Archive for March, 2013|Monthly archive page

Day 87: What Emilie Parker Taught Me.

In Blogs, Children, Education, Kids, life on March 27, 2013 at 5:39 am

Yesterday I decided to have a pity party for myself.  Thankfully it only took me a restful night sleep to snap out of it. 

This evening I noticed an interview on CBS with Emilie Parker’s parents, a little victim of the Sandy Hook Tragedy, the news anchor mentioned that Alissa, Emilie’s Mother, had started a public blog.  I quickly searched it, found it, and began to read her archives but it was one posting in particular that really touched me, “An Unexpected Letter.” In it she writes of a charcoal drawing of Emilie she received only days after the shooting.  The drawing was accompanied by a letter,

I was immediately impressed with the drawing and was convinced it must have been drawn by a seasoned artist.  To my surprise, it was drawn by an amazing seventeen year old girl who wrote us one of the most touching letters.  In it she said, “Your daughter touched one more life….my own.  At the time of all this occurring I was pleading with God to give me a sign on which path to take with my life, to be an artist, a path that was unsure and I feared, or to peruse a more generic career, that may not mean happiness.  This is the sign I was asking for.  I realized my passion is for art, it is what I was meant to do.  Next year I am attending…….State University and I’m going to major in Art.  I will always remember that little girl whom inspired me to follow my dreams, that beautiful girl named Emilie Parker.”

Alissa goes on to share the dreams she had envisioned for Emilie–she remembers practicing her sight words nightly and making sure she could read every book her teacher sent home.  In the end, though, Alissa realizes it’s not the memory of which sight words Emilie could or couldn’t remember or which reading level she had advanced to…

After loosing Emilie, it is strange how I value all these moments so differently now.  I don’t care nor do I remember which sight words she had down, but I remember how much we laughed and cheered together while we practiced them.  I don’t remember what reading level she had achieved, but I do remember snuggling up with her on the couch and watching the excitement of a whole new world being discovered through her eyes in the story she was reading.   At meal times, she didn’t always eat her vegetables and she could never seem to stay in her seat….but there was never dull moment as Emilie would tell us story after story and we would all laughed together as a family.  I look back and have no regrets about Emilie’s life with us.  It wasn’t about being perfect or always doing the right thing; it was about experiencing and loving life together as a family.

She goes on to reveal her hopes that her daughters fulfill their passions in life–that they choose a path that will make them happy most of all.  She marks that she hopes she can make her daughter proud with the life she chooses to go on living.

Much of my bad day centered around my disappointment and uncertainty in my choices.  Wondering how I will make a career out of the education I have pursued.  This post gave me a new perspective, though, that is, we only have one life to touch our dreams and make others proud. We just have to follow the possibility, take the risk, and remember what counts is the experience and memories we sketch along the way.

a whit.

Day 86: A favorite poem

In Education, Poetry, Women, Writing on March 23, 2013 at 10:38 pm
Some keep the Sabbath going to Church –
I keep it, staying at Home –
With a Bobolink for a Chorister –
And an Orchard, for a Dome –
Some keep the Sabbath in Surplice –
I, just wear my Wings –
And instead of tolling the Bell, for Church,
Our little Sexton – sings.
God preaches, a noted Clergyman –
And the sermon is never long,
So instead of getting to Heaven, at last –
I’m going, all along.

Day 85: The Dalliance of Eagles

In Love on March 23, 2013 at 12:41 am

I’ve written a lot about divorce on this blog, and of course the things I’ve learned about what it entails.  Yet, I haven’t written much about what it has taught me concerning marriage.  Seems a funny thing to say that divorce is meant, or can, inform how you interpret such a supreme type of unity. 

It has taught me that marriage isn’t the act that binds a couple–it’s merely a legal appropriation.  Yes, it makes things easier logistically and some would argue it provides a cord that links a familial unit.  Although, I’ve never understood why people rush out to get married upon discovering a pregnancy (in fear that they would have an illegitimate child).  I think there is more illegitimacy in a child experiencing a broken or forced love between his/her parents.  Which leads me to the next thing I know marriage to be.

A love that creates a happiness that others can see (most importantly your children).  This kind of love can’t be found in a short amount of time, but rather it is built throughout a lifetime. 

Sacrifice. I think this component of marriage informs from two directions.  I mean, if you’re willing to sacrifice then you know true love for another, or rather, you have found it.  And then, seeing that sacrifice in action as you live your lives together.

Finally, as I was reading through Walt Whitman’s “The Dalliance of Eagles” today (the poem that inspired this post).  It represents an important, but often overlooked, aspect of marriage or commitment–personal independence and identification.  The poem discusses the courtship ritual of the bald eagle–they resume in flight the courted eagles, dancing and marveling together, claws interlocked, and together take a deep aerial plunge toward the earth.  Then, at the last second, the eagles will release their talons and soar upward toward the sky in what Whitman describes as

A motionless still balance in the air, then parting, talons loosing,  
Upward again on slow-firm pinions slanting, their separate diverse flight,  

She hers, he his, pursuing.

In the ascending flight, the birds find their own strength and identity.They come to know that they are able and that they can soar on their own. Remember though, before they part they dance, this is their dalliance. The eagles know when to let go, they know they have to let go of one another in order rise again. In this, there is transcendence as they soar.

This is one of the most miraculous and overlooked feats an individual must come to know–how to balance love for another and love for individuality.  The goal is not to loose oneself in love, but rather, to find oneself more legitimately. 

Being raised religiously, I’ve watched so many young people get married.  I watch those who wallow in a superficial marriage, those that glom onto their partner’s identity, those who are too young to even know themselves, those who give up their dreams or even the chance at making dreams for marriage, I’ve watched so many eagles, talons interlocked, plunge right into the earth, because they don’t know to let go, they don’t know that by letting go they can find themselves and a deeper love for each other. 

a whit who has learned the dalliance of eagles.


Day 84: Binary Opposition

In Uncategorized on March 16, 2013 at 8:46 pm

Today, as I was studying for my 500 exam (the exam from hell), I was revisiting the 60 some odd novels, poems, plays, and other theoretical texts.  I came to one of my favorites, The Scarlet Letter, it’s novels like this one that really remind me why I love literature so much. 

A simple re-reading of my class notes almost made me cry. I have mentioned this quote on my blog before,

Hatred, by a quiet and gradual transformation, will even be transformed to love.

When we think of Hawthorne, from a theoretical standpoint, he is most certainly a deconstructionist.  He loves to present binaries, in this case the binary of love and hate, and then deconstruct them.

Hester embodies this deconstruction within The Scarlet Letter as she comes to know love, a deeper love, through such a hateful symbol, one adorned on her breast, the scarlet A.

And so, throughout the novel, she does quietly deconstruct what is meant to represent hate, as she is scorned and mocked and even isolated, she uses all of these occurences to love deeper and fuller. In the end, the opposition is destroyed because Hester demonstrates that love and hate are not as different as one might think.  In fact, what symbolizes hate transforms into the greatest act of love for Hester, a mother, a seamstress, and a servant to her community. 

Novels have a way of bringing ideas forward, a way of showing the inner mechanisms of our own lives, when I think about love–how I have truly come to love in this life I certainly do not turn to the notion of hate immediately.  However, if I stop and examine how I have come to know the process and act of showing love, it certainly becomes very clear that hate has defined this for me very much so.

There have been many instances in my life when hate has been present, where hate is still present, where I have been adorned with my own A of sorts.  I have been pushed aside, isolated, treated unfairly, hurt, and unfairly punished for no wrongdoing. Although these experiences have hurt, it would be more hurtful to think of their absence in my life.  How hurtful would it be to never truly understand the totality of love because I cannot ascribe meaning, in the way I can with these occurances, for lack of knowing what it is not–hate.

In this sense, hate and love are seen in likeness versus opposition.  And together in their likeness, they create a sort of meaning and higher understanding of both.  As I grow to understand the hurt I have experienced, and we all have and will experience in our lives, I know how to better love.  I know how to better serve those whom I love.  I know how to be a better mother.  I know how to be a better woman.  This is the lesson of Hester Prynne. 

a whit who sometimes needs literature.

Day 83: Turkey Season

In hunting on March 15, 2013 at 4:11 am

My friends, we are very close to the opening day of Turkey season. You can bet little e and I will be out there with my new .22 front and center.

I’ll be excited to see the end of fox hunting. Konk was on the phone the other night talking to a friend, I could hear him portioning off foxes–I’ve got two whites, a red, we can tan em’, mount em’, Konk at your service for all your fox taxidermy needs.

I’m voting for the purchase of an outdoor freezer, I went to get chicken for the BBQ and found a white fox instead. Yes, we need an outdoor freezer.

I’m determined to catch our thanksgiving bird. Watch out gobblers.


Day 82: Cabo Wabo {The un-Spring Breakers}

In Blogging, Family, Fun, Happiness, Travel, UK on March 14, 2013 at 6:43 am

Whirlwind trip to Mexico.

My mom put it nicely, “So you went to Mexico for the weekend to get sunburned and come home.”

Sun.BURN.ed is correct. We managed to make it to Cabo after a whirlwind flight, one that Konk thought we wouldn’t make but we did, out of SFO. I think our morning went a little something like this, “Hon, it’s 5 a.m., the alarm didn’t go off.” British response: “get the *&^! out of bed!” and we were off! We managed to make it to the airport where Haz (otherwise known as Konk’s brother) maintained his casual gaze for an American wife.

{on a side note: it looks like he might have found one, from Georgia, not to be mistaken for the country bordering Turkey, yes, I’m talking Atlanta–she has been appropriately dubbed “Gobble Gobble”}

We finally made it to Mexico after a flight that involved lots of sleeping. Upon arrival, let the games begin–we grabbed a few Modelos and piled into the bus. Next, we nearly died. Truth be told, our airport shuttle driver almost, and I mean very much almost, plowed us into another vehicle at about 80 mph. I was thankful for my third row back placement but man–I saw my pretty face flash before my eyes. It then appeared that my wonderful boyfriend farted, loudly, next to an Israeli couple stationed side us. Turns out Mexican shuttle buses have no rear suspension which was apparently the source of the “noise.” I am still a bit skeptical, but he did fess up to the one at the check out counter of Marina de Fiesta so…We started our trip with a bang (still not confirmed) and definitely ended with one too.

Somewhere in the middle we enjoyed beer, good food, a deluxe junior suite, and of course an 8 hour Marlin sport fishing trip. Captain Paco Taco Francisco–

“you wanna catch da marlin, i get you da marlin”

500 bucks later, we ended up with a 2 pound tuna {which Konk took several pictures of, at several angles, in order to increase its size visual} and some spanish mackoral. The fishing trip was really interesting, the guys {aka fisherman in training} spent most of the time.


I spent most of the time.


We’d all wake up for the occasional, ay yay yay, which meant there was a whale, or a school of dolphins, or, finally, a two pound tuna.

at about hour 7, my Konk discovered the Coppertone in the lower boat cabin. Lying down, thinking about how burned I am feeling, I watch Konk lather some on his neck and laugh.

We exit the boat, and the burn begins to settle. All three of us, swelling, bright red,

Haz ended up with the worst of it, his woman seeking took a minor detour as he feared he might scare away any potential datees with his reflective forehead. Konk and I cuddled from a one foot span and we woke up ready to return back home.

On the way back, we passed a red lobster and Haz said he’d found his new home in their front window tank.

I am currently suffering from a bout of lepresy, my face is falling off in sheets.

And that my friends is how you do Cabo.

We’re destined to return and find that Marlin.

a whit who’s feeling fried.

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