kuangning: (thoughtful)
Now, Patty used to live with a two-way door
In a little white house quite near us.
But she had too much fun in school all day
And made the grown-ups nervous.
She talked in the library and sang in class,
Went four times to the toilet.
She ran through the halls and wouldn't play with dolls,
And when we pledged to the flag, she'd spoil it.

So the teachers who loved her had a meeting one day
To try to find a cure.
They thought and talked and thought some more
Till finally they were sure.
"Oh, Patty," they said, "you're an awfully sweet girl,
With a lot of potential inside you.
But you have to know how far to go
So the grown-up world can abide you.
Now, the rules are listed on the walls,
So there's no need to repeat them.
We all agree, your parents and we,
That you just can't handle your freedom."

Patty sat still and, to avoid their eyes,
She lowered her little-girl head.
But she heard their words and she felt their eyes,
And this is what she said:
"I fold my socks and I eat my beets
And on Saturday morning I change my sheets.
I lace my shoes and wash my neck.
And under my nails there's not a speck.

Even sparrows scream
And rabbits hop
And beavers chew trees when they need 'em.
I don't mean to be rude; I want to be nice,
But I'd like to hang on to my freedom.
I know you are smart and I know that you think
You are doing what is best for me.
But if freedom is handled just your way,
Then it's not my freedom or free."

So they gave little Patty an understanding smile,
And put her in a big brown box.
It has carpets and curtains and bean bag chairs,
But the door has three big locks.
kuangning: (wonder photosphere)
Have I ever said how much I love my birthday?

I happened to be born on Childermas -- Holy Innocents' Day. It's the day of remembrance and celebration for the children King Herod slaughtered in his plan to destroy the young Jesus. When I was a very little girl, someone told me that those born on that day, like those born on Christmas Day, were blessed. And while I was growing up, I half-believed that being born on their day meant I had them all as guardian angels. When God seemed to have forgotten me, they had not. They were just little ones, and couldn't save me, but they heard me anyway, and cared, because I was born on their day.

That belief has changed over the years. As a child who has grown up "under the protection" of Innocents and become an adult, I feel sometimes that I owe it to them to protect other innocents. And to stay as close to innocent as I can, myself, so that I'm not completely out of their reach. I do the angel tree every year I can, in remembrance of my own angels. Last year, when I couldn't give more than a bare handful of presents, the first one I bought was for a child, and given on Innocents' Day. I firmly believe that as long as I do my best to protect and care for any child who comes under my influence, I and my own children will not be allowed to go without the things we need for long.

This year's first gift was for a child I haven't met yet. International shipping being what it is, it will not surprise me -- but will delight me -- if she unwraps the package on the 28th. It's something she wanted but would not have gotten had her father not known my mother, here, in the States, and I kept the promise I didn't make for the sake of my guardian angels. If I'm very lucky, someone will adopt my belief and carry on the practice for me -- yet another gift from one Innocent to another.

While I'm at it, did you know that Westminster Abbey was consecrated on Dec 28th? And I have to say I'm very glad that Trinidad never turned the day into a second April 1st -- or kept up the old tradition of whipping children on Childermas, to drive home the lesson of the infant martyrs.

This is no time for a child to be born,
With the Earth betrayed by war and hate
And a comet slashing the sky to warn
That time runs out and the sun burns late.

That was no time for a child to be born,
In a land in the crushing grip of Rome
Honor and truth were trampled by scorn --
Yet here did the Saviour make his home.

When is the time of love to be born?
The inn is full on planet Earth,
And by a comet the sky is torn --
Yet Love still takes the risk of birth.

-- Madeleine L'Engle
kuangning: (wonder photosphere)
my realisation for the night. )
kuangning: (dreaming)
I believe in a life force,
Vast beyond imagining,
Evident in the tiniest things around us...
The wind through the pines,
The stark silhouette of a fawn and doe
Standing shyly at the edge of the woods
In the morning light.
I believe that it is part, if not all,
Of everything that makes me who and what I am;
I believe that it makes me a part of
Everything else around me...
The mystery of a child's first cry,
The clean lines of the diver,
Caught in mid-flight;
The grace of the dancer,
Alone with the spotlight and the music...
They are all in me, and I in them,
If only I believe;
If I dare to dream, with the simple
Sweet faith of a child,
That the world is mine.
And I believe...
I believe because I must;
The alternative
Is to endure loneliness and emptiness.
I believe because when I do,
That force connects us all,
Like a fragile, delicate web of crystal,
And all that I do has meaning,
For there is no isolation:
I dare not act for me alone.
I believe, for belief draws me into
The best within myself,
And, in my heart,
I become you become me...
But only when I believe.


... hunting through old archives again. I was sixteen and in college when I wrote this. I am more pleased than I can say, that the words still ring true for me. Sixteen is one of those years when a girl isn't expected to even think clearly, after all -- let alone be about the business of determining and defining her internal truths. Much of what I wrote that year, like much of what I write any year, is garbage. Two things in particular have survived this far. The Godseed concept, and this poem. I'm glad.

September 2015

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