Going to try and stick to the point

This morning as I was putting on my earrings I had my usual struggle with my left ear. I thought, geeze, I’ve had pierced ears since I was 16 and the holes are just the same size now as then. And then I thought about other things, like…

I was born in 1946, keeping that in mind, I never, as a kid, was told I couldn’t do something because I was a girl. Think about that for a minute. I did not experience gender discrimination until the late 1970’s when I was told that I couldn’t have a job I wanted because “women just don’t do that”.

Oh my father would often make remarks like “Girls don’t an education” which didn’t really affect me because my parents were not involved in my life. I made all my own school decisions. I wanted to go to college so I enrolled myself in the academic (or as they might call it now – college prep) courses in high school. I think I was a junior in high school when my father found out I was NOT taking a secretarial course! Oh yes, I forged my parent’s signatures on all school paperwork starting back in 6th grade.

I grew up in the 1950’s and 60’s believing I could be anything I wanted because I was surrounded by women who worked at professions that were probably, at that time, male dominated. In 6th grade (a pivotal year for me) when my teacher dubbed me a ‘poetess’ I corrected her – I was a poet, the word being a neuter noun.

My doctor was a woman. The sister of a friend of mine was an ordained minister. In my world there were women who worked in just about every profession that, at that time, would have been considered ‘men’s’ jobs. Doctors, lawyers, professors, accountants, clergy, writers, artists – all women who I knew.

These people were not members of my family, we were completely working class, blue collar people; the men worked at manual labor, the women worked in factories. My world existed outside my family confines, looking back it was rather a big world.

And while I was thinking back on all these things, I thought “I shall write about this and ask the question – What colored your world?”

And then I thought – “Isn’t there a song with a title like that? Sure enough there is. I had completely forgotten about this song and how much I liked it way back when…monotonous as the tune is, hearing it again, I still like it, silly sentimental fool that I am –

Sometimes I feel like

Emily Dickinson “This is my letter to the world, that never wrote to me” – just that line (or actually two lines).

Some 52 years ago, (that would have been around 1968) when I was young and starry eyed, I took a poetry workshop course at what was then known as The New School for Social Research (which later became The New School University and is currently The New School – an establishment from which I received my BA in 1982).

The course was taught/presented by Jose Garcia Villa. He was a famous poet, which I actually did not know at the time. One of the first poems I presented in class was roundly derided and criticized by my fellow 20-somethings as sounding like Emily Dickinson. Quite frankly I did not see that as a bad thing but they did.  I had only recently discovered Miss Dickinson and I was deeply enamoured of her work but that particular poem had been written before she and I had met (so to speak).

The cool thing was Mr. Villa liked the poem! He said it was musical. If fuzzy memory serves me, he liked most, or part, of all the poems I presented in class because they were musical. (I think he was in a musical phase at the time).

He said his favorite poem was –

Butterfly
Flutterby
You’d better fly

I’m not too sure what to make of that. Nor do I know if he wrote it, or someone else. Doesn’t matter, it has stuck in my head all these years. Indeed one of my alter egos is Margo Flutterby – it’s musical!

Which just all turns back to my stubborn insistence that poetry must be musical else it is prose. Afterall isn’t what differentiates poetry from prose is the rhythm and meter? And isn’t music rhythm and meter? Hence, poetry must be musical.

You can rhyme or not rhyme but you must sing.

(NOTE: this started out to be about my lack of social interactions and then off it went to something else. Another example of ping-pong brain, squirrel brain, pinball brain – call it what you will.)

Everything reminds me of a song.

This morning’s “Morning Musings” with Rory (of A Guy Called Bloke)  was about, amongst other things, words. So naturally my mind jumped to the song “Words” by the BeeGees – I’m not a big fan of the group but this is such a total earworm –

Ah but then later in the day Buddy posted Remember Me (Wednesday Whisper), a pretty picture and a lovely poem I guess you could call it. So lovely. And that reminded me of a song by the greatest duetists of all time – the inimitable Aaron Neville and Linda Ronstadt – “Please Remember Me” If you have never heard it, please give it a listen. So fabulous. And do please go and read Buddy’s post –

In the bones

This morning while I was folding laundry I found myself humming an old hymn, We Gather Together.  When my brain is on auto I find it will usually start singing hymns – old church music.  I love church music but the old ones, the old kind, the church music of my youth. 

There is a bit of church music that plays in my head, the Doxology, at odd times, day or night, and honestly sometimes I sing myself to sleep with it. The doxology is usually sung after the offering.  Why this piece of music is my constant companion I have no idea. 

Now you would think, with all this church music playing in my head, that perhaps I was a god-fearing, church-going Christian of some ilk or the other. You would be wrong. 

But that said – from the age of 12 until 18 I lived in church; it was my life. I was a devoted and passionate Protestant; a member of the the Congregational Church. And I had plans to become a minister. (Oh yes, way back then girls could aspire to be ordained ministers in the Congregational Church. The Congregational Church in the United States ordained their first female minister in 1853.) 

As I grew older and wiser and more educated I fell away from Christianity and organized religions altogether.  They make no sense. Then again, Faith, with a capital ‘F’,  makes no sense, that is it’s very definition – belief without proof. 

I am long past the point where I need to give a name to what I believe. I have no need to personify or anthropomorphize what I believe. I have no need to discuss or explain what I believe. Because I feel it in my bones and my gut. And it is not a god, or goddess and trying to talk about my beliefs using common terms muddles everything because we humans have this need to name everything and then ascribe a common definition and that just doesn’t work in this situation. 

I realize the efficacy of common terms and definitions, regardless of the language we all pretty much understand the concept of ‘chair’.  But the concept of a belief – a quote/unquote religious belief? Yeah, not so much understanding. If someone asks me if I believe in god, I say “Whose?” because that word doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone. 

It’s a muddle. Certainly there are many things in all religions that make no rational sense but when you are talking about a supernatural being, how much is really going to make sense? 

Do I believe in a supernatural being? No. I can’t wrap my head around there being a male, patriarchal god, who had a son via a human female and that this son is the same “person” as the father yet – here’s the part that has always confused me, this son, who is also the father, is the one who everyone prays to and the one who will ‘save’ us all.  And what exactly are we all being saved from? I’ve just never understood the son part. 

And if god and son are one and the same then just pray to the god – and let us not even bring up the holy spirit because no one knows who or what the hell that is.  The Christian religion makes my head explode. I have no doubt that if I delved deeply into other religions there would be more head explosions because they are all myths. Stories of the supernatural to explain what human beings had no answer for. 

Human beings have made huge advances in 4 million years – we now know the whys and wherefores of most natural phenomena. Yet we still hold on to the myths ancient humans created to explain them. 

Do I have a point here? No – I’m just saying what I want to say because if I said this in polite company a lot of people would get their shorts in a knot. 

I’m not here writing for you, I’m here writing for me.