Tag Archives: childhood

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

27 Jun

“Perhaps one day, all these conflicts will end, and it won’t be because of great statesmen or churches or organisations like this one. It’ll be because people have changed. They’ll be like you, Puffin. More a mixture. So why not become a mongrel? It’s healthy.”
― Kazuo Ishiguro, When We Were Orphans

One of the Crepe Myrtle trees in my front yard makes a definite statement. For some reason, whoever planted this tree decided to integrate three different color trees in one grouping. They are intertwined and blossom with bursts of bright pink, white and pale pink. Looking at the trunk and protruding branches, it’s difficult to see where one color starts and the other finishes. This made me think of the integration of our world. Why can’t people of different colors, races and religions blossom as one. The varied colors are so beautiful. The strength of the many roots and branches are much stronger.

When I was a little girl growing up in Chicago in the 50’s and 60’s, our neighborhood schools were integrated, but we didn’t think of it as something special. The kids were just kids. We noticed the different colors, but we didn’t think it was a bad thing or a big deal. We all studied, played and went to the same church. It wasn’t until I got a little older that I learned that the whole world didn’t see through a child’s colorblind eyes and heart. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could keep those eyes and heart of our childhood?

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In the lower left you see white, the middle is pale pink, the right is bright pink and the rest mingles here and there.

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1954: Students in an integrated classroom in Fort Myer, Va., the year of Brown v. Board of Education.
Photo: Bettmann/Corbis. New York Times

SOMEDAY!!!

Terrifying Traumatic Tuesday

5 Feb

Yesterday, I wrote a happy little story about the carefree life of a young girl growing up in Chicago in the 1950’s. My train of thought was inspired by the game “steal the bacon” that we played as kids. I was waxing nostalgic about the simple games that required no batteries, data plans, or wireless remotes. My train must have gotten off the track, because I was later informed that I must have forgotten all the terrifying and traumatic events that took place during those years. Growing up on the southside of Chicago was often a dark and scary place. There were break-ins, muggings, and beatings happening all around us. Yes, I remember every single moment. I didn’t forget.

Unfortunately, I remember every frightening detail. Being an artist and writer, my right brain is very visually oriented and I have the memory of an ancient elephant. I could draw pictures in detail of my childhood home, the interior of each room, and pieces of furniture dating back well over fifty years. I remember old neighbors, and names of kids I went to grammar school with. Lambert Benavidez, if you ever read this, I had such a crush on you in the second grade. And, Bunny Masalski, we were best friends in ’63. What ever happened to you?

My memory isn’t bad, but rather, my choosing to write about the pleasant events and experiences is what brings me joy and comfort. I was just trying to convey that our simple childhood games have been replaced by high-tech mindless handheld brain-drainers. Life has its evils and perils. I just prefer not to write about them or read about them.Tuesday might be terrifying and traumatic for somebody somewhere, but for me, today is terrific. Happy Tuesday!

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