August 15, 2007

From My Journal

I have a feathery life line. It starts at the base of my right palm, forking up from a triangle that rises from my wrist. The graceful segments of my life line reach up past my heart line and very faintly cross my head line, like gentle upward swipes from a painter's brush. My left hand's life line is shorter and wider, not a line at all really, more like a wide path with various ruts blending in, touching and reaching away.

They say, those folks who read palms, that a feathered life line indicates a fickle or irresolute character, one that doesn't stick with projects very long. Well, I was told twice by those types that I'd have two boys and a girl. The first was a young dark-eyed girl in a little shrouded booth on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. I stepped in on a lark with some girlfriends from university, when we were young, silly and hopeful. The second time was also on a lark, but at a more tumultuous time in my young adulthood. I wanted to believe him because at that time I was fertile ground, ready to believe in anything. Plus, he had just told my sister that she liked fish and beagles. Truly remarkable to us, as we knew it to be true. At any rate, I have 3 boys and no girls and no indications that will change.

Despite the minor error in the predictions about my children - after all, Luke was so beautiful even at birth that the attending nurse did prematurely announce, "It's a girl!" before it was revealed that he wasn't - my feathered life line does happen to coincide with a little flightiness, a small lack of sticktoitiveness, I'll admit. Many of my endeavors have been rather short-lived. I had a 4 year stint with track and field that ended with bad knees and disappointment. I had a smattering of vocal stuff, singing in choirs and weddings and such in my youth and adulthood. That will probably be changing soon as we leave our present church for another and I'm not sure I'll miss it that much. I completed my B.S. in Dietetics and worked in the field less than one year. I completed a teaching certificate program, earning certificates in Biology, Comprehensive Science and Elementary Education that I used for a while before I had my first child.

Then I homeschooled my kids as they came along, but now that's changing too. For various reasons, they'll all go to public school this fall. The decision isn't written in stone, we've taken them out once before, but for now it's what we must do. To everything there is a season, I keep telling myself and taking deep breaths, still weighing what I believe in my heart against the decision we're making.

One thing that I have pursued consistently is my writing. I've enjoyed writing since childhood. I kept a journal, wrote poetry, essays and made feeble attempts at stories. One I remember from childhood was of a little girl who found herself on an island, unable to cross the tumultuous waters that swirled around it. She wandered around the island, asking various animals for help. I don't remember exactly, but I imagine there was a beaver who made a raft, a tortoise who offered land transportation, a wise old owl who shared with her his wisdom. Which animal provided the persistence and courage needed to put the plan into action? There was no such animal. She had to possess that herself. Who hands out the fortitude?

There are plenty of times I've tried and sputtered or floundered or failed. I've tried to develop habits, create, become, withstand, recover. I make progress in small, small steps. I'm not a "BOOM!" type of person, I'm more like a low sizzle. If I were the girl trying to get off the island, she'd soon become the girl who decided the island wasn't half bad and the animals make pretty good pals anyway. Who needs the violent waters and the great big ocean beyond?

I have been thinking; however, that there are some things to see through, complete, begin again, look at and reenter with new eyes. And my life line, on further examination, is rather hopeful. Its flowing lines all do point in the same direction, after all. They work together to form a narrow course that halves my palm distinctly, reaching somewhere, pointing somewhere, crossing the heart, crossing the head, influencing, leaving a mark. Touching, connecting, extending. And if all of my life lines connect and reach the next, then it can't be said that I don't possess potency. That I'm not moving forward, building.

I never finished the story of the little girl crossing the rough waters. After all, how could I have known where would she have gone from there? The island, though bare and remote, was a friendly place with some comforts and support. She could have found contentment where she was. And who knew what could lie ahead for a young girl out in the endless waters? True, I had a good feeling that she held the power to face the storms and perservere, but to what end? How's a small child to know how a great story ends, how people rise into fullness, how meager vessels can carry forth great things, how the vast ocean leads to other shores? Surely no stories end:

She crossed the rough waters and drifted out to sea to nowhere, like a tiny
crease straying off a feathered life line.


Bob-kat said...

I think your approach to life is true for everyone. No-one really knows where they will end up, despite planning or not. I think that when you don't plan everything it allows you to change more freely and to roll with what life throws at you more easily :)

This was all beautifully written. Michele sent me to say hi!

rosemary said...

Oh Jennie, how simply beautiful.