Thursday, November 11, 2010

journey entry #2

So I am going back to that place again, that place where all was safe, that space in mother's eyes, that brought out the writer in me to begin with.   She was after all, my only editor and let's face only reader, so when she died, that ember she ignited in me did too.  

It was like I just stomped it out and threw it in the casket with her. And that is exactly why,  I'm sitting in the freezing room wondering if perhaps she could join me once more and remind me what it was exactly she saw in me.  I am wondering if maybe she could swim in my veins for a day, teach me to fall into my writing again the way a bird falls into the warm air currents before it can really soar into the heights it was destined for...I want her to be that wind for me today.
Am I delusional?  Does God allow such sebaticals? 

That is what it is like to loose a mother like her, you loose a little bit of yourself.  It was if she took that little girl with her, the one she filled with love and ideas of greatness, and left the rest of me to contend with myself.   Grief for me was two-fold.  It was mourning the loss of my champion, my guru, my constant unconditional source of confidence in my self, in my calling, in my "gift",and it was... to be quite honest an identity crisis.

"What was I now that she is gone?"
"What do I do without her vision of me?"

But it wasn't entirely selfish.  I grieved her, the very thought of her kindness, passion, open heart and mind and fearless devotion to christlike love...the very thought fills me up with the deepest gratitude I have ever experienced. 

I am thinking of how the years came and went and how the two of us worked together.  Whenever I wrote, whatever I wrote, she read it with wonder, like it was the original dead sea scroles.
She would then tell me I was brilliant.
And I believed her.
After each reflections contest, she would hold up my blue ribbon and declare that the rest of the world was just confirming what she already knew.  

One day she picked me up from school and told me that every writer needed a suit, and since I was bound to be the greatest journalist and novelist ever, that I had better start dressing like one.  With more pride than I ever saw from my mother she bought me a grey and black pin stripped suit.  So while my friends put on their cinderella shoes and E.T shirts, I was buttoning up my jacket Diane Sawyer style.  Perhaps I should have been slightly concerned about fitting in, wool suits aren't exactly on everyone's wish lists.  But it never occurred to me at the time to care.
I can still feel the collar itching my neck, but that didn't bother me either.
I was destined for greatness.

But then High school came and went and there was that english teacher who didn't think I was all that brilliant, and all the reflections I lost after her, mom thought it was a conspiracy, but I didn't.
After all she was an english teacher.
Slowly the wool suit got hung up in the closet to rot away with the mothballs.
So did my writing.
I quickly learned you don't get invited to parties if you confess you actually love to write, that was like confessing to aids back then.  So I played it cool, and piece by piece I lost that place in me that believed.
But mother didn't.
She reminded me constantly that I was here on this earth to write.  So now and then I would throw her a bone...a poem for mother's day or a story for her birthday and she would love them, and I would love her for loving them, but secretly thought her a bit delusional for making such a big deal about my words.
After all my english teacher didn't care for my stories.
And english teachers are experts.
But mom put that ember in me, and it quietly smoked in my heart for many years. 
Life came like it comes, good intentions rust away and reality takes over, but there were some good moments, newspaper articles, journalism classes,  a play here or a local story there, I just didn't know how to NOT write, even though at times I lost all confidence in my writing.
I even had a journalism teacher tell me my work was brilliant, and walked away thinking he must be desperate for writers. 
Besides, he didn't know what my english teacher thought of me.  But still their was mother, my great crusader...the one who would go to battle for my work...even if it meant going to battle with me.

So dear father, this is my prayer. Can I have her today?  Can you let us work together once more?  Will you send my your words, your passion?
I just read a scripture in D&C.  Perhaps it is his answer:
"verly verly, I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy...."


  1. Your posts make me wish I had gotten to know your mom more. She was such a beautiful person and I love these stories you share that help me know her a little better.

    English teachers are the death of creativity. They get lost in the rules and way things "should be." I'll never forget the day my mom {miss peacemaker} chewed out for my english teacher after the teacher accused me of plegerizing my research paper. I loved her for that.

    Keep writing. I know your mom's there with you!

  2. never listen to the naysayers! caleb loves english and he had 2 teachers that killed that love in him. that is not a "teacher". he went to UVU and found that love again.
    just in writing these journal entries you are writing and writing beautifully!
    and don't be so hard on yourself. isn't this supposed to be for your joy?!
    very appropriate scripture!!

  3. I know exactly how your mom felt about you. I would love to have an hour with you and tell you all about it.

  4. I never knew about the writing suit. Your mom was the best. And who was that dang english teacher? He/she was way off. I'm so proud of you for beginning your dream. You truly do have a gift. Your mom was so right. Keep going! You can do it. It will be amazing. I may not be an expert but I am a consumer. I love a good novel. And I have always loved your writing. Cheryl