Friday, April 2, 2010

My Morning Pages

Self portrait.  I am continuing to do my morning jounaling.  Next, I am going to work on a time line of my life from my memories of earliest childhood which is going to be quite interesting for me.  I say interesting because as I work through the process of writing, I am able to relive the moments that I do not want to forget.  Most of the exercise and theraputic effort of my process of journaling helps to reveal and discover my inner artist.  For the longest time, I thought that I was not creative because I hated it when my 6th grade spelling teacher made us write a story using all the spelling words for the week.  I remember specifically that I had neglected to do my homework one day.  The morning before the bus came I was frantically trying to make up a story and could NOT for the life of me, begin to form a story in my imagination.  So, Mama must have felt sorry for me because she came up with a story using these words:  "While, the PILOT was MANEUVEING his CRAFT."  That was one of her sentences in the paragraph in which she had created using my spelling words in bold type.  As a 6th grader, I desperately needed her story but knew that my teacher would know that I would never make up a sentence about 'MANUEVERING his CRAFT'!  At least I had a story submission.  Wouldn't you know, that darned teacher called on me to read my story in front of the class.  I bet my face was red as I read that sentence.  What 6th grader would ever say that?  So uncool and obviously a 'Mama' sentence!  hehee. 

The importance and significance in this goofy recollection for me is this...My Mama typically NEVER did my homework for me.  Oh, how I wanted her help many times.  It would have made my life easier.  She always told me to figure it out for myself.  I hated this sentence..."That teacher gave that homework to you, not me."  ugh!!!  How infuriating!  I wanted to throw a fit.  No matter what, she never budged.  In the end, even though I doubted myself and cried that something was too hard, I always accomplished my work on my own merit.  Good or bad grade, the grade was mine.  Therefore, the triumph or hard lesson learned was mine to claim as well.  But, on the day that I copped out and had my Mama create that story for me, I felt embarrassed and ashamed of myself.  I'm telling you that I remember every emotion A-Z, just as if it were yesterday.  I realized at that time that I cheated and felt guilty.  I knew that story was obviously above my head and I could not and did not want to take undeserved credit.  I felt ashamed of myself for lack of preparation.  Procrastination has been a huge stumbling block for success my entire life.  But, above all the afore mentioned acknowledged lessons, I regret the fact that I succumbed to the idea that I did not have the ability to imagine and create a story.  When I allowed myself to become convinced that I had no imagination, there were lifelong, self imposed limitations and lack of confidence.  Looking back, I wish I would have just taken a zero on that stupid assignment so that I would have been free.  Because, the truth is, I believe that I have a great imagination for a story.  I love telling stories and recalling the gamut of dramatic and funny, ridiculous, sad, triumphant, disappointing, insignificant, profound, memorable moments of life.

So, you see I have really enjoyed journaling my recollections and sentiments in my morning pages.  I am learning about being true to myself as I go.  I have always written prayers and meditations of my heart but doing this current work is amazing and,...I'll say it again, interesting to say the least. 

Day 83 of 365,

Day 83 of 365, I visited mom today.  Before I left, we started talking about the super bright green leaves on the trees and how pretty the weather has been.  We ambled around her yard looking at her flowing shrubs.  She thought about her sweet smelling shrub which I think she called a Banana Visconia.  So, we went around the corner of her house to the side where her tree is planted.  She wanted check to see if it had bloomed.  Yes, it was Loaded with blooms!  She plucked one of the buds to take a long whiff of its fragrance.  This tree blooms with flowers fragranced with the sweetest banana smell.  I wanted to look up its botanical name.  So, I did a google search and came up with 'Michaela Alba' or, it might be found in garden centers as 'Magnolia Fuscatta Var. Skineriensis'.  I found this through a wonderful gardeners website  I had to laugh at some of the comments from other googlers of that site.  I noticed a common thread in their comments regarding the memories that this flower brings up for them. 
Here are a couple comments that I would like to share:
*Posted by greenelbows1 z9--so LA
"I had to google 'banana shrub', 'cause I knew exactly what you meant but couldn't think of its botanical name. ... Here sometimes they call them 'bubby flowers', 'cause long ago ladies would drop them down the front of their dresses for the fragrance. "
*Another comment Posted by heidiho of St. Martinville, La.
"I remember those!! They smelled so good. My grandma used to put a couple of them down my bra in high school and when I got home they were all brown but I sure did smell good all day. Think I'll try to grow one. I hope it doesn't take too long to bloom. At my age I don't have that much time left. lol  Thanks for the memory."

So, I had to chuckle because every summer, I watch my mom bring the little flower up close to her nose and breathe in their sweet fragrance.  All the while that  she is drawing in all the sweetness, her eyes are softly closed and I know that she is being transported to another time and place.   I know that she is going back in her memory because each and every time, she says, "I love the smell of this flower.  MawMaw used to have one and we would put the petals in our chest of drawers."  I know exactly which MawMaw she would be talking about.  That would be our wonderful and amazing MawMaw Irene.  Her grandma and my great.  A GREAT grandma she was, indeed.  I was blessed to know her until she passed away when I was about 12 years old. 

Isn't it amazing how the sweet, sweet smell of a simple little flower can bring you back and make you feel so nostalgic?  I can relate because I love going back to yesteryear in my heart, mind and spirit.  What takes you back to a special time?  You should take time to breathe deeply in remembrance of those special memories.  I think it is very good to savor the moment an allow yourself to go back to a magical place of comfort and joy.

Above, I think Mom is talking about how she needs to "cut back...", something or other.  She didn't realize I was taking her picture.  In the second pic, she catches me pointing the camera in her direction and she is booking it out of the frame.  When she realized she got caught she laughed and said, "Oh goodness, you got me with my hair in this 'Bow'rette."  hehee...!  She was raised in the city but talks like a Louisiana southern, country girl.  She and my Kayla are so funny.  The other night, they were trying out DragonSpeak on their I-phones.  DragonSpeak had no idea what they were saying!  It was hilarious!   We couldn't stop laughing.

Speaking of Kayla (my oldest daughter),pictured below is a pretty flowering hanging plant that she was given by one of her office's clients.  She works for a Doctor and they are spoiled with gifts and nice lunches from clients.  She loves the medical field.  I am so proud of her.  It is so amazing when you realize that your adult child is learning, growing and making their own way in the world.  I pray that she will always be happy and fulfilled in her career choice.  I pray for both of my daughters and their individual choices that directly impact their future.   I have been very much a mother hen throughout their entire childhood.  I protected them at every turn and was able to make all the decisions for them that I thought best.  At this time in their young adult lives, I have to take the backseat and have faith.   So far, so good.  Thank you, Lord.