Starting out, a little girl with a lot on her plate, I found my first refuge and love of the written word in a book called “The Boxcar Children” lovingly read to me and all my classmates of the second grade, right after lunch, with our “heads on our desk” by none other than the amazing Mrs. Archibald.
My parents never read to me, never gave me a book, but they kept a fairly large library in their living room, from which I would try occasionally to read something. I remember “The Naked Ape” caught my eye, but I couldn’t make heads or tails of that one at age 6 or 7. There was one about the Holocaust, which lost me at that age, but the one I most remember was a very large white Bible with brightly colored plates for different chapters. What stopped me dead in my tracks and possibly changed the way I viewed the world forever, was a very graphic plate of Jesus, dying on the cross.
Of course, my “fifties” parents never explained anything like this to me. Yes, they took me to church from time to time, but they seldom went. And yes, Sunday School did seem to touch on this subject, but never to my satisfaction or understanding. I just didn’t see how this horrendous picture of Jesus could have any basis in fact at all. At age 7, my mind just couldn’t wrap around any violence or tragedy of this magnitude and it still haunts me.
Since I could never go to my parents or teachers about my misgivings on the subject, I began to read, more and more, in earnest, to discover what this “religion” thing was all about. I have studied physics, anthropology, the World Religions, tried to be a Buddhist, revelled at the self-discipline and adoration I see in my Muslim friend, but again, I am still looking, looking for that one bit of information that will set it all right, in my mind. So much of the Bible is based on faith…
Gradually English literature found me with it’s grand style, polish, cleverness, brilliant characters, real romance, intrigue, but most important to me, secrets of life, never before exposed to this quiet solemn little girl from the east Texas piney woods. One of my most interesting professors was a man from the deep south who taught English Lit in a small Junior College there. He was a large man, who didn’t exactly fill out his khaki suit very well. It seemed to have large empty areas of fabric that scratched together as he would pass beside my desk. He taught me about short stories, in his overly obvious southern drawl, not Texan mind you, probably something from South Carolina or Georgia, my guess. And it just made the whole of his lessons that much more enjoyable. He introduced me to Somerset Maugham, whom I delighted in reading.
As time went on, I wrote a few poems, a few short stories, which I gave to my mother, and they were put away somewhere. I kept only one, a child’s poem about my cat that had passed, and when I re-sent it to her one year, she took it in to her “Beauty Shop” where she said it had the ladies there crying. So now I was hooked… writing was a way to reach out, and to share experience and emotion. But how many times did I wonder, who will ever know, who will ever read my stuff, and if I was to write a book, how would I ever get it published. I mean, really, what does a girl from east Texas have to say to the world?
Speeding forward to the present day, with my first computer around the year 2001, I found my fingers fairly flying. I could type really fast from playing the piano, the circuits were already established. But again, who would read, and where to go with it. I’d always read that you should write about what you know best, and since I didn’t know a whole lot past playing in a symphony orchestra, fiction seemed my only choice. Wow, have things changed!!!
The new age of social networking first took me to Facebook, which I barely kept up with. A great place to make friends, really? What was this new perspective? I fast-forward here to a funny episode of “The Big Bang Theory” which is a comedy on television, where one of the characters, Sheldon, my personal favorite, builds a robot made to act in his absence, to be him, to interract with people just like a real person. It had a monitor on top where he fed in his face from his web cam, safely tucked away in his own bedroom. Sheldon’s whole personal goal in life is to live long enough for his brain to be electronically transfered into a computer, so he could remain alive, well actually dead, but his mind is still able to function as a machine. I think you see where this is going…
Soon Facebook was soooo cliche’ for me, actually quite lame, I was just not really getting it. I became depressed, really. I found a site made especially for depressed people, and you could write a blog there, and the lack of good grammar and poor spelling made writing there fairly painless for me, and there I found my first real knack for writing. I could write comments on posts by sad people, to help them. I could send messages to my other sad “friends” there, and what was so amazing is that they wrote back, with very encouraging comments. Pretty soon, I had made tons of “friends,” four of which I still have today. Sadly, three of them live across many oceans from Texas, so the best we can do for now, is to email, skype, and such. Which is a lot really, it’s freakin amazing! I can now get first hand info regarding the Nation of Islam from my best friend in Pakistan, I can find out the weather in The Netherlands first hand from a very beloved friend and fellow-gardener, and now I can google any question I may ever have concerning religion, and get lots of answers, right away. It’s great! hahaha
Then I found WordPress, and I joined. I studied it, jumped around looking at other blogs, and I suggested it to several friends, as a means to reinvent ourselves, you know, evolve. Luckily, my good friend from the Northlands came to WordPress and started doing what he does so well, with birds and bugs and gardens, and he encouraged me to have a go at it again, this writing thing.
And so you have me here, now, with a handful of followers, and still no clear idea where I’m going with this. Unlike so many others that have a chosen subject, a special field, mine is simply another representation of the human condition. But today was special for me, for my girl from Pakistan reported that she was joining Twitter. Now, I have to keep up with her, right?
It seems with the Twitter, one could really change the world, one tweet at a time. Tweets are just so damned short!!!
Addendum added 2/25/12: I choose the word self-aggrandizing to describe my first and second impression of Twitter. At this site its definitely quantity over quality. It just didn’t impress me. I recently asked a prominent local editor what she had to say about the new text lingo and the evolution of our language, and her reply was, “it stinks.”