The pause in Regina’s story continues this week, for which I am sorry. Due mainly to me not feeling well, it’s hard to put into words the thoughts which I’d like to. Still, I am rather stubborn, as is my Queen of the Realm self, and so, eventually, we will …
Find A Way
Perhaps the starting point is my grandmother.
I never knew her, though the stories of her wisdom whisper tales from the past. There are small scraps of paper upon which her ever-so precise writing can be found, the words written there speaking of her times, her place in what is now our history.
There are trials and tribulations noted there, clearly expressing her opinion, the reasons for doing or not doing something. Her stubbornness, certainly a family trait by far, can be seen in her diagramming, planning and, to some, plotting.
What seems to be forgotten in the passage of time is that she was searching for a way, a means to a goal that couldn’t be expressed openly. There was a vision of something better she wanted to be, if not for herself, then, in time, for the family who would follow in her footsteps.
Which brings me to my mother. I’m not sure of what they’d spoken of in the past, what thoughts they’d shared. One thing was clear: they were both stubborn, set towards their goals and the future they wanted. I look, from time to time, at her journals. Bound in red leather, because of course they would be. Precise blue lines marking where words should be placed and be regimented thereon. She preferred cursive; printing didn’t really hold onto the emotions she wished the words to convey. I can tell when she was angry: the words crushed together, bumping into each other, letters missing bits in the rush to get the words on paper. It’s also clear when she’s being pensive, considering: the words draw out, the letters more spaced, considered, seeking time to allow her thoughts to come before being set to paper.
Regardless of the placement of the ink, she was trying to figure things out. The Realm wasn’t quite what she wanted, but she’d made the start. I can trace a finger over the words she wrote when the path had been set. It’s kind of a stutter in her writing, a putting away of a thought and taking up another, until they were finally settled, the path she’d walked being set forward.
So where does that leave me? My own handwriting is a mess, not having the perfection or the elegance it might have been given from the past. Being left-handed makes such things somewhat more difficult. My penmanship is awful, the writing falls short of being legible, and printing isn’t that much better.* My mind races forward three or four steps ahead of my hand trying to keep up, thoughts placed on the page being somewhat muddled much of the time.
My typewriter was a blessing for those that had to read my words. I still recall the crashing of the arms, my fingers moving faster than the mechanism could keep up with, having to stop and pry them apart. Now, with keyboard, the words appear on the screen, but the thoughts don’t always make it to the screen as they might otherwise do. But in time they do, for they matter, and my heart and soul have things to say, after all.
There are stacks of notebooks within which reside my thoughts, hopes, and wishes. Turning the pages, I can see my past self wondering, considering, asking questions that I look back on and smile. Not everything has come as I thought it would, many dreams having come to be in ways that are so much better than the past could have hoped to be.
Which brings me to my daughters. What will their words say, how will they be recorded, I wonder. Is paper and pen too archaic for them? Will their thoughts be held in some technology unimagined and still to be? How will they express themselves so they might be able to look back and see where things came from and why they are? Will it all be remembered somehow? These questions were, perhaps, pondered in the time before and will be once more.
They do remind me however, that other things are more important. The notes left pinned to the fridge by magnet, the lazy cursive having i’s dotted with hearts written by one hand, the slightly more precise printing by another hand having its own i’s dotted with hearts once more.
The words make me smile, a reminder of the love felt from words written so long ago, but with no less passion. Simple words to be cherished, gathered together, and held. Grandmother would have adored them both. Mom would have spoiled the two of them silly. I remember the words written in their handwriting, the same in my own.
In any medium, love will find a way.
*Her Majesty’s editor, while acknowledging the special gift of deciphering her handwriting, notes that all the characteristics she attributes to prior generations are present in her penmanship, and that all that feeling finds its way through to the astute reader. The editor also quotes a wise philosopher who said that Goddess could only create so many perfect beings; everyone else is right-handed.