Saturday, January 15, 2011

OTHER FOLKS' WORDS


You know, this little Southern wisp of Hey, Y’all has been going on for more than two years now, and some days, there seems to be TOO much to say. I post one thing, and then happen across a picture, or remember a moment, or think of someone long gone whose words or life had meaning for me, and I want to dash them down RIGHT NOW and send them sailing out into the world.


Then I think---You’ve already posted for today. Give it a rest.

Other days, I just let things “rock on,” as my Mother said about times you just let things be, or the order of things unfurls of its own accord, folks-be-damned and torpedoes ahead, as status stays pretty quo. I do little things around the house, spend twelve hours on the roller-coaster which is Life with Sweetpea, collapse with a tray of thrown-together supper in front of equally-cobbled TV, and start again tomorrow. And somewhere along the way, every time, I come upon a thought or a quote or a way of phrasing things which just captures me in the grace or the grit or the glamour.


Those, I jot down, sometimes in the dark-of-night, before they escape like fireflies winking out in the dark of my flitty mind. My shelf of journals reaching-back-years is always near to hand, and I fumble for the right one, hoping not to lose the page forever in some late-night haze when need for sleep and need to commit the words to paper fight their battle with my senses, scribbling my spider-tracks all down through the lines, and at a loss to read parts of it in the fresh light of day.


Occasionally I’ll hear or see something that I just HAVE to save, out and about, and I’ll scramble for a pen, pad, a folded scrap of paper, a grocery list---just to get those words down before they’re gone like one of those dreams your slippery fingers just drop like vapors into the abyss as you struggle to hold on.


Later, some of them weren’t quite so earth-shaking or worth remembering as I’d thought, but usually, I’m glad I kept them.


There are several lately from Barbara Ueland, a wonderful writer of the past century, whose adventures have captivated generations. Her view on writing, itself, just makes me glad:


I learned that you should feel when writing, not like Lord Byron on a mountain top, but like child stringing beads in kindergarten---happy, absorbed and quietly putting one bead on after another.

And another of hers reminds me of the people in my life who make me laugh---notably Chris and Sis, whose wit and mere voicing of the laughter serve to make us all exponentially more witty and smart:


"Everyone knows how people who laugh easily create us by their laughter--making us think of funnier and funnier things."

She was a prolific and wonderful writer, and is well-remembered by legions of readers. My very favorite words of hers are a parting wish, a cheer before battle, a toast, and a prayer:


STRENGTH TO YOUR SWORD ARM!

That one could stand us all in good stead, whether we’re girded for the fray, or just facing another Monday.


Then there’s one I grabbed from that fount of wisdom, TRUE BLOOD:


I never thought I was smart enough to get depressed, but . . . here I am.
Jason Stackhouse

And from another blogger, whose prose and photos never fail to captivate:


Generosity of spirit is the little red pill that gets you out of the Matrix. The epiphany that frees us. LUCY VANEL

And just a small comment, passing like a refreshing breeze:

Nice thing to do, blessing people. I think suffering some makes people good blessers.
Alison Veres on
maggiedammit

One in a long line of comments-on-a-blog---the wistful, longing memory filled my nose with remembered scents of hard work and making-do:


I dreamed of retail store shopping. Money was tight, and we were smart enough not to ask for things. My mother shopped at Paddy's Market before it was fashionable to thrift shop...and the hand me downs were plentiful. To me poverty smells of washing powder, hot irons and the ubiquitous spray starch.


DEBORAH ON DERFWAD MANOR


And from somewhere, I jotted this down, thinking of the arcane truth of the small four words:

Mythical as Maris Crane.

She was never seen, only spoken of, but in such tones of awe and sometimes fear, even by her own husband, that she carved her own invisible niche into a rich, hilarious, touching story with such smart, witty, sharply-characterized people that they kept us coming back for years.


And some of the most-often seen “quotes” appear as little quick reads as we pass other ships in the night or day, for they’re affixed to the bumpers of passing cars.

I think one of the cleverest I’ve ever seen was on the tiny vehicle belonging to the free-est spirit I’ve ever known personally---she travels the world at whim, trekking great chasms and air-cramped trails of Nepal, flying into tsunami-blasted areas to render aid, and is right now in Goa, I believe, just drinking Life to the proverbial lees.

Her sticker reads: MY KARMA RAN OVER YOUR DOGMA.

I’ve seen a few others over the years which come to mind, but my very favorite thing ever said in reference TO a bumper-sticker came from Chris, not long ago as we drove along behind a car which was covered in so many bright patches of words, it resembled a travelin’ quilt.

I asked if he’d ever thought of putting any bumper-sticker on OUR car---political or otherwise.. He didn’t even blink.


Well,” he said."Whatever you blast into the world on a bumper-sticker, you’re either Preachin” to the Choir or you’re Drawin’ Fire, and either way, why bother?”




5 comments:

Nail said...

I just LOVE your husband, sincerely, I can see him driving the car and saying that in his southern accent (and face it, when we recognize a southern accent it's pretty real honey!)

Maybe I've never told you this, but when you write things, I feel them. You used to tell me, "We all have our gifts..." you remember the rest...I really wish I could write down things and make people see, feel, smell, laugh and sometimes cry the way you do.

I read you everyday. Sometimes I laugh and walk away, sometimes I go to the kitchen and cook, sometimes I cry "just for the remembering" and sometimes they stay with me for days and days...like the one you wrote recently about your Christmas List. Your last one was on my list too.

racheld said...

AWWW, Baby Sis!! That's one of the sweetest things anybody ever said to me!

Thank you---looking forward to your visit, and we'll LAUGH a lot!

Kat said...

Amen to everything Nail had to say. I love your way with words and how your words become pictures in my mind. Keep writing sweet friend.

Hugs,
Kat

Southern Lady said...

Nail said everything I wanted to say ... and much more eloquently than I ever could.

The way you put words together is truly awesome, Rachel ... and I hope you're saving it all to put in a book for your little Sweetpea someday.

Kim Shook said...

As always, I find myself gobsmacked at your way with words, dear one! I collect OPWs (Other People's Words), too. I have actually pulled over on the road to scribble down something wonderful on a CD that I was listening to on a road trip!