Friday, March 18, 2011

Reflection: The Unending Fire

Hi, folks, I'm continuing my March series called Reflection. I've spent the better part of my life tapping keys or scratching a pencil against paper. This week I'm going to dip into the cauldron where Art was born in me, the place where an unending fire started.

To understand how this got started, I'm going to give you a peek at when it began. It was in junior high school. During all my teen years, my dad was unemployed a lot and when he did work it was out of state. My mom suffered from serious depression. I didn't really have any words for what was happening. I just knew that most moms got out of bed and mine didn't. My best friend faced her daily share of difficulties too. Her father suffered from numerous grand-mal seizures and her brother had Down Syndrome. Our moms weren't there for us much through our teen years, and neither were our dads.

From the time we were 13-years-old, we had to take care of ourselves. I can tell you right now, we were afraid every single day. We lived and breathed, hoping against hope. Our hope was to someday have a stretch of days when we were not broken by circumstances. We were stuck in wildly rocking boats breaking apart on the coral reefs as we fought with every ounce of our being to find our way to a solid shore. We had to see beyond.

The thing that kept me sane? I breathed in books like air. I exhaled this same rarified air in the form of my words. I didn't start writing for anyone else but myself. I had so much bottled up -- the ground of me cracked open and an artesian well of words began to flow. It still flows.

My words seem inadequate, but I write today so that you hold to your vision and not worry if no one sees or believes in you. Remembering the days of pressure helps me keep moving forward at a writer. It helps me turn a blind eye to the fact that though many people have admired my work, no one has really connected with it in a way to give it a wide chance. I take the lessons of life and hope against hope. I let the Art flow.

I call this week's doodle "Self-portrait at 18."

The instruction we find in books is like fire. We fetch it from our neighbours, kindle it at home, communicate it to others, and it becomes the property of all. Voltaire


KJ said...

Wow, Molly, a powerful post. And one that tapped into to me. I also feel like I raised myself. Thanks.

Trudi Trueit said...

Thank you for your post today, Molly. Your words may not reach as far as you wish, but they go deeper than you know.

Faith Pray said...

Molly, your story is deep and moving. It is one of those stories that keeps sending out roots and wings long after it is read. I'm awed that after that hurricane of growing up, you are such a strong, noble woman. And a shining example.

MollyMom103 said...

Hey, KJ, here's to better days and being happy now!

Hi, Trudi, I can't tell you how much I appreciate you. I've got to get back to Washington and we can have lunch. That would be cool.

Hi, Faith, I'm blushing with that high praise. I'm so hopelessly flawed. But like every bit of the universe I think -- every little thing shines. I'm pretty sure the words noble and strong are for other sorts of folks. I'm more of a small time crook, a ten shekel shirt, and pipe dream junkie.