liked being in the Jazz Band, and you had to be placed so high in the count of trumpets in order to be included in the Jazz Band each year.  I had placed one below what was included in Jazz Band membership.  So, I initiated a challenge.  The two band directors each picked a selection of our current music, and told us to prepare to play those and any two scales that they would say at the challenge.

The day of the challenge arrived.  I played beautifully for the selections, and my sound quality was stellar.  The guy had incredibly powerful sound, though with a very odd and un-musical edge to it all, as usual.  The scales they selected, naturally, involved playing really high… something which I was not great at doing, but that usually didn’t matter at our area in the chair placements (higher notes for higher chairs), and I could play the ones that popped up in our music… what’s more, this kid and I played off the same sheet and stand, meaning the only difference, if I were to win the challenge, would be that we would switch chair spots, and that I would be in Jazz Band when it started up, but he would not be in it.  In terms of performance in the band, nothing would change.  Nonetheless, they picked scales that were hard for me, and I made the decision to play beautifully for a single octave, instead of iffily on the second octave… one I had been taught by the band director himself.

We had assigned ourselves the letters of A and B.  When the challenge finished, the directors came out from behind the wall, an area from which they had not been able to see us during the challenge.  They told us that player A had won, and who was that?  The guy wasn’t quite sure which letter he had been, and so looked to me questioningly for help.  I, processing much more than the result of the challenge, informed him kindly that he had been player A, and so nothing was changing with our chair rankings.

What was I processing?

Well, the way the band director had delivered the news… He had put on an air of unknowing, as though he hadn’t known who player A and player B had each been.  I had only been on the planet a teen number of years, and had minimal musical training,  – he had had probably more musical training than I had had in years of life itself – yet I could tell the difference in almost every player in our band, especially the trumpet players.  And he played trumpet, too, so I knew that he knew each of our individual sounds.  Especially between this guy and myself, the identification was easy… even for someone who had never heard us beforehand, one could accurately guess whose sound was which.

So, I knew the band director knew who had won… yet he pretended not to know, to be utterly unaware of who had been which player… It felt like he was proving a point to me, that I needed to practice more… no matter how good of a sound I had, if I didn’t improve further, I couldn’t even beat the nice guy with a weird sound.  I had taken lessons from the band director during my freshman year, but had been able to manage on my own eventually, and so we did not continue the lessons after a while.  For me, no matter what his intentions were, his pretended ignorance of who had one the challenge was like a slap in the face and a terrible scolding… I was embarrassed and somewhat heartbroken.

I had let someone else down, too…, not just myself.  I knew that he had wanted me to be in a higher chair placement, and that he had wanted me to be in Jazz Band.  But he was not going to let me do that without putting in a lot more effort.

Again, that is all my own interpretation at the time.

But it still holds about the same, looking back on it all today.

The irony of it all, however, is that, when Jazz Band started up that year, the band director casually upped the number of trumpets in Jazz Band… by one player.  So, I ended up in Jazz Band, anyway.

The following year (Or the year after that, depending on which year this had all been during), I ranked even lower in the chair placements at the end-of-summer chair test.  After several weeks of Jazz Band rehearsals, someone was sent one day to bring me into Jazz Band… so, I ended up in it then, too.  I was clearly good enough for Jazz Band – I even practiced that music, including when I didn’t really need to practice it, because that music came so naturally and easily for me – and the band director agreed with that sentiment enough that he kept letting me be part of it, even though I didn’t ever do well with the whole ‘practice on your own over the summer’ thing.  During the school year, I was always fine, and I always got A’s on my playing tests at grading periods.  It was when there wasn’t a concert or performance coming up, and I wasn’t surrounded daily by musicians and music that I struggled to practice and perform well.

I’m not entirely sure what brought all of this up today… I am reading a book about poetry that was recommended to me as a novelist/writer, because it is supposedly applicable to all forms of writing (which, the author even says this in the book, and it seems so far to be entirely true…, but it makes me want to write poetry now, too!).  Something in that got me thinking, and somehow sent me to that memory moment of embarrassment after the chair challenge with that guy.  I wonder if he even remembers it… if any of them do.  Clearly, it had some significance for me… whew…

Anyway… I’ll let that muse in the background, while I move on to other things in my day now. 😉

Post-a-day 2020

I love my city

I really do love my city. I spent most of the day today out riding my bicycle around it, and taking photos of things I like, so that I could send them to my buddy in Italy, so that he could see some of the everyday and the beloved that are part of my life in Houston.

(What a sentence!)

What’s funny to me right now, though, is that, though I did that and I exercised and I made delicious food and healthy and delicious juices afterward, and I sent the photos on, and I chatted a long while with a good friend while winding down just now…, though I did all of these things, and I was incredibly satisfied by and fulfilled by my day…., I suddenly am filled – in my intense sleepiness, as I prep as quickly as is possible for bed – with an experience of loss regarding that guy… I almost want to cry, yet I couldn’t say why specifically… but it has to do with him, I know.

It is much like the song I wrote the other day about loving my city, yet not wanting to be in it right now…, because I wanted to be with him, instead… I was just going through all of these awesome photos, and it was on my mind how much I love my city…, and then, bam… some utterly unknown tangent busts in this old topic.

I know it was a tiny affair on paper, but it wasn’t tiny for me, for many reasons… and I understand that it isn’t just going to go away – it is going in small steps, with every day involving less and less brainpower and attention occupied by thoughts of him and that whole situation, and also less intense emotions connected to all of it… but, even still, it doesn’t feel good when, after a whole day of being in great spirits about it, my guards of logic and consciousness begin to close down for the night, and I am whooshed by a sudden sad reminder of something I really wanted – something I expressed wanting – didn’t work out, despite my going for it.

I’m just going to sit with that for now… perhaps it is what will do me best, not to resist it or disappear it right away… perhaps it still just needs to be felt at times…

So, I’ll feel it…

Post-a-day 2020

Fuji-San

It’s funny how the simplest of things can become the greatest of things in our lives. A passing comment from one individual can turn into a favorite of another. It makes me think of how little kids develop their favorites in life… Is it simply because their parents say something about that item, and they give it the right kind of encouragement that the child believes it is worth loving, and so the object becomes a child’s favorite of its kind?

What brought up the idea as a whole for me, though, is where I’m walking right now.

I’m on a path that goes alongside the river and the sports activities park in the town where I once lived in Japan.

As I walked up the stairs a few minutes ago, tears were burning my eyes, I was so elated.

A time in my life that I had simultaneously loved and hated with a passion, and here I am overflowing with joy at being able to come back and visit. Who I am now is nowhere near the person I was when I lived here, and that person is even different from the person who moved here.

I came to take a break. I didn’t want to be a teacher like I had been doing anymore.

I didn’t know what to do with myself.

But I had a feeling of wanting to get out… I wasn’t sure from what, if it was just the job, or the future of such a job, or the city, culture, or even, now that I can look back with different eyes, who I was and who I was being at the time.

Whatever the case, I decided to get out of the country. I came to Japan with a highly recommended, highly valued, highly honored, and very poorly paid job.

I struggled and I struggled and I struggled… I hit the lowest possible point I’ve ever had in my life regarding myself.

And, with that intense and slow yet fast break down, I set out to have a breakthrough. And I had the most intense overwhelming and invaluable breakthrough I have ever known, let alone in my own life personally experienced.

While I was here, living in Japan, I developed particular connections and attachments to different things. Onigiri, konbini, summer festival sake, kimono, yukata, onsen, train cards, and, last but far from least, Fuji-San… Mount Fuji.

I remember learning a long time ago that Fuji-San was a walkable mountain, as was Kilimanjaro. It never once occurred to me that I might have the opportunity in my life to climb either of these mountains. It simply wasn’t in the frame of possibility for me, and so I never considered its being a possibility.

And yet, the week I was leaving to move to Japan, one of the people who had interviewed me and whom I had greatly enjoyed getting to know, commented, “You should be able to see Fuji-San.”

It was at that moment that I remembered that Fuji San was even in Japan. And I had had no idea that it was going to be anywhere near somewhere I would be. (I still am pretty rough on Japanese geography.)

My first few weeks living in Japan, one of the other people with my same job, whom I had met at orientation and befriended, had photos of her hike up Fuji-San with a Japanese friend of hers. I then talked to her about it, and she told me how miserable it was, trekking through the rain, the miserable cold hurting her fingers and toes and entire body, yet she was extremely glad that she had done it. In the photos, pure joy was visible in her whole being.

It was then that I remembered the walkable fact, and I realized I could do that.

Naturally, it terrified me. But I asked about it, anyway. I learned that the season for climbing was very limited, and the person I had asked and who had offered to hike with me, was not going to be available this time. So, unwilling to go on my own – which, even with today’s eyes, I see as a good idea – I would have to wait until the next year. 11 months before I could do it. I didn’t have shoes right now anyway. And I quickly discovered that Japan doesn’t exactly have shoes in my size. So, I made it a point to buy hiking shoes when I went home for a wedding in November. I bought them for Fuji-San.

I was delighted, and terrified. I hiked a few mountains from then on to summer, and I loved every bit of it. I never knew I was such an outdoorsy person. I mean, I’ve always liked being outdoors, riding my bike, climbing trees, going on a walk… Whatever. But not a hiker. It turns out that I love hiking.

When I finally hiked Fuji-San, it was one of the most miserable nights of my life, even worse than that horrible time I had to stay outside the Montpelier airport, and I needed to pee from the very beginning, but had to wait five hours. (That really sucked, by the way, and it was really cold out, and I was not dressed appropriately for it.)

And it was lovely. The next morning was even worse, and we were all clear that we were never doing that again. But we wouldn’t have traded it for anything.

Now as I walk along the banks here, I look out in the direction of Fuji-San. The clouds cover everything in the sky, as it is a somewhat overcast day, with low hanging clouds. Yet, I can feel Fuji-San. I know it is there, and I remember going up the hill regularly to look at it on clear days and nights.

It feels like a part of me lives with it.

Multiple times I visited it and took photos with it while in kimono. I went more than once to the lakes.

I want to go again, but it doesn’t seem to make sense this time.

Yet, I might still find a way to go, anyway.

I have a relationship with this mountain, this unbelievable and massive being who resides in Japan… And I wonder if any of it would’ve happened, if this connection ever would’ve developed, if that one person I respected regarding Japan and Japanese culture hadn’t said to me, “You should be able to see Fuji-San,” from my town.

Whatever the case, I am grateful for his comment, and I am grateful for everything that has developed in this beautiful relationship between me and the earth of Japan, which really is just a piece of this earth where we have the honor of living and where I feel blessed to be every single day, night, and moment of my life.

ありがとうございます富士山さん🗻

Fear

Tonight, I had a conversation that I was worried about having – I was afraid of it, and I didn’t know how to have it, and I was afraid of it bringing forth shame for myself regarding past events (although I am not ashamed of them anymore, it felt like this conversation could bring back those upsetting thoughts of shame)…

And I knew the conversation would be best had, and not left milling in my mind, making me ever the more uncomfortable, eventually to be come ‘comfortable’ by familiarity with the discomfort…

And so I had the conversation.

I was honest and open, and I shared how I wasn’t sure what I needed out of the conversation, other than merely having it, and how I wasn’t sure what would be best to do about the concern I had/have, and that I was afraid to have the conversation, but knew it was best had and not left quiet – staying quiet and convincing myself that I was overreacting was what got me into trouble with the last stuff in the first place…

And the conversation went really well.

We don’t yet know what all is best to be done about the concern I had/have, but we have come up with a start.

And that feels good.

And it feels good that it is a “we” working on the matter, and not just a nervous “I”.

I am so grateful.

I told my cousin that this is a week about trusting oneself, and tonight’s conversation was just another one of those amazing moments of how beautiful it is when we trust ourselves truly.

Gratitude.

🙂

Post-a-day 2019

Third Grade

And, some nights, you begin telling your mom about various memories from third grade – a class you’ve always remembered as one of your favorites – and she ends up telling you that it is time for you to go to bed, because you have become a bit of a blubbering mess of surprise emotions…

I mean, I do, anyway… 😛

I had no idea how much negative emotion I had stemming out of that class…., a lot of which came from that teacher.

I’ve always loved that teacher.

Tonight, in recalling these incidents and the way they made me feel at the time, and how they somehow exploded me with tears tonight, I said to my mom that, as a teacher, I never want to make my students feel that way – embarrassed, incompetent, incapable, unworthy…, unloved.

I hadn’t ever had these particular incidents in mind, but perhaps these third grade memories have played a somewhat significant role in my open expression of love to my students.

I’m not sure a single student of mine could say honestly that he/she thinks I don’t love them – they all know that I do.

As if my actions weren’t clear enough, my constant verbal expression kind of makes it too hard to miss – but my actions, most likely would say, are already sufficient for them to experience and to know that I love them.

My mom said that it is merely part of life, and that I, therefore, necessarily will end up making a student feel that way at some point… I need merely make sure I clean up the situation immediately, whenever it does happen, whenever the student is distraught by my words or actions…

Part of me is terrified at the idea, but part of me feels like I already do a version of this.

I tell kids constantly that they are wrong or have done the wrong thing.

At the beginning of the school year, their faces look momentarily panicked, until they realize that I have clearly put no grade of them as people into my comment – I mean exactly what I have said, and only that which I have said.

In a rather short time, students don’t even flinch at my words that, traditionally, when coming from a teacher, end up embarrassing the student and making him/her feel stupid or inadequate or [insert upsetting self-identity adjective here], because they realize that I love them and that my words have nothing to do with that love dissipating – I tell the kids they have something wrong, because I love them and I want them to learn the right ways, which happens to require them to learn, too, what is wrong and how to fix it.

And they always learn how to fix it, and are praised for their success – their joy always being evident.

In short, I might make a student feel inadequate, but the feeling lasts no longer than a few seconds, before being replaced by something amazing instead.

What was missing for me in all of these memories, was the follow-up, the release of my feelings of inadequacy… the teacher left me to be embarrassed, and so I stayed that way onward and upward in school.

It kind of sucked.

However, if it, in fact, plays a reasonably large role in my expression of love toward my own students, then, perhaps, I needed the negative experiences for myself, in order to be able to love my students so well…

And, therefore, if it does end up being inevitable that I will leave students feeling the ways I felt in third grade at these incidents, perhaps it is merely so that they, in turn, can go forward in life to love even more powerfully than they can love at present.

You know what I mean?

Post-a-day 2019

Borrowed(?) Memories

Some of my most beloved memories aren’t actually my own memories.

How my cousins would marry multiple friends at their school’s spring fling – marrying was one of the booths at the event, and so you could pay a dollar and be spring fling married to as many people as dollars you wanted to pay…

How my mom came across my brothers, aged about four years and one year, in a room with “MICHAEL MICHAEL MICHAEL MICHAEL” written a few feet off the ground, all over the walls… A—- could barely hold onto a marker, let alone stand tall enough to reach the words, as well as being able to write letters, and yet Michael says honestly to my mom, “A—- did it.”

When that same brother, aged maybe a year more, was angry at my mom at home, and declared in a huffy huff, “Well, you’re a…. you’re a damn!” and then stormed out, while my mom did her best not to explode in front of him with laughter.

And, once more, when that brother was a little younger, and he was with my mom at the store, and he began throwing a fit about not being allowed to have a toy of some sort, and my mom told him to hang on, and she asked the lady a few feet away from them, “Excuse me, ma’am, is he loud enough? Can you hear him okay?”… and my brother shut up really quickly…

One of the best memories is from a video in which A—- receives a birthday present, when aged around four or five years, that is inside a massive cardboard box in the garage… Michael stands within view, his back to the camera, awesome bicycle shorts on full display, and then picks a massive wedgie… a few moments later, A—- walks inside the cardboard box, disappearing from view, and everyone suddenly hears, in a little boy’s imperfect pronunciation, “Batman bike!!!”

He then appears, walking out of the box, pushing an awesome little Batman bicycle with training wheels (and all the boys are instantly envious).

These are a few of my favorite memories…, and yet none of them even had me present, and most were before I was even born.

They aren’t exactly my memories…

That someone how doesn’t change the the fact that I love them dearly, nor that I share them regularly with people.

I still find it somewhat weird, nonetheless, because, again, they aren’t even my own experiences that I’m remembering – just the stories of the experiences… perhaps that is how things are when people love events from history, you know?

The great wars or movements or, even, fashions or movies…. they are, in a way, borrowed memories…

Hmm…

P.S. A big bug hit me in the face on the way home today, and it hurt. 😛 haha

Post-a-day 2019

Speedboats and slow thoughts

I might have shared about this already, but I’ll share it again, because it’s on my mind…

I was thinking tonight about this boat thing.

(Well, actually, I was thinking about Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, and how I’m looking at reading it with a friend, so we can talk about it, but that this time I might do well to make a list of reasons why it’s good that I didn’t live in Pride and Prejudice times.

You see, I usually get lost happily in the story, such that I am sad when I finish it and just return to real life… it only ever takes me a couple or few days to read, because I end up doing little else once I start reading it.

And so, at the end of it all, I am covered with a sort of depressive feeling of my life being inadequate and/or uninteresting and I likely to be anything wonderful compared to the world of which I’d just been dreaming in Jane Austen’s book.

Anyway, so I was thinking about making a list of reasons, right?

I’d thought, ‘Oh, the whole bathing part makes me glad I don’t live there… that’s for sure,’ because I like being clean, and clean didn’t seem to be so precise a thing in those days, and smelly was all too common…

‘But then,’ I thought, ‘I couldn’t have ridden on speed boats or gone water skiing…, though I could have ridden on big boats between countries… like the Titanic!… only not the Titanic, because that was terrible, and, besides, it was much later in time, anyway…’

And that was then I thought of tonight’s topic renewal!)

Sophie Kinsella has a book where the main character has amnesia… when she watches her wedding and honeymoon DVD to help jog her memory, she sees herself beside her husband, who happens to be driving a speedboat.

She is absolutely delighted by the fact that her husband can drive a speedboat(!), and brings it up in her mind somewhat regularly, partly as a reminder that it it worth staying with him, despite the fact that she doesn’t remember him or seem to have a connection with him, and partly just as an adorable and silly reminder of how amazing her life has become (since she can last remember it), because, goodness, a man must be amazing if he can drive a speedboat(!), and it is even more amazing to be married to such a man.

Totally silly, I know, but that in no way changes the fact that I love it every time I think of it.

The main character does such a good job of convincing the reader of her belief in the fact that her husband’s skill is spectacular, that I found myself even thinking how amazing it would be, even dating someone who knows how to drive a speedboat.

‘Wow!’ I would think, ‘What could that be like, knowing, let alone dating or marrying, such a person?’

And this thinking continued for rather some time – even a couple or few years, I dare say – before something absolutely absurd hit me.

Growing up, two of my grandparents lived in a private community of lakes a ways North of Houston.

It would take us about two hours, door to door.

My uncle kept a ski boat there.

And we grew up kneeboarding and water skiing.

The damn broke terribly when I was supposed to start to learn to ski, but I eventually had the opportunity, when the damn and lake were restored.

And so, for the last couple years my grandparents lived there, I was the only child living at home, and so the only one who went to visit with my dad whenever he went up (the other went, too, but nowhere near as often).

My dad, therefore, taught me just about everything needed in terms of caring for and using the boat.

The ski boat… a speedboat…

Meaning, of course, that I not only know my dad as someone who can drive a speedboat, but that…, well,… I know… myself… you see…

Yeah… not too sure how I missed that one… for years.

😂😂😂

Not so impossible after all, to find someone who can drive a speedboat. 😛

Post-a-day 2019