Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Falling trees make sound

My mother was a princess in my eyes.  She used to bounce me on her lap singing "I love you.  a bushel and a peck.  A bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck."  She was gorgeous.  Everyone knew it.  I used to fall asleep to her playing music as it drifted out into the trees and the night.
My father was my hero.  He let me follow him around and hand him tools.  When he saw me taking an interest in drawing pictures as a child, he would tell everyone "My daughter's an artist", and he bought me the biggest crayon box anyone had ever seen.
When we would visit grandma's, she would let us pick out of a drawer of her silk nightgowns, and tie little rose knots in them to transform them into ballroom gowns for us to twirl out in to all the guest.  Once on her visit she went around the dinner table placing glittering plastic crowns on our heads and pronounced us all her little princesses.
Dad didn't believe in raising a family in town, we lived in the woods, and ran out to the pond in the evening with the crickets singing to catch frogs and tadpoles.  Half wild on dad's side, half royalty on mother's side.  We weren't allowed to take a bite of food at dinner unless we were holding our utensils properly, sit up straight, don't speak.  Work hard, work ragged.  Late into the night, ignore hunger, ignore fatigue.  Fierce and proud.  Hold your jaw tight, chin up.  Don't back down to anyone, except to me.  This is how you do things right, don't do less and don't accept less.  Forget middle-men, you want something done go straight to the top.
The rule of silence was led by example and enforced with outrage, say nothing when monsters come out.  Say nothing when people ask about home.  Look out of the corner of your eye: see mom nodding and smiling, you nod and smile too.  Eventually those things cease to exist because no one can see them.  If a tree falls in the woods does anyone hear it?  If you were in a crowd of people and you were the only one who seemed to hear it perhaps you would forget you ever had.

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