Friday, November 28, 2008

The We of Me

Did you have to read Carson McCullers' The Member of the Wedding? I did long, long ago and far, far way at Picayune Junior High School, back in the dark ages. At least we had electricity and didn't have to read it by lamp light! I don't remember much about the book except for poor lil Frankie's angst about family and well just about everything else. What actually stuck with me most is that phrase, the we of me.
I've been thinking about it lately as I read all the posts about gratitude and the lists of what people are thankful for. I am thankful for so much and not just the people in my life right now, but also for the we of me. And I think that includes so much more than friends and family. It includes artists that inspire me, teach me, and those that encourage me. It includes other bloggers and chance encounters in everyday life. It includes brave souls who put themselves out there and allow me to learn from what they are going through. It also includes those whose words have inspired me, stuck in my brain, linked me to other places, people and life lessons that I would never encounter in my own life.
And I have been thinking about how the we connect to make a me. Paying attention is needed and although I have never been really good at that, I am trying. In all parts of my life, not just art or daily life but even in the things I choose to read. In one of the high schools I went to (and no, I am not a Sarah Palin kind of student, we just moved often!) I learned of Rupert Brooke and his poem, The Great Lover
"I have been so great a lover: filled my days so proudly with the splendor of Love's praise..." I memorized the poem, made my own lists and went on to enjoy many other poems by people I wouldn't have read but for Rupert.
A random library pick in my twenties introduced me to Elizabeth Goudge, and her wonderful books about English life. She wrote The White Witch about the English civil war and the role that gypsies played in that war. I love this book! I read it every year in the fall for many, many years. I read it last year in the fall and was so surprised to understand how much it has influenced my life! It didn't hurt that there was a character, a small gypsy child, whose name was Cinderella. My daddy's said his mother's name was Florence Cinderella and boy did I love that as a child. I knew of no one else ever to lay claim to that name. But back to all of those literary connections.
A book club purchase in the 80s ( the decade, not my age!) introduced me to Jean Hersey and her lovely book, A Touch of the Earth (couldn't find a link except where to buy the book) It's a wonderful little book, a little like a precursor to blogs I think, just a month by month look at her life, little snippets of her days in North Carolina after retirement from Connecticut. She throws in some wisdom, cooking tips, craft projects, road trips and planting advice as well. And to bring the whole connection thing to its conclusion (you were waiting for this to all make sense, right?) she mentions both Rupert and Elizabeth!

It was like finding out your friends know each other outside of their connection with you. Don't you find that happening often in the blog world these days? I love it and it brings me back to that whole we of me thing...we are all part of each other and I am grateful to have you all in the we of me.

PS: did you know you can get a literature map? You put in the name of an author you love and it will give you other authors that you might like! How cool is that?


Chris said...

This just blows me away. (a saying from the dark ages?) I love this. And thank you for reminding me about Elizabeth Gouge ! I keep hearing about her and have wanted to introduce myself to her, but life just gets crazy!
You always surprise and give food for thought and appreciation. Thank you.

Happy Day to you, and thanks for visiting my humble bloggette!

Laurie said...

very nice, Leau. I do love to read and hear your thoughts. You're a wise 'old' girl. ;]

Stephanie said...

Leau, what a wonderful post...the We in Me...inspired, wonderful!

Perfect way to speak of these connections we have here.

So happy to be part of the We...