Tuesday, April 09, 2013

a few moments

So... the ever-brilliant Jocelyn shared a personal example of micro-moments of significance. She did this as an example for her students as part of an assignment but wow, what a great read.
After reading it I thought idly to myself, Self, that would make a great idea for a post.
Then I read Lime's blog... and she did it too!

I am not sure I am capable of generating 10 whole significant moments at once so I am going to divide this into two parts. Here are moments 1-5.

In swelling Maryland summer heat I stand on the top of the pick-up shell of my dad's truck. My mom has been in the hospital for what seems a very long time and is not coming home for a while longer. My older sister is sitting calmly beside me while I bounce and pace, much to the discomfort of my 18 year-old, newly graduated aunt who has flown across the country to watch over us. Finally, the third-floor window opens on a building separated from the parking lot by a thin strip of grass, and I see my mom and dad's faces. Rules against children visitors in the hospital are not enough to keep us apart. Toxemia has no specific definition in my 5 year-old vocabulary— it just sounds scary. I am so relieved to see my mother through the open window. She looks normal, she sounds normal, and I want her to come home.

I am turning 10 and have decided to paint my room pink, Pittsburgh Paint Lady Pink to be exact. It is part of a concerted effort to be what and who I ought to be. I am a tomboy in an ultra-conservative Christian world. I am red-headed, left-handed, discomfited by the feeling of synthetic fabrics against my skin to the point of distraction, too fidgety, too dyslexic, too distracted, too rambunctious, too competitive, too loud, just TOO... and yet not what I ought to be. I am not what all good little fundy Baptist girls ought to be— quiet, calm, deferential, appropriate, graceful, gracious, etc. etc. etc. My efforts to remake myself are of limited duration and to no avail. Living in a pink room cannot make a Logo™ change her stripes.

After years of remedial work, low expectation, schoolwork-inspired tears, and nearly endless frustration I finally seem to be getting my head about the scholastic waters at about age 13. My studious and straight A student of  an older sister confides in me that she overheard a teacher we both deeply respected telling my parents that he thought it was possible I was even smarter than she was. Incredulous as it seemed, it was also inspiring.

Just before my 17th Christmas my best friend emptied my bank account. Using my bank card and the PIN she has seen me enter numerous times, she withdrew all but $1.78 and then returned the card to my wallet the following day. I had driven passed the shopping center where she used my card and spent the money as she was leaving and we had exchanged enthusiastic waves. I have wondered in the years since then about what she must have been thinking.

In 1994, still using a cane because of the last of the surgeries on my post-accident leg, I met Mr. Logo int Athens, Greece on my way to live on Crete for a year. We stayed in a hotel in the Plaka, and that first night, I looked up at the Parthenon alight and looking stately, timeless, and ancient, and then looked around the Plaka neighborhood and I felt, for the first time, a kinship with people of the past. The view up that hill hasn't changed much in a very long time. I love that!


actonbell said...

These are wonderful, Logo, all interesting and you've written them so well. I love that you met your mate in Athens!

Bijoux said...

Love, love, love this! You learn so much about a person from these.......the 'friend' story is certainly unforgettable.

My two daughters are red heads. And my family spent 10 years at a fundamentalist church. Glad I escaped that!

Now I want to know if your spouse is a Greek god?

lime said...

wonderful glimpses. i am most glad for the teacher who recognized your intelligence. i am most envious of your view of greece. and i want to say wtf to your former best friend.

oh and red-headed tomboy girls just weren't made for fundy baptist churches. i know, i raised one and let her be who she was...much to the chagrin of the fundy set.