I was afraid of revealing me, the essence of me. Who even, indeed, was I? My mother told me, when I started dating, to hide the essence of me, boys wouldn’t like it. Too smart; too aggressive; too full of myself; too intense; too serious; too burning inside strong; too adventuresome; too nasty a temper; too full of desire to feel, taste, see, learn; too much in love with a world of possibility. I took her advice, married a genius scientist, safe, timid, disadventurous. He liked me because I could shoot a bird off a wire hundreds of feet away. I time, we all died, him, me, the bird.
This piece was a finalist in a flash memoir contest.
Yesterday, I attended the memorial service for an extraordinary woman, Paula Porterfield. As a young woman she exhibited remarkable intelligence and leadership skills. She attended college and became a nurse. Then without warming, schizophrenia struck. She kept on going and attained a second degree. She never gave up. Her generosity and kindness remain legendary. She both loved and wrote poetry, created hand made gifts for friends, and gave endlessly, never complaining no matter how bad her health, how distressing her living conditions, or how badly her hands shook. She never spoke ill of others. She modeled how to live life well in spite of awful odds. Here is her recipe for life:
3 c. Love
1 c. Understanding
2 tbsp. Concern
2 tsp. Emotional Security
2 tbsp. Joy
4 tbsp. Hope
1 c. Loyalty
3/4 c. Committment
Pinch of Support
Cream Love and Understanding. Mix Concern and Emotional Security. Fold in Joy and Hope. Sift Loyalty and then blend in pinch of Support and Commitment. Sprinkle with Humor and cover with Dreams.
Put into a beautiful Being and share with the world.
Paula will be missed.