Mississippi Moments

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Home at last! And I forgot to wish Matt a Happy B-Day yesterday!! You 6's can change the world if you want to!!:)
So glad to be here with this LIttle Man, in this LIttle House, with my overgrown Little Garden. Thank you to the Mowing Elves.
And to the Mail Elves. And to the Caretakers of the Little Sh-who is going through a defiance stage. His leash is my new best friend. And it is NOT hot here. It is pleasant and delightful and all the right colors and smells. And oh my Gawd, coffee proper!!E-gawwds! And people I can understand. And folks who call me Erin, not Mih-Ern.Not that this is a bad thing, it's just more right....Once again, I have fallen in love with every member of book group for who they are...and their amazing choices, impressions, ideas, and inclinations where books are concerned. Diva will love this--the Book Group has decided to complete the Golden Compass trilogy in the next few months. I would dearly love to know what she thinks about the books. I will find my copy today and read it this week and take Subtle Knife with me to Scotland. I am almost finished with the last of my "Delta" books for this year-May the Circle Be Unbroken. It is just more about the history and the cultural realities that make up the fabric of life around Jonestown. It also bums me out because mostly white is still white and black is still black and there is very little melanging..and I was called a "damn white woman" for this first time this year within my hearing. To damn someone down there is a powerful epithet and not in the positive sense. Considering who it was, I was only nonplussed for a bit...think about how much more the folks down there have had to put up with in terms of name-calling, lack of respect or dignity from the white culture as a rule.The thing is---my reading this stuff helps me to understand why things are the way they are but they don't give me insight into how to make things better or different. My gut (and also a really neat quote Sr. T has embroidered in her living room which says basically when you get to a new place community, or culture, you better take your shoes off because it is holy ground with holy people and God has already been there before you...and still is.) tells me that this only happens when the folks there want to make the changes, individually or as a community, and then the "tools" (education, training, nutrition and exercise facilities, etc.) have to be accessible with others around who can show them how to choose the right tools for them in what combinations. What I am really thinking about here is that it is clear to me that Jonestown is not "THE WORK" I contracted to do here on this plane in this life. These experiences there are part of "The WORK" and I am getting closer to finding it. OLF is not "The WORK" either but it has definitely given me more tools, experiences, access to people, places and things that will contribute to "The WORK". Being a parent is a big chunk of THE WORK, if not THE WORK... and I know that this doc program will show me what the other part of it is. More later. And that is what"THE WORK" of the SNJMs has done. Some of the specific positive changes in just one year there are:
1. The Fitness and Health Club has a new manager and is so full of donated equipment that the Treasure Spot (which was a repository of items and clothes for families in need is no longer in the space).
2. All of the churches except one have signed up their congregations for memberships.
3. Many men in town are using the facilities on a regular basis. More women are coming in even just to "have a look-see" and watch others working out. There is a new manager who is great at encouraging folks and letting them try things on their own terms.
4. The kids are aware that they are one of the three fattest counties in the entire country and they are not happy about that. They think the peoples who did the counting should come and count again.
5. They are offering healthy cooking classes to the Girls to Women.
6. The community was up in arms about the bad showing that foxmemphis.com did on Jonestown and has banded together and written a letter and given an invitation to the foxmemphis.com to come back and see the good in Jonestown.
7. The classes for the older kids are full at Sister Kay's.
8. The perspective from the SNJMs in town is that this year's collection of HNA volunteers from both coasts was one of the BEST EVER. Last year's group came down again teh week before I even got to J-town.
9. The town park has a new play structure-bought and paid for, shipped, assembled by the hardworking youth of Assumption/St. Brigid's in Seattle.
10. The Community Resource spot has running water and bathrooms now. And I got a tour this year. It is across the street. I wish I had taken pictures. I will paint a picture with words sometime.
11. The children are loved there. Really loved.
12. They are creating a standards-based two-year old and toddler curriculum and program for the coming year at the JLC. And the staff is excited and they know how to do it now.
13. And I came home again knowing that simpler is better. That hard work gives you life and doesn't take it. That I have this amazing life. That I love my choices and those I don't, I can alter. That my body is strong. My heart, too. My prospects-wahoo. It is sweet. I love my families. I love my friends. I love it ALL.
I look forward to working in the garden, going swimming, walking at Shilshole, sipping lattes, working out, getting caught up on the tutorials for the doctoral program and reading. I need to find a skirt for Ecosse.
...and I found a TV show in MS called "What Not to Weat"...oh my heavens, the three episodes I watched--all the women were wearing stuff that I normally wear and when the fashion-nazi-hosts-things were done with them, they actually looked put together, not skanky, and kind of normal and not in a Memphis mall kind of way...not that I have ever been to a Memphis mall but the airport and the zoo give you a little hint as to what that would be like (wish I had a Mr. Yuck icon here)...I also can't wait to take the entry to amazing tech class at HNA this August. I have TONS to learn about how to use this mac. I am going to call Turi at an almost obscene hour this a.m. and see if she wants to go walking.....


  • At 9:10 AM, Blogger The Freewaydiva said…

    It WAS an ungodly hour, too. Beyotch. ;) But it was a good walk. And thanks for the coffee!

    I just finished the entire Dark Materials trilogy, like, a week ago. I'm a little "meh" about the end of the third book - I don't like being flogged with a moral lesson, no matter how much I agree with it. But I like the series, and can't wait for the movie of The Golden Compass to come out. Yay movie technology!


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