Tag Archives: people

Peninsula

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Wetness all around me/True/But I’m no island/Peninsula maybe/Makes no sense/I know/Crazy ~Andre 3000

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of  the continent ~John Donne

For none of us lives to himself… ~Romans 14:7

As strange as it may sound, I pretty much live a life of seclusion.  In fact, one of my most outspoken students refers to me as “a secret.”  It probably doesn’t seem this way considering that I have a blog and post about many private matters. 

But I ‘ve been like this as long as I can remember.  If I really reflect on this side of myself, I know that it is rooted in rejection, fear, longing, and loss.

In some respects I enjoy my sheltered existence.  It limits me from dealing with fickle, crazy, cruel people.  My “island like” behavior serves to protect me from these things.  I was comfortable and safe with the world I had–my husband and my kids.  I could have lived this way forever.

On the other hand, it prevents me from enjoying the fullness of life.  When you are afraid to love or live for the fear of getting hurt or rejected, how can you seize the day? I’m gradually learning that it is okay toallow people into my realm.  It really does make the tempests of life more bearable. 

Life is lonely for me right now.  It’s only when things go wrong that you realize this.  You crave human contact and relationships.  What you once perceived as paradise can turn into a deserted dwelling.  And I don’t believe that God intended for us to live to ourselves.

Change is hard.  I am not quite ready to abandon my island living.  Maybe I am a parrothead at heart!  However, I know that I can’t exist solely to myself.  It’s just not healthy.  So I’m upgrading to a beachfront peninsula!  It’s a small step in the right direction.  I will be connected to others, yet I can retreat unto myself when desired. 

In my own way I am reaching back to those who are stretching themselves to be apart of my life.

Watch What You Say

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My MIL strongly believes that people are capable of speaking things into existence, both good and bad.  Case in point:  My husband and I once had a pet name for Eliza.  We used to refer to her as “Crazy.”   I don’t think it is necessary for me to explain how she was christened with this.  However, we don’t call her this any more now that Ethan and Evan live with us.  We don’t want them to hear their mom being spoken of in a derogatory manner.

One day while talking on the phone with his mom about Eliza’s growing paranoia, he slipped and called her “Crazy.”  His mom, a devoutly religious woman was appalled.  She quickly reprimanded him for the wording. 

Even though she has experienced first hand how hostile Eliza can be; she stills feels that she should be regarded with dignity.  When my husband’s father died, his mom made the trip from Michigan to attend the funeral.  During this time Eliza and my one day in-the-future husband were separated.  She would not allow the kids to attend the funeral.  My MIL rarely came to town and was therefore eager to see her grandchildren.  She contacted Eliza to seek permission.  Eliza would not accept the calls.  Finally my MIL and SIL went to Eliza’s house.  After reasoning and praying with her for over an hour, Eliza finally relented.

My MIL shared this story with me several years ago.  She spoke about the wrath in Eliza’s speech and heart.  She too admitted that she thought Eliza had some mental issues.  However, she remains firm that if we speak of her in respectful terms and have loving thoughts about her that she will somehow receive these warm thoughts and act accordingly.  I might have to give this a try!

We tend to label a lot of things with this word.  We use it to describe people (She is so crazy!), places (They live in a crazy house!), actions (That was a crazy thing to do!), situations (I’m in a crazy predicament.), and things in which we don’t understand (I can’t even explain it–it was just crazy!).  In today’s time “crazy” is an expression of the hip.  Hence the title of TLC’s CD “Crazy, Sexy, Cool”  or Brian McKnight’s “Crazy Love”  or Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” and I can’t forget Musiq’s “Half Crazy” and what about comedian Martin Lawrence’s popular catch phrase “You so crazy!”  Anyone wanna play a round of Crazy 8’s (I’m sure Evan does)?  Isn’t it “crazy” how this word can describe both good and bad?   My students use it frequently due to their limited vocabulary (Why we gotta take a test over MacBeth–that play was just crazy! or Mr. Lang act like he crazy!) It is a term we use so loosely with little regard to whether it is actually fitting or not.

Reluctantly I have must say that my MIL might have a point.  Crazy is too simple of a term to bestow upon Eliza.  So called “crazy”people (mentally ill) can actually seek treatments allowing them to have a relatively normal life unless in the most extreme cases.  Furthermore, I would be offended if I suffered from a mental illness and was referred to as crazy.  At this point I think “unhealthy” describes Eliza more accurately.   Unhealthy people won’t even admit that they have a problem.  She hasn’t been diagnosed with anything to my knowledge.  But I have to admit that “Unhealthy” doesn’t have the same ring as “Crazy!”  Please forgive me for this crazy post!

Strange Fruit

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A comment emailed to me from a reader, Old Friend on Makes Me Wanna Holler inspired me to write this post.  He mused that Eliza is a of a rare breed.  I have to agree; Eliza deserves to be in a class of her own for she is the strangest of fruits.  I try and try to understand her with little success.   Her behavior and life remain a conundrum.

 

There is no way I can explain why she has done some of the things that she has.  Or why she presently operates in a state of frenzied paranoia.  The old saying goes that you can’t compare apples to oranges.  I don’t know what kind of fruit she is, maybe an Elipple.  Or an Elnana.  Perhaps an Elizaberry.  She might just be a Dingleberry. Whatever she is I know that she is a lot different than your everyday garden variety.  The fruits of her spirit are quite devilish.

 

With that being said, I can’t compare her to much of anything.  It is really fruitless (pun intended) of me to keep attempting to understand her.  I just have to accept the fact that she is not healthy (overripe) and therefore does not have the capacity to act in a sound manner (leaves a sour/bitter/mealy/disgusting taste in the mouth). The rancidness of her fruitage is nausea inducing.  Fruit cake is not something I enjoy eating.  So I have stopped trying to psychoanalyze her behavior.  But this is really hard for me because I like fruit!  It is so versatile—you can bake it, puree it, can it, cook it,mash it, candy it, dry it, kebob it, and even use it as a garnish.  But it has its limitations.   You can’t heal it.  Fix it.  Reason with it.  Understand it.  

 

Me and most of the people in my circle are pretty normal fruit.  We are the apples, blueberries, pears, cherries, watermelons and strawberries of life—you know your everyday type of people produce.  While I love exotic fruit such as guava, passion fruit, and kiwi to name a few, my appetite just does not tolerate alien fruit.  Unfortunately, I am going to leave Eliza in the fruit bowl (bin) where she belongs!