As my third year blog-o-versary lands on today, it’s a perfect time to re-post my very first one! Not sure anyone reading this will have been there since the beginning, so here’s the Coles notes version.
1. Still love my metaphors and analogies.
2. Still not as funny as I think I am. Just ask my children.
3. Still too much a private person. There’s probably been more soul-bearing that I anticipated, but not as much as I yearn to.
4. Still mostly written sans editing. And at times long-winded. (Is meandering verbosity a craft move??)
5. Still mostly for me. Still the best reflective practice I can do. But writers need audiences, and I’m always glad to know when my words have reached someone’s heart or mind. If you are reading this, thank you.
One more thing: when I decided to jump right in three years ago (full-send it, as the kids say) I decided to call my blog Rocks and Willows. I grew up in a small Finnish collection of farms called Rock Point, and my maiden name was Pajunen, which translates to little willow. Both words have shaped me.
But it also works as rock, sand, willows.
There is a Finnish construct called sisu. It’s a quiet determination (stubbornness?) and strength to keep going, despite adversity. The rock inside us.
Sometimes the self-doubts and imposters in our head make us feel like we are on shifting sand, trying to find our footing. Let the sand sift its way through to settle as a base: the journey may have struggle, but it will make us stronger.
There are few trees more pliable than a willow, bending but rarely breaking. It reminds us to be flexible - to lean in when needed but be malleable to others as well. Here in Saskatchewan, wild willows never grow in isolation, their root systems expansive and strong. That’s something for us to remember too: together, we are stronger.
Thanks for being part of the journey with me.
First one...Ensimmäinen. 3/7/2018
So technically, this isn't the first entry. It's not even the second, as I've been writing to myself in Word for a little bit. And although I'm an amazing audience, I decided to take a leap and publish some of my thoughts online. It might be an audience of one, plus two more. I have dedicated friends lol.
I'm a pretty private person, so there won't be a lot of soul-bearing here, but I think a lot. And I like to write. Actually, I'd forgotten how much I liked to write until very recently. I signed up for an Aspiring Leadership group through our Prairie Spirit School Division, and one of the things they had us do at our first meeting was to create an "I Am From" poem. To say it was cathartic doesn't do it justice. It was like a small stone starting an avalanche for me. (This site is called Rocks and Willows....there's going to be a lot of metaphors haha.) The second reason I started writing might have been before that even. I'll have to get the calendar out to check! But it's a story for another entry.
So I thought I'd share my "I Am From" poem with you, sans edits. If you think this sucks and you're never coming back to read anything I've written again, then blame the Superintendent running the session that day as he put us on a timer! Just kidding. There may be sarcasm at some points in this blog. If you think that sucks and you're never coming back to read anything I've written, then I'm okay with that too. This is for me. You can come along for the journey if you want to.
I am from Rock Point, right on the edge
many nights and mornings at the kitchen window
scanning miles and patterns of fields beyond the Coteau Hills.
I am from stoic Finlanders and Irish tempers
and a landed-in-Dunblane-where-the-tracks-ended-with-25cents-in-his-pocket
I am from childhood coffee time and the lilting
of words not understood
Of kahvia and kiitos and hauska syntymäpäivää!
I am from a two seater airplane, its pilot
with a grade 8 education, a product of time and circumstances
but of trust and exhilaration and
I am from farming and freedoms
Of middle child mixups and a family
of siblings with alliterations as names.
I am my mom, and that makes me proud. And happy.
I am from Miss Carney and Kindergarten
and dreams that came to fruition.
I am from detours through music, and full circle again.
I am partnered with contrast.
Of half-breed written on a birth certificate, residential schools,
abuse and abandonment.
But of resilience and hope and our
beautiful brown-eyed family which
makes his story forever also mine.
I am from peace
and good fortune.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy...okay website template!