Wednesday, July 31, 2013

What's Up? : Thoughts From the Patio

Note:  This post is of my personal (mostly disconnected) reflection of a current scandal in unschooling circles.  If you don't know what the hell I'm talking about, then carry on and skip it.  Mostly, it's about imperfect Me.
And in this instance, I love and am smiling over the word Scandal.
  Just for some levity.

There's been talk, y'all.
Lots and lots of talk.

Being the Me that I am, my emotions and reactions and thoughts have been all over the place.  If I were more inclined to formally study the human psyche, I'm sure I'd have at least somewhat impressive names for my (seems to me) varied processes.
But I'm just me.
If you haven't been around long enough to witness these sorts of tangents of welcome.

I'm not a gossipy sort of girl.  
There are a number of reasons for that (and probably more than I suppose upon this quick examination), among them being I'm not near flashy, popular, or dashing enough to belong to any fashionable cliques that would seek my company, I have never attended an unschooling conference (and don't see one on the immediate horizon), I don't have loads of shiny bosom friends (only a few that I think are very shiny, but they've never been on tv), I don't hang out on email discussion lists, and lastly -and certainly most importantly- because more often than not, I relate to the gossipee--too often things that are pointed to with a damning finger I wince over, and I am reminded of the saying "There, but for the grace of God, go I."
I don't think it's cool to judge or smirk at someone.  I am much, much too aware (and blaming) of my own millions of mistakes.  (I do not say 'millions of mistakes' to excuse them and license myself to add to them, I only say it because they are things that weigh heavily upon me, and that I strive daily -sometimes hourly- to change.)

Darcel writes something about a week ago, about imperfect parenting.  I have said things a couple of times on these sorts of posts, things like "it's not that imperfect moments don't happen, it's that I don't give sucky moments power over me--they're only as important as I choose to make them."  Which is true.  I'm not interested in focusing my mind upon my child's or my grumbliness, and letting our day be ruined.  Perhaps I'm a perfectionist (idealist) that refuses to acknowledge defeat, and instead of embracing that there is no such thing as Perfect, I have just accommodatingly encompassed those off-moments as part of the Perfect package.  That sounds like me.  [Sheepishly Smiles and Rolls eyes at Herself]

I think about the imperfect parenting thing for a few days, and then here's Jean, dropping a cryptic remark on facebook, and I think, "Huh.  Something has happened."
I know--I'm so brilliant and quick!  But I told you I'm not very 'up' on this sort of stuff.  'Sides that, I had been playing with my babies and husband for several days.

So anyway, Jean drops this remark (nothing snide, of course, just something like "I love my friends and I'm not famous and go hug your babies"), I raise my eyebrow, but I'm not curious enough to go investigating.

And then into my facebook page comes all this Stuff.  "This Person is Being Called On the Carpet" stuff.  Uh oh.  And, as I (not knowing the circumstances, and having heard of this person, but knowing practically nothing about her, being the recluse that I am) see it, "This Person is a Fraud."  And people were (are) gathering evidence.

Now, being me, of course I think "There, but for the grace of God...."
And I didden like it.
It made me uneasy.  It made me frightened.  It made me try to recall words or ideas that I had on parenting (radical unschooling) six or seven years ago that I have written in my blogs (they're all still here, folks, years later) that might have evolved or that I no longer view as true.  Is this what they are talking about?  They are getting ready to hang someone that has made mistakes?  Or has evolved in her thinking???

So I read.  The first bit was for me what I can only liken to the proverbial train wreck.  And I still could see myself as the one being persecuted - and in the beginning, I did see it as that (persecution).

Witnessing this persecution brought to the forefront my own heartache, shame, and disappointment that I live with very intimately--that I believe in this grand, radiantly beautiful Truth, and almost daily I fall short of that loftiness that I truly know to be a part of me.  I am truly That, so why am I being -doing- this?
Hurtful.  And to have those wounds ravagely poked, picked, prodded by strangers?  People that are eager to say "Not good enough.  Never good enough."?  And then publicized?  My God.
I may seem like a dramatic ninny, but I have shed more than one tear, folks.

I have this joke about myself, that I tend to go through things through the back door:
Most people, when they quit smoking, they make a decision, and they toss out their cigarettes.
I never made the decision to quit smoking.  I just said to my friends (who were raising one eyebrow in disbelief and asking if I was quitting) "I'm just seeing how long I can go."  I didn't toss mine out.  Camel Lights, by the way.  Reds are way too stinky. [wrinkles nose]  I kept a brand new pack in the freezer... open, one foil taken off, 'lucky' flipped in the upper right hand corner.... ready and fresh at a moment's notice.  For I think a year.  Because I knew it had to be my choice.  If I had felt in the least little bit denied, it wasn't going to fly.  I had to have utter freedom in this decision.

One of my life lessons on this earth is to deeply understand We Are All One.  It came to my attention (now maybe this is just the first step in my Knowing, I cannot now say) that while fighting and frighting to understand this universal truth these several years, that the best way for me to come to a Great Understanding is 'we are all the same'.  See?  Through the back door.
You may scoff.  You may roll your eyes at my hooey, and you may scorn and smirk.  But [smile] this is my Truth, friends, and not yours.
This something of mine has lead me to many unexpected places.  I instinctively support the underdog.  I have loads and loads of empathy (once I am aware there is a problem, sometimes I'm a little dense).   I long to right the wrongs of the world, I believe in almost everything -aside from religion and devils- if something in my immediate environment goes wrong, I believe I contributed to it, and it is my longing to fix it, and I believe that Sainthood is the name of the game.  (Yes, I know.  It's a problem, but let's deal with one biggie at a time.)
So... empathy.  I have loads of empathy.

So on behalf of the downtrodden, I became angry.  How can you treat another human being that way?   How could you be so hurtful?  Have you never made a mistake?  Felt shame?  Experienced remorse?  Known that black pit in your heart and stomach region that eats at your insides for days, seeming to spread sickness and angst?
I was appalled.
Because I felt how it would feel, if that person were me; and it was heavy.

And then I kept reading.  And reading... and reading.

And the tides, they started turning, as they say.

I read the stories of  the others involved.
And I cried, again.
(I realize that I take a risk here, at sounding unstable, dramatic, and ridiculous.  Whatever.  I suppose that at times I am unstable, dramatic, and ridiculous.)

Here's the thing:  I'm not one of those people that needs another's heartache or story to prompt them to talk or react.  I hardly ever respond to whatever is going around in the circles, and I don't rake other people's newly proselytized findings or ramblings over the coals.  Mostly because it's not mine; sometimes because I'm not willing to spend the time or energy.
Neither am I one to take another's heartache, and make it my own for the sake of being current or hip.  Ask my children--I'm very confident with my own Cool-ness.  [smile]

But nor am I one to ignore pangs of guilt, or urgings of 'dig deeper'...dig deeper--what does this really mean to you?  What is this fascination, and how can you find and express your Truth in this particular Reflection? 
Because, as I see it, these sorts of goings on are often, to me, a personal Reflection.  And my way of working through these things is writing.

So, here I am: Now speculating on what is different between this Me, and that other soul.
There is, after all, an extraordinary amount of Same.
Ideals.  Imperfections.  Spiritual beliefs.  Longing for peace and happiness.  Wanting a better world.  Wanting for my children to feel adored every second of their lives.  Believing that loving children well enough will save humanity.  Believing that childhood should be sparkly and shiny--and rambunctious and irreverent and rowdy and filled with laughter and inquisitive and boisterous and explorative and filled with wonder.  Even if I do long for just a few moments of peace and quiet.

So is that me, over there?  I would say in part that it is, except that there are to me very distinct and obvious differences.  Some are bold and noisy: fame, fortune, and needing to control... others are quieter and more dangerous: disregard, greed, contempt...

And so.
I arrive at the conclusion that my path is indeed different.
Some people's truths are for the sake of impressing the outside -the big outside-  and mine are definitely not.  My soul searches and seekings are absolutely for my own spiritual evolution... a steady move toward love, and a sturdier and sturdier loving support for my babies, husband, and hopefully at least somewhat for all those that I cherish.

I write here (publicly, I mean) because I have something to say -or something swirling- and speaking heart-to-heart or soul-to-soul is something that I simply am--it's often how I grow and connect, find the Still, and do better.
I write not so I can stand at the trailhead and designate the proper path for every individual that comes by, but rather because I have a voice.  My own voice.  I am capable of knowing and doing my own seeking, and I am also capable of doing the Finding.
We all are.
The beauty of sharing writings like this is that we -or maybe just I- get approval from that loving place within us that smiles at us, and nods sweetly, and urges us forward, confident we're on the right path to the Knowing.
Pretty good, huh?
Pretty good to go through the wringer, and come out alive and feeling good...knowing that you're getting better every day... knowing -knowing- that you are capable and smart, loving and kind, beautiful and beautiful.

Go out there and live your best, Beauties.
Go sing your song, or shout it from the mountaintop, or whisper it on the wind.
It's yours,
it is You,
and it is Enough.


  1. I love you and your empathy. There would be such a void in the world without it. I am, as you were, in the dark of this matter about which you speak, blessedly so. These things tend to get into my head and heart as well. Your words are so powerful and true and from the heart. It can be scary to be on the receiving end of the kind of persecution you described and I hope that the person you were talking about is able to read this and find strength in what you wrote. <3

  2. I don't think the person I was referring to cares enough about it to move past it.
    It seems that what's happening will be a catapult to more fame--which is apparently all she requires for fulfillment.
    I had assumed there was suffering involved when I first started following the story, but I do not believe that's the case.
    Sorry--I don't mean to be vague or mysterious...
    All this (speculation) is more of a "I had supposed it was this...", "but it was really this..." sort of thing.
    In the meantime, others faith and belief in their own power has been shaken or denied, and I wanted to just say 'no' to that.

  3. I love you so.

    I have more to say... which I keep typing and deleting. It all boils down to this...

    You are a blessing to know and love. Thank you for your words, gentleness, and reality. And for sharing it with us all.

  4. Geez, honey, make me cry.
    I love you, too. :)

  5. And you, too, Evie!!
    I meant to say so earlier. xxoo

  6. Yes, I think I found the situation you were referring to and now, after re-reading your post, realize that I misunderstood some of it. My reading comprehension skills aren't the best. lol ;) I don't envy anyone who is involved in this mess but still appreciate greatly you taking the time to both address it and show us your truth.

  7. Right. 'Couldn't have anything to do with my oh-so-winding, meandering thoughts. lol

  8. I love it! Thanks for being you. ♥

  9. I don't do FB, so I am not privy to all of what you are talking about but I am aware enough about FB to know that it is an easy way for people to vent guilt-free. Is why I don't have it. I can only say that your spirit and conviction to all that is beautiful is what first attracted me to this blog and I have taken much away from it and used it in my own way. I applaud your spirit and your conviction for what you believe in, even though I don't always share the same beliefs. Thank you for being you.

  10. Oh, Golly Gee! I don't follow any of the same circles you do, but it only took me about 3 seconds to come up with the name of the lady to which you are talking about. (CRAzY stories about her are available in many places online!) I feel for her children. They will live under a microscope from now on. What you do here on your blog is NOT the same thing. Yes, we do see moments of your children's day, but I'm guessing that most of their "magic" happens privately, as it should. After all, it's their story, just as much as it's yours. It's obvious that you aren't seeking fame. And, you do inspire! You are the reason so many unschoolers that I know decided to go down this beautiful road!

  11. This whole situation has me evaluating why I continue to share parts of our life on my blog. I think the majority of us write to keep a journal of this unschooling lifestyle. I love seeing all the amazing sparkly stuff, and I love knowing there's a mom who has the same worries and concerns that I do sometimes.

    It's sad that this person has thrown her children under the bus all for 15 minutes of fame. It certainly isn't the picture of unschooling that I want people to have.

  12. Oh, I knew nothing of this mess when I posted about being imperfect. That was truly coincidence!

  13. Oh, I believe you, Darcel. It just got the ball rolling, as it were, about thoughts on being less than perfect, and if I was trying to portray something that wasn't true, or wasn't me.


Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!