Friday, July 20, 2007

If a was a an angst ridden teen again this would be a Dear Diary kind of day. I'm a little sleep deprived, the one where your eyes sting but closing them to sleep seems impossible. The last 2 weeks have seemed very stressful. Hurry up and wait, finally start something only to have the phone ring or a child fall off a bike: a new 4 wheeler bought 2 days after her birthday by showing up at your husband's office during lunch and mentioning for the first time that your daughter had one request.
Two weeks of highs and lows. Watching my dream kitchen come together is just wonderful its only that the last 2 weeks their is less I can do. I even have to think twice about cooking so I won't be in the way the one hour a day Steve is here.
But yesterday we did bake all day. Cakes and muffins. My offering to Our Lady. I was not up to being my best which I guess is what makes it an offering.
2 weeks of trying to pull together the school plan for our co-op and going to meetings and making phone calls.
Oh and trying to have a summer. The kid pool is broken, too much rain for using the sprinkler. I couldn't swim the week we were at the Cape and may not be able to when we go to the work picnic tomorrow. (My 7 year old told my in law's neighbor I couldn't swim because I was 42)
So I have been reading. No not Harry Potter of which I have only read one book and seen one film. Yes I was cautious at first but mostly just not interested. Everything in my life at the time surrounded children and their imagination and inklings and I need to have something to read that grows me, separates me, reminds me I have a mind and imagination of my own. No matter how much I share with others, no matter how similar I am to others, no matter how much my children tell others every minute detail of my life yet there is no way even I can fully scrutinize all the corners of my mind and no all its intricacies.
And so I had a GIANT pile of library books to read. One was excellent but very 'schoolish' I needed something different this week. I wanted to read Jane Austin--- I never have. Don't know how that happened in spite of having High School teachers that trusted us to pick well from their lists I skipped the overly feminine ones. The expected.
I had it in my mind I ought, as a former Murphy, tackle James Joyce. That was until I read the first page, or rather looked at the nonsense on the page and found my scientific side will not allow me to comprehend his attempt to write in the style of dream/stream of conscience non-constructed silliness.
I had taken out Watership Down again the way I make Chicken and lumpy potatoes when I need comfort food. But I managed to convince my David to try it and he was convinced indeed. I just got back the book.
So I took up a book my sister was attempting to return to my mother. A gift from my brother: Father/Uncle Jimmy in Toronto it is inscribed to Mum as the book that brought him closest to Our Mother.
Diane Schoemperlen's Our Lady of the Lost and Found copyright 2001 by HarperCollins Canada was winner of the Governor General's award for Fiction. Over an over I book marked pages to quote in this universe we call the Internet. Phrases that caught my eye, made my laugh or cry or pray. But of course as we keep reading and are thus changed by the reading, the ideas, the conflict they create in us about our existing view of the world and ourselves I would go back and find the phrase inadequate nest the one in the following chapter so changed was I already.
She discusses in fact this dichotomy, fact vs. history, story vs. reality, Faith vs. doubt. either/or vs Both/and past and present and future as much as she discusses Our Lady. In the book, which is very clearly labeled as fiction, the narrator is visited by Mary Mother of God with a small request. That she can stay for week of rest before the month of May.
Over the course of the stay and during time researching afterwards the woman who is an author learns about the many visitations Mary has made over Two Thousand years and the mystery of the many contradictions that Mary represents.
No other woman in History is so surrounded by story. Stories that so many want to debunk as not real.
"As I listened to some of Mary's longer Stories, the more meandering ones, the more liberally punctuated by tangents,digressions, and tantalizing asides about other saints, other shrines, other times, I trusted her in the way a reader trusts a good writer. I trusted that no matter how disparate or disjointed the stories might seem in the telling, still they would amount to something in the end. And I, like Herodotus, appreciated the impossibility of telling one story without also telling all the others, without telling what came before and what came after, what came first and what came later." History (4) pg. 170.
Not a straight line. Not truly either story or fact. Instead it is both, and more. Worth reading if you are willing to see the world differently.
I suppose many have already had these revelations. To me, this time around they were fresh, sharp, poignant.

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