Monday, July 23, 2012

Photographs and Memories

I worked in the sweltering heat yesterday cleaning the neighbors side yards that butt up to my house. They both are oblivious to the jungle growing there and on one side I  think we attracting big beetle bugs. They are appearing my my bathroom. So I spent three hours in the humidity and it looks great now.

I like the heat it runs through my southern veins on both sides of the family. My mother's family were very poor and lived in the tobacco barns during cutting season. My dad's parents had a farm but my grandmother supported the family by working in the textile mill. Hard workers all of them.

It feels good to get out and wear myself out. I always take on too much. I don't leave enough energy to clean the tools or even enough energy to take a shower. It does feel good to use something besides my head.

I was spent last night but my mind was racing. I wasn't much interested in TV or really doing anything else. I started reading a book about life after menopause. Boring. Then something said to me what about reading the Bible. My my said "What!"

After reading the Sue Monk Kidd book I started thinking about her journey which included migrating from being Baptist to Episcopalian. Finding her own way in life.  Maybe it was time I took a second look.

I was taught to read from my mother's bible and still have it. It along with a half a dozen others that were gifts from people trying to woo me back from the devil. One is a hip version from the 70's that I covered in a groovy fabric. It was suppose to get us to think God was our buddy cause he knew our lingo. It was the kind of bible that you were aloud to write in.

I went the shelf and picked out my mother's bible. It is yellow now instead of white and has a little zipper with a cross on it that doesn't work anymore. Inside I had written my name and address at clearly a young age. Didn't want to lose your mother's bible.

Inside I als found a picture of her family. There they were or what was left of them. Two died before reaching five. Kids without a father raised on hard work. Destined to be poor without a man's income. My mom the youngest and the only one to stay at home past 14.

You can see that my grandmother was tough and no one was smiling in this picture. She was god fearing. She never married and never got a regular job. She didn't complain about her lot in life and went on to build her own house with donated materials. I don't remember seeing her ever read the bible but she talked about Jesus all the time.

I decided to read the red text. All words I had read and heard before. No resistance this time. It is just a piece of my own history that I can accept now. It wasn't the words that I ran from all those years it was the people that were saying them and using them to justify their own deeds.

It felt good to see that I have really let go. I knew early in my life that I wouldn't be a great sheep. I had to find my own way and I am still working on that. I have found that life doesn't have to be about living against something just about living for yourself. Separating your own ideas from ones that you picked up from someone else along the way.

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