Sunday, September 23, 2012

courage - part 1

i don't know how these posts will come out. i've got three started in drafts, and i haven't even made it very far into some of what i'd like to explore. i know that i'd like to end with a challenge to unwed mamas, to the churches that surround them and hold them and to the parents, siblings, boyfriends and friends that are in their lives. Maybe these posts will just be lame... and maybe i'll quit part way through... No promises :) But for what it's worth - here is part 1.

i picked up my old journal. The one whose starting date is January 4th 1996. The one that has butterflies and doodles inscribed all inside the front flap. It has quotes drawn around and decorating the broken binding... things like:
"i never wanted to be famous, i only wanted to be great." Ray Charles
"An object in possession seldom retains the same charm that it had in pursuit." - pliny the younger
A description of beauty: in the eye of the beholder, self-control, happiness, dainty, gentleness, purity, meekness, honesty, love, fleeting, skin-deep, love, goodness, hope, worker...
It has, written in tidy black ink in the top right hand corner, the address of my first apartment - and a name: miss. retha paige sloan - 1996.
It belonged to a girl i hardly ever think about because my memories are so conflicted. My eyes are tearing up and my cheeks are burning with that smouldering shame just picking it up again.
i don't read it.
A few women have told me about their abortions in the past little while.
Their stories moved me - and even days later, i wonder at their courage in sharing honestly from their hurting chapters. There is beauty in honesty after all - and theirs shakes me from my comfortable middle class mama role - and knocks me back in time to when i was 19 in my second year of music school - and i became a girl who chose not to have an abortion.
Immediately following those days and life altering months that made up the first half of 1996, i attempted as a young woman in my twenties to distance myself from the foolish girl who kept the journal full of confusion, timidity - and just the smallest bit of grit.
Honestly? i've judged that girl... and i've judged her harshly.
And now - i feel the older woman in me murmur comfortingly, "She wasn't so bad... she was young, foolish, hurting, insecure and scared. Don't be afraid of her - she's a part of you - learn from her."
And i crack the cover - the tears spill over - and i'm ready to read ancient unread words. Swirly immature handwriting covers each page - most of it makes me impatient and mortified... but some of it makes me shush the hater inside and title this blog post, "courage"...






1 comment:

Sara L said...

I hate dredging up my youth and foolishness. I think I could still blush just looking back. But, I find, somehow... I must, because as our little ones get bigger they seem to need to know our 'dirty laundry', and in many ways I'm willing to face my foolishness for them. But, I so hope that I can spare them the pain. All that said. From the lesson's I've learn and the strength I've gained along the journey, I shutter I the though of how I would lack in compassion and care for others if it wasn't for that time. I don't know that it would be good for me to change it (as if I could). My thing lately is... Life has been hard... but it's been good.

You write about it so well, and your art in your book is amazing!

Blessings to ya :)


Related Posts with Thumbnails