Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Reading, 'Riting and 'Rithmetic

Growing up in the 50's and 60's the standard education was based on the three "R's".  I was triply blessed as I loved all three!  Now that I look at this, I realize that I still do.

My love for reading was embedded in my DNA.  I have read many articles on how important it is to instill the love of reading in your little ones.  I would shock many moms today by saying that I had few books as a very young child.  I only remember one significant one as a preschooler and that was a book of nursery rhymes - a BIG book but only one book.  I pined to be able to read it myself and begged any older sister available to please read me the rhyme about the old lady going to market.  It was never my mom or dad (busy bakers) - just a sibling and when I finally learned how to read, I was rarely without a book in my hand.  Everyone who came to my 12th birthday party gave me a book as a gift.  By fifteen I had read every book I was allowed to read in our small town public library and was granted permission to choose from the adult books (with guidance - it takes a village to raise a child!).  Now I never travel without my Kindle and love, love, love the one tap purchase convenience for any and all new and old releases!

Writing stories and poems flowed out of my natural inclination to seek out alone time in my elementary and high school years.  My first story was titled "Tommy's Red Truck" which I still have in my memory box!  I don't think I kept any of my poems - kind of leaned toward gushy love poems with usually one of my sister's as the inspiration since I would have been too young for much experience in that realm at the age I took on poetry!  In high school I used words like "scintillating" a lot and achieved great marks until my Grade 12 teacher, Mrs. Levi, taught me that sometimes less is more!

Math - well, here is how much I loved Math.  I excelled in it but still opted to go to extra Math classes in the evenings just because I could learn new tricks and do extra calculus.  Yeah, that was me - semi-geeky, quiet and so eager to soak up knowledge.  That skill was honed and actuated throughout my career - eventually embracing spreadsheets and all data in and out with anticipation and full-on concentration!

Why go through the account of my early schooling?  Because I feel like that child again!  The same excitement, yearning, and an increasing daring to just do it has penetrated the tired, cautious adult I have been "becoming".  Facing fewer years ahead of me than those I have left behind me, I have realized that living in the now and just going for it to be whatever I want to be is the only way to be truly alive.

It has boiled down to this simplistic approach:

Want to be a writer?  Then write.
Want to capture life in paint?  Then paint.
Want to be a photographer?  Then take pictures.
Want to see the world?  Then travel.

My novel may only reside forever on my laptop but writing is like breathing - I need to exhale all that is in me somehow and the word pictures that flow onto the paper or laptop are just that - breaths.  My photography fills a deep-seated need within to be able see my world from a unique and sometimes very different perspective than just walking through it.  My painting is an out flowing of that same need to connect but with a gentle control over the colours or textures or subject - interpreting even further what my eyes and heart have absorbed.  World travel is limited by finances but - I will travel - near and far, by plane, train and automobile but also through books and film, music and poetry for what is travel but an experience to inhale another's world, their culture and beauty within and without and be able to ponder about all that will leave with you when you once again walk back into your own world, or exit the theatre or concert hall or close the book with one last glance of the final page.

So, my creativity has sparked.  My opening of my soul to living authentically breathes oxygen into the flame. The fire ignites! Pull up a camp stool and share in the warm embers of living - yours and mine!  The challenge?  You can be YOU right now!

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