Thursday, March 26, 2009

enCouragingBliss: When We Were Six

Crocus from underneath.
(Front yard, spring '09)

Listening to: Okay, remember, I loved this song when I was really, really little... (And oh, my, those jeans!)

Bliss: Marcy was a bit too dizzy (from weather changes) yesterday to go to work so I had her home unexpectedly. YAY. Last night, writing group read the end of my book. Writing that sentence makes my stomach flip.

Think of this as an archaeological dig of some of your earlier memories...

By the time I was six years old, I had already been altered by fear. That little girl with short hair, wearing her favorite plaid jacket to kindergarten was different from the baby she had been born to be.

What does Dr. Phil say to parents? Every time you yell in front of a child, you are changing who they were meant to be.

And so I was changed. But...

But over time, I have, through yoga and writing and talking and crying and yelling and thinking and making lists and remembering, I have managed, I think, to come to an understanding of that little girl.

She was born curious. She was born to laugh easily. She was born with an innate physical response to music. She was born, obviously, brave and wanting to help others.

When I was about six, I had favorite things, I had things I loved to do.

I had this record player (or one very like it). I would lie on the floor and listen to the same song over and over...never getting bored.

I lived on a Naval Base and was told that the water was so deep that even if you could swim, you would drown if you fell in. I would ride my bike along the skinny edge, with the water mere inches away. Deep and so black. I was not afraid.

In school, for a collage art project, I was able to combine two things I loved. I created a colorful piece about the ballerina Anna Pavlova.

I have hit someone in my life only two times. The first time, I was sitting in kindergarten and a little girl would not share a toy with a little boy. I told her she should. She started yelling. I slapped her. The second time, not long after, my friend would not let my sister play along. Justice was a big deal to me. (I've never hit anyone since.)

I was sitting in class and we were being taught basic reading. I was bored. Everyone was too slow. I turned to the class aid and told her I would much rather be at home, playing alone with my new tea set. She laughed. I scowled.

I loved to question, though my mother did not like this about me. I asked her how I knew I was me. She sent me to my room.

I remember sitting outside the kitchen at my Great Aunt's house and just singing whatever words came into my head. When I stopped, my Great Aunt yelled for me to continue. My heart leapt with joy at her request.

That is just a sample, of course, but my life is all right there.

There are so many clues from the beginning about my bliss.

Life experience changes us. We become disconnected from our most basic instincts. People start asking us what we want to be when we grow up.

I wanted to say, "I want to be a singer, dancer, and writer," but the few times I tried, people would do what people do.

I got the message, and I have spent many years lost, trying to find my way back, ever since.

So, that's this week's assignment.

Tell us what you were like when you were about six.

Would that little girl be happy with your life now?

(Remember to Mister Linky or just leave a comment as usual.)


Emma said...

I am working on my response right now. :)

I remember those record players! I don't know if I had one or a friend did. I wonder what all the records were.

I love your question: Do do I know I'm me?

Wow - that's a huge question, isn't it? How would you answer that now?

I remember asking my dad: How do we know we're not dreaming right now (versus being awake)?

karmacoy said...

OMG Christine!

That Little Fisher Price Turn Table was my absolute favourite toy (that I didn't own) when I was 6 too! I even wrote a piece specifically about it through an "Artist's Way" exercise. I can close my eyes and see the exact colours (It was very colourful. Bright oranges and greens and turquoise) I can feel the texture of it and hear the musicbox sound.

I have been meaning to buy one off of e-Bay for ages.

Some of the songs I remember are London Bridges, How Much is that Dogggie, Camptown Races and Edelweiss (my fav)

Thank you for this post. I'm off to e-Bay to buy a late birthday present for myself!

Jenny said...

I had one of those record players, and I loved it. I used to lift up the arm and run my fingers over the little metal things that played the music.

You've given me a lot to think about with this post. Not so much what I was like at six, but what I'm creating for my seven and two year old sons. I struggle daily with not yelling around them, but it's difficult for me because it's what I grew up with.

It's a work in progress.

cocosparkle said...

That was such a great post. Really brought back some wonderful memories.
I loved that record player too!
Thank-you, that was a fun enCouragingBliss!
much love

Grace said...

"What does Dr. Phil say to parents? Every time you yell in front of a child, you are changing who they were meant to be"

If that is true then I must be completely different from who I was born to be, oh my:)

Linda-Sama said...

"What does Dr. Phil say to parents? Every time you yell in front of a child, you are changing who they were meant to be."

there is no way I would listen to anything "Dr." Phil says...puh-leez! his statement could be picked apart so easily.

what Grace said.

blisschick said...

Emma -- Same sort of question for your father. Very cool.

Karmacoy, YAY -- have fun with the turntable. I played Camptown Races OVER AND OVER again.

Jenny -- Good for you for recognizing what you are doing. Breaking the cycle is very very hard work.

Linda -- First, I think Grace's point is one of sadness, that she is changed.

Second, being raised in an emotionally violent household DOES change a person and Dr. Phil's comment is valid, regardless of his pop-cult status at this point.

It took psychology until the 1970's to even admit that emotional violence was abuse. I would hope that was now a no brainer.

Stacy said...

What a great blog post!

I'll have to do one of my own, but it might not be for a while.

Tracy said...

Christine, this is fabulous! I'll post my response later today or this evening.

Jei said...

That was a beautiful post Christine!! It brought up warm and not so warm memories for me...but I think they have their place.

I cannot wait to read everyone's post!

Lori-Lyn said...

I had that same record player! This is such a thought-provoking post.

lotusmahal said...

Such an amazing and timely prompt. I've been contemplating the direction of my life the past couple of days, and it was really great to be able to look back at the simplicity of life at six and realize it's not impossible to re-acquaint myself with that joy.

island sunshyne said...

Hi Christine! New visitor here. Just wanted to leave a note and introduce myself (I'm Angie, BTW)! We share a love for some of the same blogs, so I thought I would come over here and take a peek at yours. Your "About Me" description *totally* reeled me in! I haven't read all of your posts, but from what I have, I love how positive and encouraging it all is. You can never have enough of this.

I look forward to following along!


Connie said...

Seeing that record player made me smile so big. I had that same one, and loved it tremendously too.

What a great post. It hit me. It made me recall things. It inspired even a deeper healing.

I'm loving what you're doing--how you are reaching to all of us, and helping us reach to our own bliss!!

Peace & Love.

Sydney said...

DItto what COnnie said.

amy said...

i had one of those record players--got it on my sixth birthday and absolutely loved it! every once in a while i get the urge to buy one on ebay. haven't done it yet, but i turn forty this year so maybe i will this year! also loved the ferris wheel and the carousel--anything with a music box or a wind-up feature! i even had a little rocking chair with a music box on the back of one of the rocking rails that would play music when i rocked in it.

thanks for triggering happy memories!

Pamela said...

Your post brought me way back! I had a similar record player and had six Sesame Street records to go with it. My favorite was "I Love Trash," sung by who else, Oscar the Grouch!

You've definitely got me thinking about how what we were meant to be may have been altered by our experiences. I'm late with my post on this but it will be going up today.

Thank you for what you're doing here. I enjoy visiting your world!

Pamela said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rowena said...

this I love:

"I remember sitting outside the kitchen at my Great Aunt's house and just singing whatever words came into my head. When I stopped, my Great Aunt yelled for me to continue. My heart leapt with joy at her request."

Sometimes I wonder if my kids will connect with the work when I show them my paintings every morning, or when I learn how to play guitar in front of them, or when I make up songs about them for bedtime, or when I encourage their drawings of circles and "ups and downs." (straight lines.)

I don't know what will be the thing that hits. When I encourage the boy to tell his story of dinosaurs, magic, superpowers and bad guys? When I applaud after the girl dances? Does it matter? Doesn't it all matter?