April 7, 2013
The title of this journal is going to be "the sky of the sky of a tree called life." It comes from an e.e. cummings poem that my daughter used on my Christmas card this year. I love his work because there is something so appreciative and joyous and primitive in his words. My daughter chose this poem to convey our closeness. It's true we are close...a closeness that somehow seems to connect me to other mothers, other women, to those worries and problems that mothers, and mothers of daughters share.
After leaving my work in engineering to be home with my son and my daughter, I did all those things stay-at-home mothers do. I have taught school and taught cooking. I have worked in offices and taken care of the young and the elderly.
It was a "smallish" world, but I have always known it is much bigger. Having French parents I grew up bilingual and traveled to France regularly to see the family that had stayed behind. In college I traveled as I trained to become an officer in the Merchant Marine. All great experiences, but I knew the world was bigger still.
In 1993 I moved with my husband, my son, and my 4 month old daughter to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. We lived there two years, and in that time we traveled to Indonesia, to Thailand, and to Africa. And this is when I learned that, far from being "small", the world was huge, and more importantly, it was filled with so many different people whose lives were so different from our own...I regret that my children were so young that they don't remember as much about the experience as I would wish, that they don't remember the people we met,( the Saudi couple who came to our house for dinner - the husband allowed his wife to eat in my husband's presence, though she had to remain veiled), the Indian driver who brought us idli on Saturday mornings, our African guide who taught them Hakuna Matata long before they heard the expression in a Disney movie. It is all in the journals I kept for them, but it's not quite the same....We have been back in the US a long time now, but we try to remember to stay connected to a world that stretches beyond our backyard - and this is why I am here.
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart)