Tag Archives: Eckhart Tolle

Perhaps perhaps perhaps I can be grateful

“There is a line that stuck in my head, from King Caspian at the very end of the movie. He tells Aslan, ‘I’ve spent too long regretting what I’ve lost instead of being thankful for what I’ve been given.”

I am unabashedly borrowing my opening sentence from the young blogger/former student I blogged about yesterday. I just finished reading her Monday blog. It’s one of the better ones of hers I’ve read. She has a knack for description which is truly enjoyable. The quote from King Caspian is from “The Dawn Treader” which she just viewed.

I have not been a Chronicles fan so I probably would have missed this. What the king said resonated with me.

Perhaps it is because I am an introvert and subject to over introspection. Perhaps it is because I inherited my propensity for depression from my father. Perhaps it is because I was born a Cancer. This description from the Cancer website seems to fit me perfectly…

“Cancerians have a particularly strong memory for emotionally laden events which they can recall in detail for years. They are governed by childhood memories and since they live intensely in the past in memory…etc”

Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.  Again with the introspection.

Are we destined to live our lives in certain ways? Is it in our genes? Those three “perhapses” are pretty convincing to me as reasons I have lived most of my years backing into the future keeping my eyes on the past. If it were a recent development, I’d blame the fact I’m getting older and doing a retrospective analysis of my life. Such is not the case. The past has always been more vivid to me than the now.

I spend way too long thinking about the past and its losses. According to Eckart Tolle, I am not living in the now. There is power in living in the now. Since my mind tends to live so much in the past, I am not using the most of my power.

I have had many losses in my life including loves, family, friends, health, retirement funds, etc. I find myself, like King Caspian, revisiting those losses and ruing them, choosing to do that far more often than making the choice to make more positive memories in the present. It is not what I choose to do, but I make the excuse that it is what I am destined to do.

Is it possible to change our destiny? Tolle seems to think so. For those who blithely say, “Forget the past”, I respond that it is extremely difficult and for some impossible.  Some seemed to be forced to stay there forever.

But is it impossible? I would like to think not. There are those readers now who are saying, “With God all things are possible”. I try to agree.
I try more every day to be thankful for what I have been given. Albeit I view my life as having been a rather boring, uneventful, and lonely and often sad experience, I would not trade it for the lives of millions, nay billions, of  women now living throughout the world. In comparison, I have been bountifully blessed. When I hear of the experiences of others, I am more than satisfied with my own. It is once again, “There but by the grace of God, go I.” I choose to not walk in the moccasins of any other woman. I am grateful for my own.

I have very seldom to my knowledge held any envy for whatever anyone else has had. For that I am thankful. Envy can lead to coveting. Coveting sometimes leads to stealing. Stealing can lead to punishment. Punishment can be far worse than not having the object of our desires in the first place. I very much believe in “Be careful what you wish for.”

There is a prayer I have learned that goes like this:

“The Light of God surrounds me, the Love of God enfolds me, the Power of God protects me, the Presence of God watches over me. Wherever I am, God is, and all is well.” Some add, ” And I am grateful!”

Whenever I say that prayer, I AM grateful. Now if I can convince myself to live in the Now, I will be a more complete person. Namaste Attic Annie

 

 

 

 

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What’s a meme? Here’s mine

Good morning. This meme was attached to one of my blogs. I’m not sure what a meme is, but I’ve seen that word before. I think I’ll let you know a little more about me. I’m blogging as a way to get to know myself so maybe we can make the discovery at the same time.

1. My uncle once: hooked a large sled to his tractor and dragged my cousins and me around the fields through the snow. It was a sunny day and the sun glistened. It was a day full of joy and laughter.

2. Never in my life: Have I felt I’ve been inside a box. I’ve always been outside. A FB quiz on “What kind of girl are you?” came back with I’m a rebel. In a way, I think it fits.

3. When I was five: I got so mad that our housekeeper wouldn’t tie the strings on my doll’s bonnet that I sat down and did it myself. It was more important to her to talk with her sister, but I accomplished something that day because of it.

4. High School was: according to others, a time of my achievement. According to myself, a time of feeling very lonely and disconnected from everyone around me.

5. I will never forget: walking into the girls’ restroom during a ballgame in grade school not knowing that the visiting team was using it. I got chased right back out. Thank goodness it was half time and not shower time at the end of the game.

young swimmers6. I once met: a young boy who visited along with his father at the summer home of my uncle and aunt at a lake. The whole evening we swam together and talked. That was the first time I ever felt electricity and it was a heady experience. Finally, a boy was paying attention to me. That’s important when you are thirteen. My aunt for the only time in my life called for me to come to bed early when everyone was just sitting around talking. Angrily I obeyed. The next morning he was already gone. I think he might have given me my first kiss.

7. There’s this girl I know who: blogs about the same kinds of things I think about. She’s not yet twenty. I feel she could be my granddaughter. I’d love to get to know Mickey beter.

8. Once, at a bar: I was told that I had kissed a complete stranger. The next night a guy I knew was with him. I was told it was the greatest kiss he’d ever received. Gary told me to kiss him again. When I did, I didn’t even remember the first kiss, but the second kiss did absolutely nothing for me. He asked me out for a date. but I was extremely bored. I didn’t care at all that he was a dentist. He was a boring kisser.

 9. By noon, I’m usually: finished with my next day’s blog, or running errands, or eating lunch, or watching something on TV, or finishing up my walk, or….it’s great to not have a set schedule.

10.Last night: I watched a rerun of Barbara Walters interviewing Patrick Swayze. He was a really neat guy. I wish I could meet a guy with a pair of boots like him. I loved to watch him dance. Those guys are rare.

11. If only I had: a companion (male) who would go places with me, cook dinners with me, sit with me in front of the fire, and be willing to live somewhere else instead of being in my life 24/7.

12. Next time I go to church: I will be discussing in class Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose. It’s amazing how he validates so much of my life experience and the feelings I had about them. When you learn something about yourself, it gives you a very freeing and liberating feeling, like you can let those emotions surrounding those events go.

13.Terry Schiavo: should never have had to suffer for as long as she did. I will never understand people who support the death penalty but fight to not let nature take its course in a case of persistent vegetation. Death is nothing more than a transition to a better place. To imprision a spirit here when the body is incapable of being cured to me is cruel and unusual punishment. I firmly believe in honoring DNR no heroic measures requests.

14. What worries me most: is ending up warehoused in a nursing home, not being given dignified end of life care. I worked in such a home when I was in college. I saw things that no teenager should have to experience…bed sores the size of dinner plates, unconscious patients being suctioned. Patients doped up and forced to sit tied into wheel chairs all day before being put to bed for the night at 4 PM. That’s not what I want.

15. When I turn my head left, I see: the side doorway out of my home.

16.When I turn my head right, I see:  my family room straight through down the hall to my bedroom and out my window to the street beyond.

17. You know I’m lying when:  I’m saying anything untrue. I’ve never been a successful liar in my life. My whole body is a tell. It’s much easier for me to just tell the truth.

18. What I miss most about the eighties: the chance I wish I had had to spend more time with my son instead of getting a divorce and then coming down with CFS and fibromyalgia.

19. If I was a character in Shakespeare, I’d be: probably one of the minor characters like the nursemaid of Juliet. At times I think I probably could have fantasized being Lady Macbeth when my husband mistreated me one too many times. However, it’s not in me to kill anyone. Her death inspired her husband to realize how short life really is.

“She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word.
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing.”
— Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 5, lines 17-28)

20. By this time next year: I will hopefully have traveled to many places and come home to a newer smaller home.

21. A better name for me would be: _______ (fill in the blank, but be nice.) This was someone else’s answer but I agree. I can’t think of a better name other than Indigo Child.

22. I have a hard time understanding: people who hate people who are different. That’s why I’m glad I have found Unity. There are kindred spirits there who show tremendous acceptance of others. I have a hard time understanding Christians who are hate filled bigots.

23. If I ever go back to school, I’ll: probably learn Spanish or take water aerobics or a writing class … there’s a lot of classes for seniors.

24.You know I like you if: I feel free enough to tease you and joke with you and relax around you when I let me be me.

25. If I ever won an award, the first person I’d thank would be: whoever helped me win it.

26. Darwin, Mozart, Slim Pickens & Geraldine Ferraro: A scientist who started the world thinking, an unsurpassed child prodigy who died too soon because the world would not accept him, a cowboy rodeo player who ended up entertaining people in the movies, a woman who dared to think she might make a good vice president at a time men were still trying to keep their “women” in the bedroom and the kitchen barefoot.

27.Take my advice, never: give advice. Be there with thoughts if asked for help but otherwise keep your mouth shut.

28.My ideal breakfast is: a buffet at a top notch German hotel.

29.A song I love, but do not own is: One Hand One Heart from West Side Story. I think all couples marrying should pray that their hands and hearts be joined together so that only death shall ever part them. It was one of the songs I had sung at my wedding. It didn’t work for me but that doesn’t mean I can’t believe it can happen for others.

30. If you visit my hometown, I suggest: you climb down the sides of the ravines to the creek flowing through the bottom to see the sun shining  through the leaves of the trees above you…especially in the fall. But watch out, deer have found their way back to the area.

31. Tulips, character flaws, microchips, & track stars: have only their beauty to share, make us human, have opened up worlds unknown twenty years ago, strive to excel and demand the most from their bodies.

32. Why won’t people: learn to make peace and stay out of war?

33. If you spend the night at my house: you’ll have a room to yourself with a very comfortable bed.

34. I’d stop my wedding for: a brief glimpse of the future that was in store for me.

35. The world could do without: immoral mega companies only out for profit who have no soul and are bent on destroying the world and the people in it.

36. I’d rather lick the belly of a cockroach than: lose a friend.

37. My favorite blonde is: my son as a baby boy with hair almost white in the sun.

38: Paper clips are more useful than: pearls or other jewelry we think we need to wear to attract attention to ourselves.

39. If I do anything well, it’s: write.

40. And by the way: thanks for reading this far if you did.

Well, I don’t know if you learned anything about me or not. Some of these sentence starters are kind of off the wall. These questions made me realize that I kind of like the woman I am…warts and all. Ya’ll have a good day now, yahear? Namaste. Attic Annie

p.s. sorry for the bold print. I don’t know how to correct it when I transferred it from “word”.

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God in my thoughts this morning

Unity chapel 

Good morning! Church day again! Geez time is going faster. It seems the weeks are flying by. It’s like every other day I’m saying “time for church”! That’s OK. I find I look forward to church now, after being “unchurched” for more than twenty years. Maybe I just got tired of going it alone and wanted to find like-minded friends to walk  with me for a while along my spiritual path.

I’m in a class where we have wonderful discussions about a wide variety of books. Currently it’s an Echart Tolle book.

I find this book very interesting

I find this book very interesting

We’ve covered so many authors since I started going there four years ago and so many topics. When I started, the “group” had just begun “A History of God“.

The first book I read in my new class

The first book I read in my new class

Karen Armstrong has written over 1,000 pages starting with the pagans up to modern times. There is a 97 minute video on the internet. If you are interested in the history of God, it’s a good way to deepen understanding in this, to me, fascinating topic. She covers details I don’t ever remember learning in Sunday School.

There weren’t very many of us in that class. I think we aveeraged three per class. I felt I had completed a college level course by the time we finished, but I stuck it out. It was worth it, however. With our next book more people started to come back.                                                 

After our class, we gather in the Fellowship Hall to talk with others over coffee and then we go to the service where there is sure to be a positive message to encourage us throughout the week.

I like the way our service is upbeat. We are not drowned out by mighty pipe organs. We often sing songs where it is perfectly allowable to move to the beat. The choir and the minister don’t wear robes. There is no pulpit. No one is “Mightier than thou.” There are no ritual prayers.

Yes, we all know that in our daily lives we do things that are not “right” by social or church standards. However, we do not dwell in guilt about it. We recognize it and try not to repeat it. We say that “sin” is close to its original meaning of  an archery term of “missing the mark”. When we act in a way where we are missing the mark, we are separating ourselves from the love of God. One phrase I heard often throughout my life is  “I’m not worthy“. Scroll down this link and view how this poet views life. I no longer feel that way.

 In my own mind, it is an insult to God who created us in his/her own image to say we are not worthy of forgiveness. Aren’t I saying that I am less than deserving of the love You put into Your own creation? When I realized I AM worthy of God’s love and forgiveness and stopped feeling guilty 24/7, I started to heal. God LOVES me. S/He doesn’t condemn me. That’s a powerful understanding and I don’t think it is being egotistical. These are the understandings I have come to know in my present church.

After the service, it’s back to the Fellowship Hall again to talk with others and another cup of coffee or a visit to the bookstore.

Sometimes some of us go out to lunch afterwards. When I first started going there, a large group gathered every Sunday at different restaurants around town. Then numbers began to taper off but the smaller group continued. Then it wasn’t every Sunday. Now it is occasionally. I miss that every Sunday routine. It beats coming home by myself when I feel I want to socialize some. We all seem to be making other plans for our Sunday afternoons. That’s too bad.  I can’t complain, however, because I am not willing to be the co-ordinator and arrange with different restaurants accomodations for our group. The man who was doing that found it time consuming and moved on the other things.

One reason it is so difficult for us to get together on a regular basis is that our church kind of celebrates that getting us involved in activities is similiar to herding cats. Our church kind of attracts free thinkers who may or may not participate on any given occasion. Some of us are warm and cuddly. Others of us are more reserved. Then there are the group of us who used to be reserved but found so much love, affection, and acceptance that we’re getting cuddly too. I don’t ever remember anyone in the church of my youth hugging. The men would shake hands. The women would just stand there and nod acknowledgement. Now, it is a given to get at least ten hugs each Sunday morning.

I have been there long enough to realize people are cycling through. They come for a while and then disappear only to return again. There is a core group that seems pretty stable, but most of them are not the single ones. Cats are such individuals. We definitely view ourselves differently from sheep who tend to be of one mind and flock together into easily manageable groups.

My goodness. My church was not even the topic I was going to discuss today. I guess it’s just that I’m seeing my life change in such positive ways that I sometimes get overly enthusiastic in my desire to share. I know some people are really turned off by this topic. I apologize if my views have offended anyone. There are certain friends that are very fundamental in their beliefs with whom I do not share any of my thoughts.

Whatever your beliefs, I hope you have a restful Sunday. Take care, dear visitors. I’m really happy that you dropped in. It looks like I’ll have my 1,000 visitor some time today or soon. I need about 40 more. How exciting! Namaste. Gotta get to church! Attic Annie

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I learned to be helpless but no more

Hi...come sit down for a spell

Hi...come sit down for a spell

Hi. Welcome to my front porch. I’ve given up the attic for a while in favor of cool enough mornings sitting outside while the porch is in the shade. Did you ever think about the number of people who NEVER just sit outside to relax?

I’m venting today about my lack of ability to comprehend all things mechanical, technological, chemical, or  physical. Among some people I am considered intelligent, I guess based upon my writing ability, and the fact that I am a fairly decent speller. It always amazes me when that observation is made. When it comes to anything else in the world, I view myself as a completely helpless individual…or at least I used to think that way.

When I was growing up, there were always those around me who could do things better, faster, and easier than I could. My father often made me aware of that fact. When I wanted to learn to sew, I was told, “Wait until somebody can show you. ( I heard, “You’ll break the sewing machine.”) Of course in our household there never was a time when anyone sat down with me. When I wanted to have my first party, I was told, “Wait until your sister has time to help you.” (I heard, “You’re too dumb to entertain your friends socially by yourself.) When I wanted to learn how to cook, I heard, “Wait until somebody has time to teach you.” (I heard, “You’ll only ruin the food and make a mess.” )

I got a new red bicycle for my tenth birthday. About three years later I decided the paint wasn’t bright enough any more. I completely dismantled it by myself in the garage in order to paint the fenders properly. Why I thought that had to be done, I’m not sure. Anyway, I painted the bicycle parts bright red enamel. I can’t remember how I got my hands on the paint. Then, I was stuck. I did not have a clue as to how to put it back together.

Instead of asking either of one or two mechanically inclined uncles living within yards of me to help me re-assemble it, or trying to help me himself, my father loaded the parts into the car after three days and took it to a distant cousin for her husband to reassemble for their daughter. I just said, “I can’t put it back together. Do with it what you want.” End of story. End of bicycle. Of course I cared. I just didn’t know how to say it.

I found the older I got, the more helpless I became. Because my father hired a housekeeper/child minder when I was four, and because I was frequently ill with asthma, headaches, and allergies, I was never expected to do anything for myself. My aunt would bake but only when I wasn’t around.

When you don’t do anything for yourself long enough, you learn either you don’t have to because others are better and faster at it and don’t expect you to perform, or you are not able to help yourself in the first place. It’s called learned helplessness. I found three very interesting articles about this topic you might want to investigate if you feel the same way.

http://www.noogenesis.com/malama/discouragement/helplessness.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learned_helplessness 

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.marcossalazar.com/images/2008/09/29/depression.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.marcossalazar.com/2008/09/post-college–1.html&usg=__4XND2SFXpPKDTQ-nnCmNtGP89e0=&h=269&w=200&sz=48&hl=en&start=99&sig2=l6erPUmBmSZZvd0lE6SFMg&um=1&tbnid=r74EJ1MMQum7fM:&tbnh=113&tbnw=84&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dlearned%2Bhelplessness%26ndsp%3D20%26hl%3Den%26rls%3Dcom.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox%26rlz%3D1I7GCNV_en%26sa%3DN%26start%3D80%26um%3D1&ei=CM2KStmmGYe6tAOev-XUDQ

I apologize for all the long links. I’m still trying to learn how to hyperlink.

Learned helplessness can be a large part of depression

Learned helplessness can be a large part of depression

I now have realized this “learned helplessness” was my main reason for not making it through nursing school. I was like the dog in the article. I had been shocked too many times with no way to control the situation. I had no confidence in myself. There was no such thing as self-esteem on my horizon. I can identify with the person in the above picture. Although I would cover myself, I have been in this state many times in my past. My favorite fetal position.

I have come a long way in my thinking of my abilities since joining the church that I now attend. The church has five principles. Two of which apply to this blog. 

  1. We are co-creators with God, creating reality through thoughts held in mind.

Now I’ve had trouble accepting this principle. One of the criticisms of this principle by fundamentalists is that we DARE to put ourselves on the same level as GOD. How can we be so bold as to think so highly of ourselves? I can actually have some control over reality just by the way I think? I didn’t think so.

I found an article which really makes sense to me. This is an excerpt:

It is of considerable significance that, in the middle of this description in Psalms 104 of the working, creating God, there is a reference to human labor. Verse 23 reads, “Man goes forth to his work and to his labor until the evening ” (RSV). The Bible suggests that human labor must be seen as part of God’s ongoing creative activity. By our work, we become co-creators with God!

This is an essential part of what it means to be truly human.Whether we are a marketing person for a computer services company, a lab technician, a production manager for a biochemical firm, a homemaker, a weatherman, a school teacher, or a doctor, in our work we are co-creating with God. We are contributing to God’s continuing work of sustaining creation. This gives our work tremendous significance in God’s sight. 

http://www.urbana.org/whole-life-stewardship-reflections/the-significance-of-our-work

The second principle which I have discovered to be life changing is this:

      2.  Through thoughts, words and actions, we live in the truth we know.

In my book discussion group we have been studying two books of Eckhart Tolle. The first one was The Power of Now and the one we are reading now is the same one Oprah discussed  with him, A New Earth, Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose. They are not easy at first to understand but when it starts to sink in, what he says really has the capability of changing how I view myself in the world. All I have is right now, in the present. I can do nothing about the past. I no longer have to hold onto the beliefs which have previously shaped me into what I am today. I am a capable, loving, sharing person who has strong beliefs in what is right and not right for me. I can stand up for myself and do for myself. If I don’t succeed the first time, I do not have to call myself stupid. I just have to want to try again, if that is what I choose. That is MY truth. I am capable of doing many things I never used to believe of myself.

Oh, what brought about this topic? I have a three handset V Tech 5.8 GHz digital answering system. The first one I bought started acting crazy after several months so I took it back to the store and got a new replacement set. Now this one, a year later, is performing in the same way. I can’t make or receive calls because I get the message that another handset is on or I am out of range when I am within two feet. After checking and rechecking and switching and reswitching handsets and letting the darn things rest, at least the one on my desk is now functioning again. I am expecting some important phone calls and I think I can leave and the answering machine will work. As to the other two handsets, the message still says another handset is on or I’m out of range. The WILL NOT let me connect to the world.  I am not helpless in solving this problem. After talking with my neighbor, her relative experiences the same thing. The darn things won’t hang up properly.

What does this have to do with my blog? I can tell you. I can fix the problem. I can’t return them to Circuit City like I did the first time, but I can throw the suckers into the recycling bin at Goodwill down the street. I have confidence in myself that I can resolve this problem. I am learning not to be helpless…so help me GOD! Tomorrow IS another day, Rhett. I can survive!  Namaste` Attic Annie

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My father and me…can we say “DYSfunctional”?

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What I Wish I Could Have Had… A Father with his Daughter

Good morning. It’s getting hot down here early. Is your father still living? If so, what kind of relationship do you have? I’ve been thinking about my dad all day. Something was said in our book discussion Sunday that brought back my whole childhood relationship with my father.

When I get started on my dad and me I could write a book. Actually, I have the first three chapters done. I started 32 years ago. A part of me really tried to love my father but the feelings were never returned in a way that as a growing child I could understand.

Eckart Tolle in his book, A New Earth, says: “The longing for love that is in every child is the longing to be recognized, not on the level of form [our physical Human] but on the level of Being [our spiritual Consciousness, the formless]. If parents honor only the human dimension of the child but neglect Being, the child will sense that the relationship is unfulfilled, that something absolutely vital is missing, and there will be a buildup of pain in the child and sometimes unconscious resentment toward the parents. ‘Why don’t you recognize me?’ This is what the pain or resentment seems to be saying.”

My father made a promise to my mother before she died that he would keep our family together. That meant my sister and me. As an adult I learned there were several couples who wished to adopt me but father refused. Perhaps after all it was the best idea.

One couple was my aunt and uncle. She was several years older than her sister. Her only daughter was twelve when I was born. I reallly liked this aunt. She was a teacher. Every morning in first grade I would go to her room and she would comb and rebraid my hair and inspect me to make sure I looked nice. I would have loved to live with her. However, if that had been the situation, she died in the spring of my first grade year. She had a massive stroke at a PTA meeting. I would have lost two mothers within three years. As it was, no one bothered to say anything to me, thinking I was too young to understand.  She just disappeared. I went to school and there was a stranger in her room.

The other couple who expressed interest had a daughter my sister’s age. She was always friendly and I liked her. I loved her mother who was kind and gentle and caring. The father, however, was a drunk. The mother confided in me only a few years ago that they wanted to adopt me. She then told me that one time her husband had her on the floor and was choking her. The same thing happened to me. She, like me, told no one about that incident. Had I lived with her, I would have been in a very dysfunctional family all those years.

We had our own dysfunction. Each individual lived in our home alone. The only thing we shared were the walls. My father, I found out many years after he died, had such a miserable love life that he chose to close himself off in depression for almost twenty years. I often felt as if he died spiritually the day my mother died. It took that long for his body to know he was among the walking dead. Both my mother and father were born in July. Both of them died in April. April was always a month of tension in our home.

Father was a three time loser when it came to matters of the heart. The girl he loved in high school ran off and eloped with his best friend. Twelve years later, he got engaged to a very popular and well-loved young woman. Just a couple of months before he was to be married, she died of pneumonia. Four years later towards the end of the depression he met my mother and was married twelve years before she died of cancer. And there I was, a child needing his love, and he was an empty shell.

I can remember crawling up into my father’s lap. I would “read” the newspaper with him. Then, one day, as I tried to climb, he blocked my way and wouldn’t let me into his lap. He said sharply, “You’re too big.” That was it. He didn’t invite me to sit beside him. He just went back to reading his paper. That’s the last time we had any physical contact with each other. I was either six or seven.

He would come home and I would be playing on the floor of the living room. I’d say, “Look, Daddy!” wanting him to say, “That’s good” or something like that, and he would mumble , “Yeh” and keep on walking. I knew as soon as he got home it was time to put my toys back in the closet so I wouldn’t be in his way.

We would go to family gatherings but he would always be among the men and I would just wander around after dinner. Then we would come back home again. I would be in school plays but he always had meetings to attend. One open house our childsitter/housekeeper was paid extra to go to the school with me because I insisted on going. I remember the embarrassment of being with her. Everyone else was excitedly showing their parents all their good work. I can remember at one point leaning against the chalkboard and feeling this heavy sigh escape. I felt as lonely as I possibly could. When I entered sixth grade, we finally stopped sharing a bedroom. My sister, who had her own room all this time, was made to move in with me so father could have a room to himself. I can remember he always slept in the other twin bed with his back to me. I went to sleep before he came to bed, he quietly left the room in the morning before I woke up. That was our life for eight years. That was our unwritten pact of mutual tolerance.

In seventh grade I was interested in make up like the other girls in my class. I came downstairs and put on lipstick using the mirror by the door. I had bought the lipstick by myself, no one helped me make a better decision. The lipstick was the brightest red you could imagine. I turned around. Dad had been sitting in his chair watching me. All he said was, “You look like a two-bit”. I had no idea what that was but from the derision in his voice I knew it wasn’t a compliment and my cheeks burned.

It’s another busy day making decisions on what I want to take with me to my new house. Yesterday the photographer was here and by now the virtual tour is on the internet. What an amazing world. Come back tomorrow and I’ll tell you more.  In the meantime, Go with God. Attic Annie

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