Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Searching for Grace

We all got failings. Failings are a theme in my novel. Everyone starts flawed and they end flawed. Its moments of grace that make our humanity worthwhile.

Negativity is such a force. It can take control and rule our lives if we let it.

I grew up where the generation above me knew horrid hard work and lived like beggars in spite of it. In rural Georgia, that is still true for many. Old highways are lined with abandoned homes, pecan groves and farms. Opportunity in Atlanta and other towns lured people away to never return.

My dad left that part of Georgia to fight in World War II. He did try to return but learned there was nothing there for him and moved to Macon.

Of course his mother wanted him to move back and farm as a side job. Like most people, he didn't follow a great piece of advice.

I grew up in Warner Robins. It was a mix of Lake Woebegon and a social climber's paradise. Many people grew up dirt poor but they wanted to deny their humble roots. My parent's looked at it indifferently. They just weren't ashamed that they had grown up poor. This did not keep me from getting on that ladder. The story gets long, complicated. But to sum it up, I got kicked off big time. You don't always recognize good luck when it happens.

We all got a story and there are no easy answers to what to do in life. I had a teacher friend who wanted me to quit teaching and get a job where I could meet a husband. She was right. She was wrong. I needed a job to support myself, not to find a man. A good husband would have made the slings and arrows of life easier to bear.

Today during my daily blog reading, I came across three posts that affected me.

One was TWKHickman's blog “Not Just Another Mother Blogger”.

She describes an attempt to create a cave much like her husband's man cave. The problem is a mama cave has baby bears with legos. I understand the frustration. I'm an introvert.

Introverts need alone time to recharge. I stay up late to have that precious time. Then I drag and feel like crap the next day. Earlier today, one of my mom's dogs came to fetch me. Mom loves company and her dog knows it.

Another blog was about autism. http://yeahgoodtimes.blogspot.com/ The parent was frustrated with people who wanted to blame parents of violent or self harming children. Unfortunately, there are no easy answers. Sometimes parents have got to do what they got to do.

I have a developmentally delayed brother. I said I would never yell at him like my dad did. Like the rest of the family, my brother is hard-headed. I have seen some creative solutions to problems. Some of these solutions are expensive. Like the time he took the engine off the new lawnmower and put it on the old lawnmower. New engine worked good. Bad blades and rusty mower mowed poorly. I didn't yell about this. But I sound like a banshee yelling at times.

I read Diana Knox Cooper's book, “Hated Without a Cause”, a sobering account of her emotional and sexual abuse as a child. Scars that have left her negotiating life with a broken heart which she details in the book.

We all got a story. That story is inherently biased because it is seen through lens of our own experiences. However, that story can only be understood by others through our sharing.

My dad said the bible was more a book of wisdom than a factual text. Diana's salvation has been her relationship with God. I understand a lack of belief in a higher being. I have been plagued by that doubt my entire life. It was truly a difficult period in my life that I started to believe again. I'll never adopt a rigid code of belief but I do feel an ease in this world with my faith.

Something I experienced throughout my life and have no easy answer for the problem is: “Why do we ruminate over what is bad to the point we can't see what is good?” When I taught school, a difficult student is all I could think about when so much of the day was really spectacular. Turning off bad memories is no easy task. A counselor would help us all and especially anyone who has had traumatic experiences.

What I do know is love is a more powerful force than negativity. I just got to remember to practice it more.

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