If you expect this post to be another in the long list of comments and criticisms and criminalities of a once-football player, please stay tuned. I’m going to suggest there’s another kind of domestic violence that doesn’t scandalize the masses even though it should.
Reading the excellent September 5th post at askthebigot.com, I found myself once again dismayed at the nightmare that masquerades as the state of California! This isn’t the first time I’ve heard of this lunacy. However, because I live in the middle of the country, what goes on at the margins doesn’t always earn my front-burner attention. But “The Bigot” wrote compellingly about why California’s birth certificate makeover is political correctness writ large and disastrous!
This, my friends, is domestic violence. Every boy and girl deserves to know who he or she is. We’re not just talking a name here. Who are their parents? What are the bonafides that uniquely connect them to an identity? What are the family ties and cultural underpinnings that have created that synergism of biological connectedness? Continue reading “Domestic Violence”→
Several months ago, I happened upon an online conversation about books one reads in childhood and the subsequent impact those books made on the adult. (Sorry, I’ve been unable to locate the web-link; I’ve tried!)
For me, that online discussion spurred my own reflection, trying to recall which books I’d read and weighing how each book played a role in my own writing/reading life today. Why I didn’t I have the forethought to keep a reading journal in those days, I just don’t know. (Ha!)It’s a challenge to create this kind of list from memory: I have to keep asking myself, was this title one to which I introduced my children, or one I actually read for the first time in my own childhood?
Long before I was able to read on my own, my parents read to us. I remember A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson. (In addition to his simple verses, I felt a special affinity to Stevenson because his initials (RLS) were the same as mine!)
I remember lovely recitations by my daddy of poems he knew by heart, among them Wee Willie Winkie and passages from Scripture like Psalm 1 and 23 (also repeated from memory).
The Tales of Mother Goose, Aesop’s Fables and Grimm’s Fairy Tales were bedtime favorites for me. Long before Disney, I knew the tales of Briar Rose (Sleeping Beauty) and Snow White & Rose Red and Cinderella and The Goose Girl. In my mind’s eye, they were much more beautiful than the cartoon characters popularized for children today! While still quite young, I had internalized many of the one-line moral lessons from Aesop, and found intense empathy for the “drudge of the household,” a diminutive child named Little Thumb (from Mother Goose).
I immediately identified with certain characters in the books I read; others, I appreciated because of their whimsy. I looked at The Bobbsey Twins as a family almost like mine. Though there were no twins in our family, I had two brothers and one sister (at the time), so I enjoyed the similarities − and on more than one occasion, wished I could be a twin!
J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan fed my desire for an almost modern fairy tale. The book’s whimsical flavor set it pretty high on my list: a family named “Darling,” a boy who resolves never to grow up, and a fairy − small as your hand − whose every movement rings a lovely tinkle of bells, Tinkerbell. Who could read this book without loving it?!
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Elsie Dinsmore and Heidi were three books I read and re-read! Yes, there are extraordinary similarities between all three heroines; each is a girl displaced, sent to live in the company of strangers. Each girl suffers hardship and the pain of being misunderstood. Each endures crisis, but in the end (of course) everything works out for the good.
This is a sampling from my pre-teen years. (Certainly, you would be correct in observing one particular name is curiously absent.) Tomorrow, I’ll continue, but for now, I leave you with the words of Rudyard Kipling who noted the following: “A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition.”
Kipling wasn’t just a brilliant writer, but a man of exceptional wisdom.