Thursday, May 29, 2014

Nothing...

It's Five Minute Friday! Time to write for five minutes flat (no stopping, no editing!) on a prompt provided by the lovely Lisa-Jo --- then linking up and sharing a little comment love with other bloggers. To learn more and/or join in, click here.


Nothing. That is probably what this photo would mean to most people. Some might have their own memory association, but no one (even someone who knew me) could know exactly what that picture means to me. Not "means" like "I have strong emotional ties to this photograph" per se, but "means" like "this picture represents a thousand words."

I don't think in words. I have poured years of my life into (attempting to) master the English language, from a burning desire to be heard and understood - because while I can have a perfectly cohesive thought in my mind, outside of my mind it's incomprehensible to others. Except that, after all of my efforts, I'm finding that no one actually speaks English. Definitions change, both the dictionary and the thesaurus are sadly underused, and I can't count the number of times that I've crafted a sentence that perfectly expresses what I want to express only to be met with a blank stare and the request to reword my statement.

So all of my efforts in speech (including overcoming a very thick Southern accent in order to remove even that barrier) are worth... nothing. But when I write, I'm not faced with that. If someone doesn't understand and doesn't want to, I never have to know. If they're willing to use a dictionary or reread something in order to fully gather my meaning, spectacular. And if they both understand and empathize with what I've written - all the better.

In one sense, that's what that picture represents - a difficult lifelong pursuit of something that others take for granted. You see, that doily was crocheted by my great-grandmother. She was naturally left-handed and held the hook in her left hand for that project, but because of the era in which she was born, she was forced to learn to write with her right hand. And her handwriting wasn't just legible - it was lovely. She could have just gotten by, but she made the hard choice to excel. In her beautiful penmanship, she wrote the following in my autograph book:
"Sarah Jo. I am writing this with my right hand, but you know that I am left handed. If a task is once begun, never leave it 'til it's done - be the labor great or small, do it well or not at all. Love, Grandmother King"

So it may just be a too-close art shot of a bit of antique piecework to others... just another image without meaning or purpose... nothing... but to me, it's a cherished memory, a strong reminder, inspiration when I'm floundering, motivation when I'm failing, encouragement when I'm tempted to give up... in a word, everything.

What inspires and encourages you, that may hold no meaning or value to someone else?

7 comments:

Asheritah said...

I LOVE this story of your great-grandmother and how she instilled in you a desire to do things well. I'm glad you're writing!! Thanks for sharing. (Visiting from #fmfparty)

Rebekah Ellis said...

This is a beautiful memory - and how I love that you are pressing on: in writing and all other words. We need to speak more so I can hear this accent (which will sound like echoes of home, I'm sure) - just because. Happy to see you here, and well, just about anywhere!

MyJourneyBack said...

Beautiful words.Thanks for sharing your heart.
Have a wonderful Friday.
Sherry

Karen Brown said...

Powerful words- so beautifully written. Love how you tied the picture into your message. Great post! happy Friday!

Amy Reasoner said...

Wow! What a great story, and what wise words! I popped over here from FMF, and I clicked on your link because I was drawn to your photo - my grandma crocheted doilies that looked exactly like that. I think we even have one that color. Thanks for sharing!

Karrilee Aggett said...

Beautiful... that photo... the memory and truth behind the story... the 'autograph' from your Grandmother... your heart... all of it!

Heather Parks said...

I got a crochet doily catalog that was my great great grandmother's as a wedding gift. Copyright 1957 and has a price of $0.10 on it. I still haven't gotten around to trying any of them because the patterns are all diagrams and I haven't learned how to read those yet. :/