February 23-B, 2023

Appalachian Homestead 04/23/2012 Oil Paint Rendered — Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina
One of the things I would change
about my life
is the quality 
of the preparation I had
for living my life.

They taught me how to tie my shoes.

Pretty much period.

Not a word about the importance
of curiosity
and the value of questions,
and what separates good questions
from bad ones 
(They were all bad ones).

I received no instruction whatsoever
on seeing what I looked at.

On listening to how something was said
as well as to what was said.
(I picked that up on my own),
on how to read between the lines
and to understand what was being said
in light of what was not being said.

And to be very curious 
about what was not being said.

My mother's family rarely laughed.
My father's family laughed all the time.
No one ever mentioned that discrepancy.
It was major
and needed to be probed, explored, understood
by everybody.
That would have made quite the difference.

What part does laughter play in your life?
Where was it absent?
Frowned upon?

Children were not to be seen or heard,
the more invisible they could be the better.

My opinions were not sought.
My perspective what discounted.
My original nature
and innate virtues/character
were non-existent.
I was told who and how to be.

I was told to listen to every adult
and to not listen to me at all.
Which was the greatest sin against me,
and took the longest time to unlearn.

Of course, they were only doing
what they had been told to do
and I hold that against them as well.
Authority existed to be obeyed.
Being out of line was the worst thing to be.

I wish my father had read poetry,
and that my mother had loved jazz.


Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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