Thursday, April 26, 2007

Here There Be Dragons

I've still got a long way to go.

I've absorbed my mother's world. As a little girl, all I knew of the world was what my parents told me, showed me. All I knew was that there was something Out There so terrible that it even scared my Mommy. And over those formative years, I never saw any evidence to the contrary.

My parents were socially isolated - there was Work, and there was Home. Mom and Dad never had dinner parties with the neighbors, Mom never went out for lunch with "the girls", Dad never went to a bar with "the boys". My sister was nearly 11 years older than me - involved in her own life, very separate from my own.

Any other family we had lived nearly a thousand miles away. There were no "play dates" with cousins or neighbors. There were no neighbors even close to my age.

Is it so odd that I would take on my mother's view of the world?

Life in Mom's world had so many boundaries. Beyond the implication that if you wore That Skirt, you wouldn't look ladylike, you wouldn't look like my daughter, you wouldn't be worthy of my love, there was an even deeper, even darker implication. Girls who wore That, who looked like That, girls who didn't have her love and protection, were in Grave Danger.

Danger from what, I never knew. I just knew that my mommy thought that there was a very scary world outside our front door, and we had to be on constant guard against its evil. And so it must be so.

Here, there be dragons.

I am a bundle of fear, of anxiety. I live my entire life in my fortress, high on the hill. If I go Out There - without the protection of my mother and the safety of her rules - Evil might catch me.

Out There, there be dragons.

12 Comments:

Anonymous Bryan said...

And yet, somehow you've found the courage to come out here and play with imaginary people.

There may be dragons... but there are also fellow travellers, and even, perhaps, a few knights along the road.

12:33 PM, April 26, 2007  
Anonymous Lou said...

Cary,
OUT THERE, there be CBs. Never fear, we'll protect you, even if we are imaginary we will be with you.

Let me share a story with you about some friends of mine. They decided to move from California to Tennessee and because of time constraints had to travel during those ice storms we had last winter. They had themselves, three horses, and eight dogs (really). In New Mexico, the clutch blew out in their truck 5 miles outside a small town. The guy who owned the car repair place drove out, hauled the truck - then the horse trailer back into town. Then, when it became obvious that they would have to stay overnight, the same guy hauled their horses and dogs out to his ranch and took care of them while my friends stayed at a motel in town. The truck was fixed the next day and they went on their way. The repair guy never charged them for towing the truck and the horse trailer, nor did he charge them for taking care of the horses and the dogs.

I share this story with you to let you know that the world out there, for the most part, is a caring and friendly place. There may be dragons out there, but they are friendly dragons. You can go for a ride on their backs.

Bryan, you are a sweetheart!

2:34 PM, April 26, 2007  
Blogger Mary said...

It also helps that you have two fiercely loving companions with you. I travel down the I-5 corridor to SF frequently, single woman traveling alone in a ten-year-old car. Except that I have my loyal German Shepherd with me. And not only is it nice to have the company, I think she's a talisman to ward off evil influences.
Plus, if you ever have to travel down to California or similar distances, it is really good to know that there are CBs you could call on for help. Lou, I still haven't forgotten your kindness when I was traveling through that awful snow last winter.
Not only dogs, but CBs with shovels. You're covered, Cary. Dragons better look out.

wvdhujd - dragonspeak, loosely translates as "watch out for that shovel!"

10:31 PM, April 26, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah cary, but you also know how to pick up a sword.

and besides dragons, there's centaurs and elves and gnomes and those weird flower things and...

but you got people out here. (imaginary, sure, but people). and you're finding your own view of the world, so right on.

-OH

9:06 PM, April 27, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Um, Cary? Your insights are helping me deal with something I've got to deal with. Thanks.

GP

4:04 PM, April 28, 2007  
Blogger McB said...

I've read my share of adventure stories, and this is how it goes ...

Our plucky heroine has a quest. And along the way she meets many people who give her help and guidance, some of whom go along with her on the journey. So that when the time comes to confront those dragons, she is not alone. And she discovers that she is stronger and braver and more worthy than she knew.

There be dragons out there; but there is also community. Read "The Hbbit." Or, heck, read "Don't Look Down."

12:24 PM, April 30, 2007  
Blogger Sheryl said...

I've given all the children in my life a book called There's no such thing as a dragon by Jack Kent. The more people insist there's no such thing as a dragon, the larger it grows until it becomes so huge the whole town is forced to recognize its existence. Once that happened, it shrunk back down to a size that made it a decent pet for the small boy. It never went away, but they could all live with it. I hope your dragons shrink soon (hey I wonder if that's why psychiatrists are called shrinks)

1:37 PM, April 30, 2007  
Anonymous Lou said...

Hey I wonder if that's why psychiatrists are called shrinks? Good one Sheryl!!

Just remember, in Nora Robert's vampire trilogy, the people got to ride the dragons and vanquish the enemy - sounds like fun!!

4:06 PM, April 30, 2007  
Blogger Mary said...

Quote du jour:

Perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave.
- Rainer Maria Rilke

6:32 PM, April 30, 2007  
Anonymous wapakGram said...

CAry- Isnt Mother's DAy hard? All those warm and fuzzy - "you light up my life cards?" Not in my house.

I was the child she never could be, popular, cheerleader, cute, so she made sure life at home wasn't much fun. My life was disorganized and messy. My sister's was not. She liked Math, I hated it. My mom loved math, I loved to write.

I've never thought of emotional abuse. I was hospitalized for an ulcer in second grade....hmmmm nervous little thing I was.

I guess she should be happy now, as I am overweight , depressive and wrestling with demons.
And the sister she adores....she lives in NC. And never comes home. I am the one closeby to take care of her, when Dad has to go away.

Cary, my imaginary very real friend...if the dragons scare you, reach out your hand and I will grab it and we will walk away together. And find some of those rocking chairs from Indiana and just rock our days away.

7:03 PM, April 30, 2007  
Blogger Margaret said...

Cary,

I just found your blog and wanted to pass this message along to you:

All you can do is your best.

If you've given it (whatever "it" is) your best then there's no shame, no disrespect, no regrets.

And know that some days your best will be different than other days.

Hang in there. You have some mighty powerful vibes being sent your way, some are of the get-well variety, some are of the stay-well variety, and others are of the relax, we have shovels variety.

Gal, CB love is like no other!

7:35 PM, April 30, 2007  
Blogger Cary said...

You said it Margaret!

Thanks guys.

10:34 PM, April 30, 2007  

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