Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Thursday, February 7, 2013

All Our Hopes and Dreams Contribution

I am so excited.  I was a guest post on a blog from the UK called All Our Hopes and Dreams.  Is that not so exciting.  This is what I saw when I clicked on the link for Rachel's blog.  "Today's contribution comes from Karen in Alabama, U.S.A. Karen's own blog has the rather fine name of  Karen's Korner but here she muses on her memories of her mother (pictured above), her grandfather and, in between those two, a performance of Peter Pan. I know it seems like three separate pieces of work but really it's one in many ways, I think. Something about how much of childhood and family we carry with us, perhaps."
This is my first time to appear on  a blog that is not my own....and this is what I submitted:

I was a child born in the wrong time and place. I had a vivid imagination and dreamed of living life as an Indian. You see, my mother was one-quarter Porch Creek Indian. My great grandmother was an Indian princess. Her father was the chief of their tribe. They lived near Horseshoe Bend National Military Park in an area where Andrew Jackson defeated the Creeks in a bitter battle. I remember as a child dressing in my great grandmother's deer skin wedding dress that was inlaid with turquoise. My mother would put on one of the countless necklaces of turquoise and we would play dress up together….and I would dream. My mother’s hair was as black as coal when I was young and then one day it was pure white. Her face withered in Indian manner and the crevices that appeared there told of a hard life. Every time I would look at her I would see her as I did when I was younger… wearing the turquoise necklaces of my past. When she was diagnosed with dementia and had to be placed in a nursing home I did everything I could to make her remember… then, now, me. My first attempt was to put together a calendar of pictures. Each month held faces of people she had known before and knew now… I wrote stories from tales she had told me as a child. I tried everything I could to make her memory return. Each and every day I hoped for a miracle… but alas… the only thing that I got was a collection of stories I could share with my own children about my mother… and father. Creek Mother was the last thing I wrote for her in 2011.

Creek Mother
Turquoise, I believe you to be.
Indian features tell of Indian ancestry.
Turquoise, blue-green colors,
Blended expertly together
To form one,
Just like you and daddy.
Turquoise, bright and beautiful,
Laced with silver.
Your silver hair laces your face;
Beautiful to behold.
Each turquoise stone is as unique as you are.
Creek mother or Gitano,
Whoever you are,
Turquoise is the color of your very being.
Turquoise, I believe you to be,
My very favorite stone.

When my youngest daughter was four I took her to see a live stage production of Peter Pan in Birmingham, AL. I really can’t say I took her… I really should say I took myself. I always wanted to be visited by Peter Pan when I was a child. I dreamed of flying off to Never Never Land and helping Peter raise the Lost Boys. I had a vivid imagination as a child and spent a great deal of my down time dreaming…..
Off To Neverland…
     Today…when the lights dimmed…I took a trip to Never Neverland!
     Going back to my childhood was refreshing…unlike any harrowing family vacation.
     For 3 hours I was transformed to Karen Leigh Sasser…7 year old extraordinaire.
     Though people sat around me…I was alone…and it was a grand feeling. 
     The curtains parted and we…the audience…were in the nursery with the Darlings.  The scene was so familiar.
     Then came the magic of Tinkerbell, and Peter Pan and the knowledge that for the next little while I could be a little girl again.
     The sprinkle of magic faerie dust gave the children on stage the ability to fly.  Sure…I know it was done by strings…I could even see them…But…I believed!
     To Never Neverland we go…and ohhhhh what a grand place.  The Lost Boys were so precious.  What mother would not want them.  There was a bird, a kangaroo,       and the clock-ticking alligator.
     The alligator was sooo wonderful.  Effortlessly sliding across the floor in search of Captain Hook.
     Through the next Act we meet the pirates…Captain Hook is beyond description…with his bawdy colors and effeminate frills. 
His band of misfits were perfect pirates. 
     We also meet the Indians.  Tiger Lilly was so commanding in language and power.  Her troupe of Indians were a ham scam colorful lot.
     The last scene of Act two was an emotional one for all involved.  Wendy and all  the boys decide to go home.  Peter stays alone…Captain Hook captures the children and poisons Peter’s medicine.  Tinkerbell takes the medicine and begins to die…Peter, pleads with the audience to clap and save her. 
     You know the faeries left today are few in number.  Children know too much.
     Our audience revives her and off they go.  I know my applause didn’t save a laser light…but I can pretend …can’t I?
     The battle of course ends with Hook becoming alligator bait.
     The Darling children and the Lost Boys return home and the Lost boys are all adopted.  Peter promises to return when it’s spring cleaning time.  The last scene struck quite an emotional chord in my heart.
     Wendy…now older…sits in a chair doing needlework while a small child sleeps.  At this time…Peter returns…He is still young.  Wendy has grown old…and can’t go with him this time.  She is now in her twenties…and married.  The child asleep in the bed is her daughter, Jane.
     Jane awakens…and the story begins again.  She goes with Peter Pan for Spring Cleaning.
     This scene awakened my dream…and I realized that my four year old would go with Peter Pan…but me…..
     I’d only go in my dreams…for I had committed the cardinal sin…I had grown up.
     Yet, for three glorious hours…I sat, I watched, I lived…and ohhhhh I believed.
When I was a child I wanted to play a guitar just like my grandfather.  He taught any of us who wanted to learn how to play.  I always have associated music with my grandfather and would sit as his feet for hours and let him show me new chords and tunes.  As I grew older I dreamed of being a famous singer.  I wanted to  buy my mom a baby blue Lincoln Continental.  My grandfather was my encouragement.  He supported whatever venture I took as a child.  When he died I felt as if music had died for me and one day my grandmother gave me his mandolin and every time I touch it I can feel him playing with me.
The Mandolin
Round back bent and broken
from years of nightly use
inlays missing, dusty,
rusty from neglect and abuse.
Strings that are still and silent,
out of tune, played no more.
Once a master stroked you,
coerced the sound to soar.
The songs that lie encased,
inside your wooden heart.
These songs were my beginning,
where I got my musical start.
My grandfather once held you,
just like he once held me.
And when he touched our heart strings,
set both out spirits free.
When I hold you now I know,
that I am free to know,
where eagles fly, where steel wheels turn,
where'er I want to go.
Thank you Grandpa for this gift,
your favorite mandolin.
I'll use it - while I'm here -
and then pass it on again!


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