Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Monday, July 27, 2009

Telling the Truth

I guess no matter how old I get or how healed I become, there will always be a small part of me that feels like she doesn't belong anywhere. At least now, I don't stay stuck in that feeling. I recognize the feeling, acknowledge its existence, and tell myself that's not the reality. But sometimes there are valid reasons for the feelings, like at the Walker Family Reunion of 2009.

My husband was born in Plainview, in the Texas Panhandle. There were seven siblings on his father's side and 20 first cousins resulting from their marriages. 18 are left and 16 of them came to Wimberley, Texas for this reunion, along with their offspring and their offspring's offspring. In all, five generations of Walkers gathered at the Homestead Cabins, the oldest 94, the youngest, five years old.

I was born in the Bronx, New York. I'm culturally Jewish. One of my husband's cousins put together a videotape featuring their grandmother, whom everyone called Nanny. She lived to be 100 years old. The interviews occurred when she was 94. All 70 of us were gathered in the meeting room, listening to Nanny talk about her daddy. Seems he'd been taken prisoner in New York. At first I thought she was talking about WWII, but soon realized she meant the Civil War. I was the only Yankee in the room and my first thought was, Nanny would have hated me.
Being the only anything (Jew, Yankee, girl, gay person, Black person, whatever) is hard. It's what makes us feel like outsiders. But think about it, aren't we all outsiders for one reason or another? Even within family units, there are Republicans, Democrats, people who root for the White Sox or the Yankees, those who like the 103degree temperature in Austin, and those who can't breathe there.

It was a lovely event, but it is equally lovely to be home, back in my routine. At least for the next two days, until we leave for folkdance camp on Wednesday. Till tomorrow,
Blessings,
Karen

7 comments:

N A Sharpe said...

I'll bet Nanny could tell some tales. I know when visiting the Holocaust museum in LA I was enthralled listening to the survivors talk about what they had been through. It really brought that piece of history to life...like the tales of the Civil War here. Amazing.

Nancy, from Realms of Thought…

Galen Kindley--Author said...

I agree with Nancy. Love to hear some Nanny tales.

Best Regards, Galen
Imagineering Fiction Blog

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I think your Nanny may have surprised you - family ties are often stronger than political ones. Although opinions may differ, the underlying love of family is hard to dismiss.

Helen Ginger said...

Yeah, I think Nanny would have welcomed you into the family. You don't live to be 94, as she was at the time of the interview, without learning to accept others. (Actually, you can, but you probably won't be a happy person.)

Helen
Straight From Hel

Stephen Tremp said...

My wife and I have taped our grandarents when they were alive. My grandfather died recently at 103 and wifey's grandmother died in her 90s.

They lived theough two World Wars and a great depression, the advent of nuclear bombs, and sending man to the moon. .

Yet they still retained their roots and loved to talk about the good ol' days, a time of horse and buggies, out houses, and going to bed as soon as the sun set.

Stephen Tremp

Marvin D Wilson said...

Glad to see you back, and I'm with the others - Nanny tales would be great. :)

The Old Silly

Patricia Stoltey said...

Being the only anything in the room can be scary, but it can also lead to a great experience if you can charm the pants off the rest of the crowd. An elderly person in a roomful of obnoxious teenagers comes to mind. Wouldn't you like to see that one play out?