Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Remembrancer, Designedly Dropt.

My writing used to be described as one of two things: family humor or inspirational. The family humor appeared as a weekly newspaper column for several years. But it came to end as soon as the kids became old enough to realize they were being exploited.

The inspirational writing - wow. It sounds all sparkly and heavenly and possibly nauseating, doesn't it? It was obnoxious of me, but it was mostly in the 90's and I'm pretty sure that The Entire World agreed we wouldn't hold each other accountable for the 90's.

My stories were published in various inspirational anthologies, and they were sold by those anthologies to various magazines. They were used in newsletters and Actual Church Sermons. (I know because I google myself in private.)

I was all kinds of In Your Face Inspiration.

I don't know what happened, but at some point I began to doubt I was channeling anything other than my own bullshit. The Man-God who I'd thought had been constantly trying to communicate with me via various asinine methods - well - He and I grew apart. (Don't worry - I promise this isn't a Bitter Atheist post.) I came to see a falling star as being a falling star. Not a Message From the Great Beyond. And so my inspirational writing disappeared, along with any ability I thought I'd had to phone a friend in Heaven.

If this were the 90's, I might make a pathetic attempt at making sense out of the Boston Marathon bombings. Or the West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion. Or school shootings. But this is not the 90's and our world is post 9/11 and I'm not that girl, anymore. Heck - even if 90% of you begged and pleaded for me to write something inspirational about the current pain and suffering being experienced in our country, I wouldn't do it. I'm like the Senate in that way.

Me and God - we don't talk so much anymore. But don't despair! I haven't completely hardened my heart. *Oh dear, I either just quoted the Book of Hebrews or Pat Benetar - not entirely sure which.

Sometimes, out of the blue, I'm reminded how fantastic and insane it is that I'm here, at all. That any of us are here at all. It's that sudden awareness, consciousness, or cognizance of my part in the Grand Scheme of Things that just blows me away. Is there a scheme? I don't know. Usually, I dont' think so. But sometimes I get the unexpected feeling that I'm privy to something - just for a millisecond - to something BIG. And my small part is illuminated in a stillness of time.

Yesterday, Jules mentioned he enjoyed the poetry of Robert Frost. Specifically, he enjoyed Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. When he was a little kid, he had a picture book illustrating this poem. I'd read it to him, occasionally. I never thought he'd listened. But he had.

So back to yesterday. Never one to ignore an intro, I jumped on his comment and ran hysterically into my bedroom to grab my Bible - also known as Leaves of Grass, by Walt Whitman. It is so rare that I'm granted an opportunity to talk poetry, you see. I was thrilled. Thrilled, I say! I ran back into the dining room and Jules was still sitting there, so I hastily flipped through the book to come to the well-worn pages of the 6th verse of "Song of Myself." This is the verse where a child has said, "What is the grass?"

I read:

How could I answer the child? I do not know what it is any more than he.
I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful green stuff woven.
Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord,
A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropt,
Bearing the owner's name someway in the corners, that we may see and remark,
And say Whose?

The other day I was driving into town, I noticed something placed in front of me and remarked, Whose? It was silly, really. And you very well might read this all the way to the end and say, "That was weird." But I'll do my best to convey my moment of wonder.

It was a dreary day. One of those days where everything is gray. The highway was gray, the sky was overcast and gray, the landscape was gray and brown. Even the cars on the road were various shades of black, brown, and gray. But then a yellow Volkswagen Beetle passed me on the left. Whoosh!

I watched as it darted in and out of the monochromatic cars in front of me, like a bee skipping from bloom to bloom. It looked as if it had been photo-shopped into a black and white scene. As if someone had placed it there to draw just a bit of attention - to see if anyone would notice, and remark, Whose?

I looked in my rear view mirror at the two lanes of gray, black, and brown cars behind me. And I smiled. Because at that moment I realized I was in a red car.

I felt very much like a remembrancer, designedly dropt. And I admit to wondering...Whose?