The Stable Bow

Beautiful girl with rose petalsJuly is almost over and, with it, another round of Camp NaNoWriMo. Don’t ask me why I signed up to do it a second time, but I did, and I’ve just hit my word count goal – yay!

Over two months of writing – April and July Camp – I’ve ended up with 50,000 words and the bones of a vampire novel, Silver and Black. It’s taken some interesting turns, and I think it might turn out to be a not so bad story. But now I need to let it rest for a few weeks, while I focus on other things. (sorry Sacha!)

For it is school holidays, and I have a gorgeous girl at home with me. She’s still young enough that she wants to hang out with me, but I’m under no illusion that these days of cosy companionship are numbered, so I’ll take them while I can get them. She’s already starting to spread her wings and I’m having to step back and let her fly, remembering the words of Kahlil Gibran:

‘You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth… Let your bending in the Archer’s hand be for gladness; for even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.’

I don’t doubt that we will always be close, but it is just that the level of closeness will change. All too soon she will want her own time, her own friends, her own way of doing things, and I just have to hope I’ve given her enough grounding that she can make sensible, capable decisions for herself.  I guess that’s what most parents would want.

When they are small and into everything, and you feel as though you will never ever get another moment to yourself, you look ahead to a time when they can do things for themselves, recalling vaguely how it felt to sit and read, or take a long shower uninterrupted, or go out whenever you feel like it. Yet now, as she approaches that independence, I find myself looking back to precious hours full of games and whispered confidences and small chubby hands, and I count my blessings that I was able to experience them with her.

I can have no more children – that’s just how it is for me. But I’ve been lucky to have one; many who want to are denied even that. So for now, I’m going to make the most of it.

And I remain the stable bow while she is the arrow that flies.

 

 

Three Days Three Quote Challenge – Day Three

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And so I come to the final day of my Three Quote Challenge (courtesy of Meredith at Mezzalilly’s Teen Book Reviews – thanks, Meredith!).

For my final quote I’m going back to Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, and this quote speaks of friendship:

‘When you part from your friend you grieve not; For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain.’

The first time I saw this quote was when it was presented to me as a piece of embroidery, done by a parent of one of my young martial arts students. I had been at the school for six years, achieving my black belt and becoming an instructor, so when I had to leave to move cross country, it was a difficult choice to make. The choice of this quote was quite profound, and I treasured the gift both for its thoughtful nature and the lesson it taught.

For many years my things were in storage and I moved yet again, to Australia. When I finally saved up enough to ship my items across I found the piece of embroidery, along with other memorabilia and cards from my time at the club. I cried quite a lot that day, as I sorted through items I hadn’t seen for years. But they were tears of joy as much as anything else, as I reclaimed a part of myself I hadn’t realised had been forgotten.

That concludes my Three Days, Three Quotes Challenge. As before, I won’t be nominating anyone specific to take it on – however, if you’d like to participate, please do.

Three Quote Challenge, Day 1

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The lovely Eilis Niamh has nominated me for the three quote challenge, the rules of which are as follows:

First, you thank the person who’s nominated you.
Then, you post a quote you love.
Finally, on each of the three days you post a different quote, you choose another blogger to carry on. (ooh, not sure about that last one – however, we shall see)

Thank you Eilis! Okay, here is my first quote:

‘Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, even as the strings of the lute are alone, though they quiver with the same music.’ Kahlil Gibran

I found my copy of Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet in a charity shop – it’s a 1972 edition, still with $2 marked in pencil on the inside cover. I was already familiar with some of his quotes, the above one in particular, as it was part of a reading I had at my wedding. It’s pretty popular for weddings, I guess, but I believe that’s because it speaks a truth all couples can heed.

In a world where we are constantly sold a happy ending based on the idea that, once you find your soulmate you’re set for life, never to part, Gibran offers an alternate viewpoint. That, while we should love each other, we should also love enough to let our significant other be alone. To let them grow as a person, just as we grow too. That, while we may share a life, we don’t have to share everything. Though our strings may quiver to the same music, we don’t necessarily have to play together all the time. Whether together or apart, it makes no difference, for you do not depend on anyone else to make you complete – you are a complete person already.

I love the first metaphor – ‘a moving sea between the shores of your souls’. It’s just so poetic and romantic. That’s what love feels like to me. Water flowing endlessly, tides waxing and waning under a silver moon, a force of nature you can only follow along with, not control.

So that’s my first quote, two more to go. I would like to nominate Stephen Baird, if he doesn’t mind (though it’s up to you whether or not you wish to take on the challenge, Stephen!)