Thursday, March 17, 2011
My Hopes Shiver - Reprise
Elena Dudina, a Spanish woman with a Russian soul...she is a master at photo manipulations and embellishments, creating stunning works of art, generally of remarkably beautiful women. I see deep feminine strength in this work, which appears to have been created quite recently.
Elena, I tried to leave you a message at deviantArt that I was taking this one. In some kind of strange way I am grateful for your skill. That makes no sense but there it is. You have treated me kindly in the past. I trust your life is going very well. I certainly hope for that.
To the rest of you, this is copyrighted material. Behave accordingly, please.
See Elena's work here
The women I like are strong women...little wonder with the mother I grew up with. I understand the special challenge that biology gives to women, and I am fairly interested in all the different ways they try to solve the conundrum of children and career, for example, or the simpler but still difficult issue of marriage itself. My last lover left me, I believe more to stay single than to leave me. At least she said so often enough. And yet in doing so she took on another different sort of relationship aimed at giving a young and talented man a chance to thrive. She adopted a young Mexican illegal who just happened to be an amazing baritone with a yearning for opera. Then they worked out solutions and what happened, he was able to go to Canada with her as she emigrated. In doing so he was able to surface and become legal. So now he can't come back to the States but he is legal going to school for his opera in Vancouver. This took most of two years to set up. She has a singular and unique path. So do her children. One has ties to Japan and a Japanese wife. Her daughter got a Masters at the London School of Economics and has worked for Prince Charles, in a charitable organization involved with consulting with cities and other large scale organizations concerning green spaces and how to get them incorporated into the landscape. That daughter had already spent a semester at university in France and graduated from the University of Oregon in Eugene.
Ann, my wife of twenty years was arguably among the best cross cultural specialists in child welfare in the state of Oregon before she crashed. What a tragedy her loss was...she raised a couple kids in the course of her work, both girls. One of them was totally institutionalized when she took her on, deemed hopeless, but Ann worked hard and eventually that kid became a dental technician and survived easily on her own. The other kid was born to street gutter drunks. She took that kid and engineered a life that led to a higher math degree at Yale and a 100k a year job out of the gate after graduation. Neither of these kids could have done it without Ann. There were of course many others.
My mother graduated from the University of California at Berkeley Phi Beta Kappa and Cum Laude and was valedictorian of her graduating class, sharing the podium at graduation with Harry Truman, who was then President of the United States. She turned down a movie career to go to school. In the last half of her life, she became a published author, a minister in Unity School of Christianity, and set up a training track for Unity ministers to stay in the field and meet the requirements of a Unity degree and license to practice. Prior to her time, all ministerial students were required to go to Unity Village to university there in order to be ordained as Unity Ministers, and that left many aspirants with no way to succeed. Her book, Handbook of Positive Prayer has become a training manual and classic in the Unity library of books. It stays in print long past her death. She received the Myrtle Filmore award for excellence and lifetime achievement and was Minister Emeritus (retired) and had the title of Chaplain to the local Unity ministers at the time of her death near 80. She still worked a little in the last year of her life, and she was highly active with Amnesty International as a letter writer and agitator protesting political prisoners.
All that was after accomplishments as actress and director of plays and a strong career as a high school teacher of English. She also had an opera quality soprano voice when she was young and still in middle age. She and I (and my sister too) all sang in the same church choir when I was in high school. That choir was remarkable and the choir master was dean of the San Jose State school of music. It had four professionally trained voices to anchor each section and these people and the organist were paid performers, soloists.
My Hopes Shiver
If you would hold still
Then I could touch you just so
And we would rise up
As if we had wings.
You insist on your freedom
And my hopes shiver,
Come apart at seams
I didn't know could be there.
You aren't what you seem.
I have to admit
I'm not either. I am less
Without your magic.
January 4, 2009 10:45 AM
This poem and the core of this post was published May 20, 2009.
The stuff about my mother was added tonight.