Tuesday, May 08, 2007

An odd duck

I think it's important to recognize and acknowledge strangeness. I'm quite proud of everything weird about me, even though for the most part I don't say publicly what those odd things are. *grin* I just know I'm a bit of a strange duck. The other day I cut a quote of Colin Powell's from a local newspaper, I believe he was addressing young people, could have been a graduation or something like that, I don't remember, but I do have the quote taped to my computer:

"No matter what anybody thinks about you, no matter what box they put you in, you have got to believe in yourself."

I spent a good part of my young adulthood defending myself against the people who wanted to pigeon-hole me. I was a "this" because I was a "that." It never made sense to me then and it makes less sense to me today. I just am. When anyone asks me, "How could you go from being a nurse to an author?" Well, I mumble something polite and just stare off into the distance. I'm not defined by one thing, never have been, never will. I like to think we are all multi-faceted human beings with a deep need to create. For many of us though, life gets in the way, we have to work at our other jobs to provide for ourselves and our loved ones and then creativity is stunted by necessity. We forget how to play. At some point, the opportunity to create arises, or we hear that inner voice that says "You can do it." A tiny stream of creativity will re-enter our lives and we'll begin to dabble again. Before we know it the stream becomes a river and a whole new world has opened up.

Anyway, I love that quote of Colin Powell's and it got me to thinking about quotes in general and then to thinking about my maternal grandmother, one of the neatest women ever. I so want to be like her when I grow up. Ooops! Too late! Already grown! *grin* Anyway, Granny lived in a small house on a small farm in Australia. She lived by herself, from her early forties onward and was amazingly independent, and had a great love for words. No television. But she loved listening to the radio. She was a simple woman, an artist who created incredible watercolors, loved to garden, and read from the good book every day. She used to cut out quotes from magazines and tape them to the verandah wall, or put them in her kitchen. Some had been there for so long the paper had yellowed. Wonderful wise words from famous people.

As a kid I loved the one that went like this:
"The kiss of the sun for pardon, the song of the birds for mirth, we are nearer God's heart in a garden than anywhere else on earth."

Years later, I found that quote etched in black enamel on a garden decoration. It has place of honor in one of my patio flowering pots. I'll never be a gardener like Granny, and I can't draw or paint like she could, but I have a passion for words. I love words. I've decided of late to use my words honestly and to own what I write, whether or not anyone else appreciates my talent. I love story telling and I'll keep on doing it until I get too old to see the keyboard. And no matter what anyone else thinks about my so-called life of writer's isolation, it's my choice and I love what I do. And odd duck or not, or swimming that river against the current, of most importance I do believe in my ability.

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