Originally Blogging the Artist's Way. Thoughts, musings, experience of the 12-week course, January to March 2006. And after that?.... Life, creativity, writing. Where does it all meet? Here, perhaps.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Sunday Scribblings --- Heroes

They are everywhere in my life, and always have been – people going about their lives in a heroic fashion. No, they were not slaying dragons or climbing the highest mountains, but in their own ways, I have seen so many people do what would seem impossible to me. In the face of grief, pain or hopeless situations, they would pick themselves up, and find a path through the hopelessness, a way of putting one foot in front of the other as they got on with the business of living. Beyond that, the true heroism has always been for me in being able to find beauty and art along the hopeless and hard path, finding a way to make of this life a better place for those around them. Who are the heroes? My grandmother, who would make clothes from flour-sacks when there was no money for fabric, who made of the water in which vegetables were cooked a delicacy for which her children would vie. This woman still maintained a parlour, she still painted her garden railings white every year, and there were still sweet-peas and aquilegias to be seen inside those railings. My Auntie Imelda, her spine bent from a childhood accident – tiny and deformed to many eyes, I saw her as beautiful, and wanted to be like her when I grew up – book-loving and musical, with perfect eyebrows and a shine to her skin; knitting for nieces, not the practical, keep-you-warm jumpers that mothers would knit, but cardigans with a touch of glitter or fluff, in a shade not designed to hide the dirt, with pearly buttons. I saw all my aunts carry on through illness, grief and set-back, find laughter and joy still in life. These were the heroic ones. Between them, they took paralysis, abuse, widowhood, cancer, loss of a child, childlessness, and went on. They, each and every one, lived until they died. There was Esther, making a decision against more surgery, more “treatments” and choosing to relish her last trip to the sea, choosing to plant bulbs for the spring she would not see, choosing to make sure that next year, the wisteria she had pruned in her pain would bloom ever more abundantly and beautifully.

My mother, my father. These are two more heroes in my life, though I choose not to say more of their heroism here right now. I am blessed in the lives my parents have lived.

There are friends, there have been friends, who have offered me a model of heroism I hope I would be able to follow should I be faced with the same paths. Those who have come to tell their stories in their last days. There was Maureen, delighting in my successes, offering her wisdom. There was Peggy, who vowed to swim with the dolphins. I see her now, perpetually floating in the waters she loved, smilingly playing and calling out to us “Come on in! The water’s fine!” There have been heroes who went suddenly, without warning. After Jamshid’s death, so many people told me of how their lives had been changed by the practical wisdom he offered along with his healing herbs. He was a quiet hero.

No. The ‘heroes’ conjured for me by the word are not those who slay dragons, but those who battle the nipping rats of daily struggles, and keep on; not those who climb mountains, but those who stay hour by hour, day by day, on a stony path, with blisters on their heels and toes, and who still have a spirit that delights in a stream’s babble and the breeze’s fingers playing with the golden leaves of a birch. God bless the heroes.

Find more Sunday Scribblings on the topic of Heroes HERE

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At 19/11/06 5:24 pm, Blogger Remiman said...

That is beautiful!

"those who battle the nipping rats of daily struggles"


At 19/11/06 6:19 pm, Anonymous MsShad said...

Love it. What remiman said too.

At 19/11/06 8:29 pm, Blogger Amber said...

Yes. God Bless the heros. Such a light-filled post! Wonderful. and a reminder of how to live, really. How to really live! So that people think of you with love for the lovely special sweeters you made them, and the spirt you showed them...


At 19/11/06 11:06 pm, Blogger paris parfait said...

Such a wonderful tribute to the heroes that have been close to you and those that have crossed your path. Thank you for sharing tales of these heroic people.

At 20/11/06 3:00 am, Blogger deirdre said...

You've reminded me of all my aunts and the placing of one foot in front of the other as they dealt with life. The heroes really are the ones who inspire us with their perseverence in the face of difficulty. Thank you for this.

At 20/11/06 4:06 am, Blogger aithbhreac said...

lovely! This made me think of my Irish Granny. She was surely of that generation who seemed to have so much wisdom and ability to pick themselves up and keep going. I miss her so much.

At 20/11/06 9:50 am, Anonymous tinker said...

This is so honest and true; the world is filled with heroes who pick themselves up and carry on - showing their heroism everyday. Thank you for reminding me to look around at the heroes that may be right next to me.


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