Tuesday, February 6, 2018

First assignment -childhood

 I finally finished the first assignment.  I looked at some of the posts for this assignment.  Some are very short. I commented on one post.  It was very well written.  There doesn't seem to be any right or wrong way and there was no posted word limit.  Which is nice.  I have  spent a couple of days editing.  I never know when to stop editing.  I edit and edit and still every time I read it I see something wrong.  Everyone needs an editor.  Seems like no matter who reads what you write there are things that still need correcting... editing is a never ending job.  I feel sorry for those that have a book published with editing errors.  I understand what they went through.  No matter how many times I read it, put it away, and read it again another day,  I will find errors or something that needs revising.  I am on to the next lesson. 

MasterClass- Judy Blume: Assignment 1- Childhood


I just woke from a dream.  One of those dreams that are like pearls of wisdom you can’t let go.  I’m standing on the beach, watching the gentle ebb and flow of the tide.  I press my toes into the sand, a wave rolls over the top of my feet then receding it tugs at the sand beneath my toes.  I feel a tap on my shoulder.  “Brendalee.”  I turn but the sun blurs my vision and I can’t see who is standing there.  “Remember me,” said the figure. 

I squint and unsure, I hesitate to respond.

The figure comes closer.  I want to back away but I don’t.   “Do you remember when you were learning to tap dance?  Your dance Instructor would dance with you on the stage, showing you off to the older students. Remember that special feeling. Then one day without warning the lessons abruptly stopped.  You overheard your mother talking to a friend.  She said the first grade and taking dance lessons would be too much.  She said she didn’t think you could do two things at once.”

I catch my breath.  “Those words, that sentence diminished you,” he said, "You left a piece of your soul back there on that sidewalk.  It’s time to call it home.” 

I stare out at the sun’s sparkling path across the water. “I was only five.” I said.

"Yet, you're still trying to prove you can handle more than two things at once," he said.  

I want to walk away but I don’t.  Unable to move, I close my eyes.  Instantly, I am watching my small self.  She is turning the key to tighten the metal roller skates onto her shoe. Scene after scene floods into my mind. I see her twirling round and round and falling in the grass, laying on the grass in the dark of night listening to stories of the starlit sky with her brother uncle, sitting at the round dining table cutting paper dolls out of the McCall’s magazine, putting leftovers by the screen door where the morning glories grew for the little people and holding her grandmother’s hand as they go for an evening walk.   I can smell the lilac blossoms lining the back yard.  Then I see her.  Petite with platinum blond pig tails, proudly tap dancing down the sidewalk.  I hear my mother’s voice behind her.  I watch her hang her head and stop dancing.

The scene shifts to school.  She is hanging up her coat, the other girls surround her asking why she isn’t going to be in the dance recital.  She hangs her head and shrugs her shoulders. The scene moves to the teacher coming up behind her desk.  They are practicing penmanship.  The teacher abruptly grabs her paper out from her hand and holds it up to the class.  The teacher says, “Class, this is perfect penmanship.”  I watch her slide down in her seat, shrinking as if to disappear underneath the desk.  She decides then that she will never do anything that will attract attention to herself.   

I’m stuck in time and I can’t breathe. My belly feels strangely hollow. He places his hand on my shoulder.  “Take her hand and lead her away from there,” he said.

I feel her hand in mine. “Come with me,” I said.  Desperate to get away, we move and drift weightless, going nowhere and yet everywhere.  

“Talk to her,” he said.

I don’t know what to say and then I hear my voice.  “I know how hurt and disappointed you are about not dancing.  I am so sorry.  Just know it has nothing to do with your abilities. Be proud of yourself.  You are going to have a wonderful life, filled with people and places and lots of adventure.  You are beautiful and perfect just the way you are,” I said. I put my arm around her and she leans against me.  “It’s okay to dance and sing out loud and to even get mad because sometimes you have to stand up yourself, for what you want.  You can do it.  It won’t always be easy and there will be times when you will be sad.  Be brave, don't be afraid, speak out and remember that things will always work out as they should. You will never be alone.”  I put my arm around her, draw her close and like butter she melts into me.

A tear forms in the corner of my eye.  My stomach no longer feels hollow.  I breathe slow and deep and then after a time, I open my eyes.  

“I remember you,” I said.

“Shall we walk.” He said. He reaches out and takes my hand.  We walked down the beach along the water’s edge, just where the waves, like an ancient scroll, gently unroll across the sand.   


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