RaRa Land (Home of my heart)
I've a mom and dad, yet an orphan I be
two sisters, a brother and a half, but an only child
stranger in a strange land; my childhood identity
how can a nine year old feel responsible for heartache that never leaves?
memories of the "innocent" years fill my minds photo book with more bitter than sweet
soft earth of my heart fertile for whatever the wind brought to grow deep
Compassion ~ i saw early in my mamaw
ever a meal and a bed to all who entered. No matter how many people meandered through our home, she made sure they were fed and ok.
Respect ~ judge others by their deeds or lack; nothing else. Prejudice emanating from anything other than a persons behaviour toward others was not allowed. She taught me to seek out the oddfellows, to embrace diversity and to eschew "cookie cutter" mentality.
Thankfulness ~ even in our lack we had more than most of the world. So very different from society today. We had no cable, vcrs, dvds, cds, video games, microwaves, cell phones or internet. We played board games, cards, made up our own entertaining games. most of the day was lived in nature, exploring the deep woods around our home, or fishing on the lake at the bottom of the hill behind our home. My love of reading and writing was birthed out of the abundance of books my mamaw read. Looking back, I laugh at her obsession with The National Enquirer, a MUST read each week.
In 1971,13 and well into my haze daze days of getting high and tripping on LSD daily, we lost electricity for 2 weeks due to an ice storm...a rarity in the deep south. With kerosene lamps and butane for heat and cooking, we fared well. I learned during this time that true living consists of bonding with others, allowing some to enter our world beyond the hellos n howdies. Dozens of people trekked through our home during that period for a meal and warmth. With the lake flowing into all the homes except ours as we sat atop the hill, memories of cigarette smoke thick, obscuring vision as laughter and unending chatter dance in my mind.
Loyalty ~ my mamaw reminds me of Magic, a rescued cat from Nashville that blessed my life for many years. On one of my many sojourns to Nashville for music or camping and boating, this weekend was to hear a friend of old perform in Centennial Park. As the night turned into morn, and i ventured back to my forerunner, I opened the door to find a jet black, frail cat huddled on my seat. I left the moonroof slightly open and am amazed she fit through the narrow gap. As i picked her up, her claws would not release from my leather seat. I moved to the passenger seat and brushed her fur with my gentle fingers until she purred and released her grip. Picking her up, placing into my lap, I noticed her claws were still distended. No collar and under fed, I grabbed a pillow, placed on the back seat and when my ex and her current girlfriend ventured back to the vehicle, with Cowboy, my llassa/snauzer companion of years, they took over the comforting of Magic. Magic and Cowboy sniffed each other and accepted one another immediately.Driving the 8 hours home as I needed to be at work the next morn, I could hear the vibrations of Magic purring. A vet visit the next day revealed a dart embedded in her behind, likely for years. Her nerve damage caused her claws to permanently distend and her tail had to be removed. Now, that was a sight, a frail gorgeous kitty with her back half shaved.
I was the only person Magic ever let hold her...and it was TOUGH having those sharpened claws dig into my flesh as she purred and made biscuits. Magic lived 11 years and the last 3+ I had to give her an inch or so of enema with a syringe daily. Talk about love.
Circling back to the point, Magic would race out the pet door when she heard Frank (Frankenstein, my love dog) barking. One day the idjet neighbor boy opened the gate and let his pit bull into our yard, thinking no one was home. When I heard magic screaming over the pit bulls deep growls, I ran outside to find the dog had frank cornered and magic was in his face, swiping and finding his nose. The dog RAN out of the yard. I almost kicked that boys ass, but he was 15, so I told him to call his dad and let him know when HE got home I was gonna kick his ass instead. The dad was also an idiot, but he did get rid of the dogs that dumbass boy was "breeding."
My mamaw was like that, quick to defend a love or one of "hers." More than a few times, I remember my mamaw "cussing" or reaming someone for wrongly treating one of us.
Love ~ mamaw loved me unconditionally. she saved me as I was a lost lil boy who believed I caused the split of my parents and ever felt I was adopted (these people just were soooo different from me). She taught me to look into the true mirror of clarity and view myself and others, not with one made by people who saw the world through tainted eyes, but with one that saw people as more than good or poor choices, more than victories or defeats, more than an embodiment of possessions and achievements.
the not so good...
Guilt ~ much of my life i've swam in the sea of guilt; at last reckoning most of it was not born of my actions.
Manipulation ~ when I've loved romantically or in friendship, I've quickly exposed my underbelly, giving all of my soul to another. its not been reciprocated; more often taken and consumed until I at last see the abuse and neglect and shut the door.
Finally, with you, I see and feel a comfort, unknown before. Thank you for all you give me.