Brenda’s Memoir: A Kid’s World, Toys and Food

Brenda and I continue to plow through this artist’s reboot. It has been a tricky weekend. I got exactly one and half pages written of my morning pages all weekend. That is one and a half pages of what was supposed to be nine pages. As I said in an earlier post… “too much running the Earth and not enough watching the sky.”

Anyway both Brenda and I are back at it modifying and learning about the changes God is calling us too in the midst of this reboot. I am learning that Julia Cameron is correct when she says “In the midst of any transition, it is important to be gentle with yourself.”

Brenda continues here with some gentle answers regarding her memoir.

What was your favorite toy and what was your favorite food?

Brenda says…. My favorite toy was a stuffed clown with a wind up nose. I slept with it almost every night, and got many a bruise from the hard plastic face that I would try to cuddle. But the music would lull me to sleep. I still have that thing in a box somewhere, the wind up nose has long since stopped playing its hypnotic melody.

Image result for clown with a wind up nose

My favorite food…Definitely with out even a 2nd thought…Mac and Cheesewiz with either bolgna or hotdogs…every Sunday night after bath time my brother and I would sit down with our tv trays and eat our mac and cheese wiz delciousness and watch Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom followed by THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF DISNEY…and thus began my love affair with all things DISNEY!

Image result for cheez whiz

J’s Memoir Questions 5-7

In the course of our artist’s reboot Brenda and I are writing memoir’s in 12 steps. this week’s memoir questions have to do with what we remember ages 1-4. Actually there seems to be quite a lot I remember from this period. I’m surprised by that.

Here are question 5-7 from this week’s memoir section .

What was your favorite book?

There was this one book Mom and Dad read to us many times before bed. It was two books in one. On one side was Peter Pan and on the other was Alice In Wonderland. I remember liking Alice better than Peter.

There was also this poem that my father would read to us over and over. It was called The Giant Thunderbones

I
This is Giant
Thunder Bones.

II
This is the Dwarf with anxious looks
Who guarded the castle and kept the books
For Giant Thunder Bones.

III
This is the Gnome with beard so gray
Who digged for gems all night and day
To please the Dwarf with anxious looks
Who guarded the castle and kept the books
For Giant Thunder Bones.

IV
This is the Princess of Wandeltreg
Who, while playing a game of Mumblepeg,
Was caught by the Gnome with beard so gray
Who digged for gems all night and day
To please the Dwarf with anxious looks
Who guarded the castle and kept the books
For Giant Thunder Bones.

V
This is the Prince so brave and so grand
Who sailed over sea and rode over land
Till he found the Princess of Wandeltreg
Who, while playing a game of Mumblepeg,
Was caught by the Gnome with beard so gray
Who digged for gems all night and day
To please the Dwarf with anxious looks
Who guarded the castle and kept the books
For Giant Thunder Bones.

VI
This is the Goblin with fingers so frail
Who hopped with ease over mountain and dale
As he chased the Prince so brave and so grand
Who sailed over sea and rode over land
Till he found the Princess of Wandeltreg
Who, while playing a game of Mumblepeg,
Was caught by the Gnome with beard so gray
Who digged for gems all night and day
To please the Dwarf with anxious looks
Who guarded the castle and kept the books
For Giant Thunder Bones.

VII
This is the Witch with Broomstick and Cat
Who sputtered and snarled and shook her tall hat
When she missed the Goblin with fingers so frail
Who hopped with ease over mountain and dale
As he chased the Prince so brave and so grand
Who sailed over sea and rode over land
Till he found the Princess of Wandeltreg
Who, while playing a game of Mumblepeg,
Was caught by the Gnome with beard so gray
Who digged for gems all night and day
To please the Dwarf with anxious looks
Who guarded the castle and kept the books
For Giant Thunder Bones.

VIII
And last comes the Kobold who slept while ’twas light
And did all the housework in the dead of the night
To worry the Witch with Broomstick and Cat
Who sputtered and snarled and shook her tall hat
When she missed the Goblin with fingers so frail
Who hopped with ease over mountain and dale
As he chased the Prince so brave and so grand
Who sailed over sea and rode over land
Till he found the Princess of Wandeltreg
Who, while playing a game of Mumblepeg,
Was caught by the Gnome with beard so gray
Who digged for gems all night and day
To please the Dwarf with anxious looks
Who guarded the castle and kept the books
For Giant Thunder Bones.

by Stella Doughty.

Describe a smell you remember from this stage of your life.

My grandmother used to use this ladies face powder. It was one of the strongest and sweetest smells burned into my sense memory.

What was your favorite food?

Our family owned a restaurant. Hamburgers were a favorite. Although, Sundays was Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom and Walt Disney. Mom used to make Macaroni & Cheese Whiz and cut up balogna in it and then we would eat pop corn.


J’s Artistic Reboot: Memoir Day Week 1

The artistic reboot program Brenda and I are working through is called It’s Never Too Late To Begin Again.

The book is actually written for the newly retired; So Brenda and I are having to modify the program as neither of us are even remotely “retired”. We are both facing midlife and feeling the need to reorient ourselves to a new rhythm of life, though. In that process, the book hits home, but we each are having to figure out how to make a book written for people with a lot of disposable time fit our lifestyles.

Brenda is working out her pattern and I am working out mine. The program is built around several weekly projects:

  1. The morning pages- 3 pages a day written when you first get up.
  2. Weekly walks- 2 weekly walks of 20 minutes a piece to clear the mind.
  3. Memoir- a 12 step breakdown of life from the beginning asking questions of life designed to bring deeper revelation
  4. A weekly hour-long artistic date with yourself.

The morning pages are to be entirely private.Man!!! are they revealing a lot of what is in my heart.

I don’t know what Brenda will do, but for myself I am going to put my Memoir here for everyone to read. I think knowing where I come from will help you all to understand a lot about my current life and calling at the Vicarage.

This week’s memoir involves 10 questions about my life between the ages of 1-4.

  1. Where did you live?

This was the period of my life when we moved a lot as a family. I know or remember we lived in at least four places during this season of my life.

We lived across from my mother’s friends the Duvarney’s when I was first born. I only know about this place but have no memory of it. Family and friends remember it for me.

We moved to a college up in Vermont after that, where my father worked as part of the cafeteria staff. I remember an old one armed man who used to play soccer with me there. I am told my mother almost died of an asthma attack during the year we spent there.

After my sister was born we moved to the grey house on Tannery Hill in Winchendon. It was an evil place. This was the first place I remember meeting spirits. I was often visited by two spirits there who would come to me at night. To this day I cannot drive past this house without a shudder.

At some point we moved to my Aunt and Uncle’s house on Route 202 heading into Baldwinville. My Uncle was stationed in Vietnam at the time and my Aunt had taken an apartment in Hawaii to be nearer to him. So we lived in their house in Winchendon MA until just after I entered Head Start. I remember there was snake that lived in the crack in the rock in the middle of the back yard. I loved to play with him. I also remember a bear coming out of the woods one time when my older cousins and I were swinging on the swings in the back yard.

What Brenda Saw In the Introduction Of It’s Never Too Late

Brenda was away at a conference in New York until Thursday. Friday was her preparation day for a full day of teaching at a woman’s conference in Framingham MA. Saturday was the women’s conference.

Today Brenda spent the morning repacking her car and getting ready for the next conference in Rhode Island. She is expected at hat venue by 3 P.M. She also took a few moments to send me her thoughts on the introduction to our artistic reboot.

Brenda says…I want us to share the excitement about what we are about to embark on. I see this as a journey of rediscovery…and releasing.

I underlined a lot in the introduction. There were many gems, but the three that stood out to me.

1. Artists don’t retire. It is so true. And a caviate is that every person has an artistic nature inside of them….I have been watching as Mom has been doing her intricate colorings in her adult coloring books. She is very careful about the colors she chooses for each section, and careful to stay in the lines. Her color choices are amazing. I have noted after coloring her brain is more alert and she is more interested in the life going on around her. So in the midst of the throws of Dementia…this part of her has not been stolen from her.

2. FAST is not what we are after. This was regarding hand writing our 3 pages daily.*** Part of the reboot requires that we handwrite three pages stream of thought as soon as we get up each morning***. This time of rediscovery, and releasing and raising the curtain on ACT 2 of our lives, must be done with care and leisure. RUSH AND HURRY which win the daily grind, will never help us raise the curtain on ACT 2. We must be willing to slow down, and see what is brought to us, and embrace the moment for all its fullness. and finally…

3. EVERY LIFE IS FASCINATING-HONOR THE LIFE YOU HAVE LED. Hearing someone downplay their life as uninteresting or of little import is disheartening. People and the lives they lead fascinate me. If I am honest it enfuriates me when people belittle the importance of their lives. In the end if we step back we see a glorious work of art called LIFE. In the end we must step back and be thankful for the lives we have led and the impact we have been able to make, and for the people who have left their indellible marks on our life…and move on to Act 2 with grateful grace-filled hearts.

For me I think this journey, will bring some sense of peace to the chaos, some sense of release and relief from the past, and will allow me to embrace and be fully present to take hold of the new things coming in Act 2.

After Brenda wrote these thoughts she finished packing. Amanda met her as soon as her responsibilities here at Cornerstone were finished. Now they are on the road to Rhode Island for the Southern New England Network Conference. I am staying home with Mom tonight and will meet them for a few hours tomorrow in the afternoon.

What J. Saw In the Introduction Of It’s Never Too Late

So this morning was my second day of writing my morning pages. Once again my hand was asleep by the end of page one, but stream of thought was so rich I pressed through to discover what was really in my brain.

Brenda sent me some thoughts on the introduction which I will share shortly. I wanted to share the things that jumped out at me as I read the introduction to my artistic reboot.

“I myself believe creativity is a spiritual path.” Julia cameron

“Most working artists never retire.” Julia Cameron

“No matter how old you get, if you can keep the desire to be creative, your keeping the man-child alive.” John Cassavetes

Basic Principles for creative recovery:

  1. Creativity is the natural order of life. Life is energy- pure creative energy.
  2. There is an underlying, indwelling creative force infusing all of life- including ourselves.
  3. When we open ourselves to our creativity, we open ourselves to the Creator’s creativity within us and our lives.
  4. We are ourselves creations. And we, in turn, are meant to continue creativity by being creative ourselves
  5. Creativity is God’s gift to us. Using our creativity is our gift back to God
  6. The refusal to be creative is self-will and is counter to our true nature.
  7. When we open ourselves to exploring our creativity, we open ourselves to God: Good Orderly Direction.
  8. As we open our creative channel to the Creator, many gentle but powerful changes are to be expected.
  9. It is safe to open ourselves up to greater and greater creativity.
  10. Our creative dreams and yearnings come from a Divine source.- Julia Cameron

Which of these stands out to you?