negative space

fab photo by aaron burden via unsplash

My grandmother dropped out of school in middle school to be home with her brothers and sisters, cook, clean, work while her parents worked in the cotton fields in the hot sun. When her parents were done for the day, they went home and she went out into the fields to pick cotton–sometimes with one of the babies on a blanket on the grass nearby, sleeping…

I’m sure she would have loved to have been what? Where? At recess? Playing hopscotch or swinging, drawing in the dirt instead of emptying dirty mop water. She once told me, just randomly, one afternoon, sitting in the living room, a spaghetti western on TV, “My momma was never happy with how I cleaned the floor. It wasn’t ever clean enough.” I think I smiled and utilized the rocking chair, forward, backward, because that’s the sort of thing I do when I don’t know what to say.

My mother crapped out with a husband who was overtaken by some variation of Peterpan Syndrome, trapped in an invisible bubble of picket-sign style snowflakes with words in bold type–me! Me! Me! But me! More me! Why me? Me! Me! ME! Of course she didn’t fully realize this until they were 2 and 3/4 kids in, but the result was what it was…double-time for her.

Sometimes I’m hunkered over the sink, griping about crappy dishes and dryer lint, mad that I’m having to take a break from living my watercolor dream to deal with cleaning up after myself, you know, teeny-weensy reality things…and I have to remind myself. I’m sure my mother would have loved to have been able to take more time to practice some sort of art at all or to just do something for herself, to not be so exhausted from work at work and then work at home she wasn’t nodding off every single time she sat still….

Important, it is, I feel, to acknowledge my blessings, be grateful and do something positive with them–to show just how thankful I am. There’s a saying… God gives us each a talent or talents, His gift from Him to us. What we do with our talents/gift is our gift back to Him. Or something. I don’t know. I just always liked it.

I’m still not exactly sure what my gift is, but the moment I figure it out, I intend to utilize the stew out of it. 🙂 Til then, I’m doing what I can with what I have.

Til next time. 🙂

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