Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Seeing

Biographical Note:

Olá! Meu nome é Edie. Probably one of my most favoritest things in the world to do is be outside,, drive, and listen to music. I get a kick out of laughing with my my bro and Dad about Far Side jokes. I have a little bit of Hobbes (from Calvin and Hobbes) and Pooh and Piglet in me. I love my family very much. I dream.


Seeing


by Edie

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
--Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

My mom writes about life. I like to pretend that I’m her editor. I feel important when she asks me to read an entry, pushing back the words to look at its core, or to correct a syntactical error. It’s kind of like when she used to let me dress up in her small-flowered dresses and blue pumps and I would parade around her room, begging her to give me her gold ring, set with the aquamarine stone, that Grandma gave her on her sixteenth birthday.
I was a five-year-old then, extravagant and loud, with even louder dreams. All my life I’ve been telling my mom those dreams. And all my life she has listened.
She has placed some of her memories into me. When we lived in New York, mom would write. “I just felt like [through writing] we could know where we were going, if we knew where we’ve been…I was trying to weave together history,” she later told me. I followed behind her, peering into the computer, gleaning the words that she wrote. I picked them up and put them into myself. I tried to make it a secret: I would read when she took my two little sisters, Sarah and Ruth, out to dance, or sneak and read behind her shoulder. She knew.
“I look out my New York living room window,” mom wrote one day:

“The snow is at least two feet deep. The morning rush of cars is thinning on our thoroughfare street. It is a short cut between to main arteries and so we feel the pulse of the professional workday by the flow of traffic. David’s chubby baby hands are pulling the curtains as he tries to stand up, jabbering at the wall and Sarah is climbing on my back asking about when our next meal is. She picks up a dime she’s found and moves it slowly around the table, guiding it by her dainty little three year old pointer finger.”

The way she wrote about my little brother and sister made me remember a gift of my mom’s. This afternoon I had a talk with my teacher, Mr. Andrews Bashan. He brought up a part of my mother’s heart that I forget too often. “She is a good mother,” he said.
Those words gave me a gift. That gift was more understanding of a part of my mother that I was blind to. I want you to know that my mother has a gift for love that stretches as big the plains and mesas of New Mexico, a place we consider a part of our homeland. Her love is a part of her soul: “There are people I have known in my life that I love. I meet them, and in some cases, instantly, I know them in my soul. My religion makes it easy to explain, there was a pre-earth life. We had associations then that continue here and will continue after. Sometimes we remember.”
My dad knows this love deeply. Even as a child I could feel how my mom understood my dad. She once told me that in some cultures, the way of saying “I love you” is really said as “I see you,” I understand you. My mom sees my dad.
“She is my safe haven,” my dad told me as we sat on the couch talking, my mom bouncing up and down in her chair, cheerfully typing up lesson plans. She was listening to Ingrid Michaelson’s “The Way You Are,” laughing.
His words called a swirl of memories into my head. I had talked with many people who know my mother’s compassion. Ms. Sara, my mom’s fellow teacher, spoke of her kindness and tolerance. Our friends know of the love that my mother shows towards them through summer evenings of New Mexican food and stories. I see afternoons when my little brother, David, cuddles up in my mom’s lap to kiss her cheek. They see her kindness. They see her, and they see her love.
I see.
My mother painted her Jamaica in words, that one year in New York. She has lived in Virginia, Egypt, Jamaica, Idaho, Utah, Connecticut, Romania, New Mexico, Wisconsin, and New York. During the spring of 2009 she described her life in Jamaica in her journal, which was now over sixty pages. For several months she labored patiently, painting Jamaica into words and into my mind. Mom moved there when she was fifteen, and lived there for her sophomore year of high school. As I came behind her to peer deeper into her words, she asked why.
I stumbled around a little bit over my thoughts. Why was I drawn to my mother’s memories? What’s more, why did I feel a connection with her experiences in Jamaica? I can still remember the way that she looked at me when she asked if her words would benefit anyone.
That summer, we moved to Guatemala. Later, she wrote about the first night we spent here, feeling a little lost. She wrote:

“At 9:00pm we went to bed. Eden and I shared one room. She climbed into bed and I did as well, exhausted… ‘What in the world are we doing?’ I thought. I went to bed amazed at how history repeats itself. I stared at Eden remembering myself at fifteen on my first night in Kingston, Jamaica. I couldn’t stop the tears on my cheeks as well. It wasn’t about being sad. I also knew she would never be the same after this experience. None of us would be. This will stretch and pull us and possibly bring us closer. Even though we were disoriented now, in the future, this would be defining for us, as a family and individually. “

I read that memory, and I felt that I was looking at life from the other side of the mirror. Change didn’t shatter any part of myself. It unified parts of me. It unified my family. It gave us, especially my parents, seemingly insuperable challenges. Still my mother continued to comfort me. Me, the one blinded by my sadness. Me, the one deafened by my weakness.
“Eden’s asks the same questions I asked in Jamaica. Why? Why the inequity. I still don’t have an easy answer. Sadly, just more time to get used to it,” my mom wondered in her journal. I remember the talk that we had that inspired this. My memories parallel her experiences, two hands pressed together. We had the same questions. We often had the same hurts.
And our joy is the same. I hold my mom’s memories near not only because of their closeness to mine. I hold her memories close to me because when I read them, I see her.

24 comments:

  1. I love being outside too, especially in the snow when
    I was little we use to go skiing and every time we would play a snowball war I would always tackle my mom since I was little she didn't get hurt and I didn't get in trouble so it was my way of having fun. This paper can relate to me in many ways It brought back good memories good paper.

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  2. This is an execellent paper! It made me understand the connection that moms have with their children. It was also very personal. Great job!

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  3. I love the way you describe your relationship with your mom through experiences. I can tell it's really meaningful to you.
    Great paper edie!

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  4. I can imagine you being loud
    You must have been like Josh

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  5. Excellent job Edie!!! This essay is really good and complete with its thoughts and details. I particularly liked the way you found different sides to stuff:"from the other side of the mirror," like you said. The connections you used for this wonderful piece are well concluded and make you think how good moms are with children, like Morgan said. Anyways, I think this piece of writing is great, and congrats!!!

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  6. EDIE GARCÍA!!!

    O que você escreveu aquí é um papel exelente!! Parabéns!!!! Eu gosto muito do seu jeito de escrever! (What you wrote here is an excelent paper!! Congratulations!!!! I really like the way you write!)

    I feel like I understand your mom better, and I can tell that you are very much like her!!!!! Você é uma boa filha!! :)

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  7. This is a wonderful paper which uses great specific details to bring the reader into your world (and through you into your mom's world).

    Writing must run in the family. The journal entries you quote reveal that your mother is an excellent writer. How incredibly lucky you are to have so much of your mother's voice and experience at your fingertips anytime you want it.

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  8. I love how you describe relationship between your mom and yourself! I can partly feel what you may felt when you were writing this essay. Even though I don't have the same thoughts and experience as you, I think your descriptions make me to imagine what I have been experiencing with my mom too.

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  9. I really liked this essay!! it was wonderful!!, and it also made me understand better what "conjuring a person" really means. Now I understand that the meaning is that we have to bring the essence of the person's past into the world, so that people will understand that person's feelings. I'm writing about Emily Dickinson for this project, and thanks to your essay, now I know how to bring Emily back to life!! :D

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  10. Pablo, did you know that Edie completed this for her conjure a person project? You are right! She captures the essence of her mother very well.

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  11. Edie I got to say that I love your paper because it touched my heart. It made me realize how a mother's love can affect ones family, or you may also say that the love that mothers transmits to her family unites them. I love my mother and after reading this paper it made me think that there are things that reminds me of my mother, and those things, I can say, brings me closer to her.

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  12. Amazing paper Edie. Your insight is keen and your words masterful. I've been amazed by your mom's letters from Guatemala and your writing seems to be following in her footsteps. I remember how going to Egypt brought our family close together. Your mom was only in 4th grade then. I was already gone from home when they moved to Jamaica. My daughter Aubrey attended a young writers workshop this past weekend. Maybe you can give her some tips this summer at the family reunion. Take care of my little sister.
    Uncle Brett

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  13. Your connection with your mom's words seem to be very deep and the way you explain yourself as drawn to her words may be because of an even deeper connection with her.

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  14. Eden this was really good writting, I enjoyed reading it. it also shows that you and your mom have a really special bond and that is nice. you really show us how your mother is and you are able to do this using beautiful words.

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  15. I really like that your not talking about someone else your talking about your mom .
    And i love the way you describe her with so much love for her .
    i love the article!

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  16. I admire this essay edie! it really tells me how you can feel how your mom feels in various kinds of moments. A mother's heart is like it was your own.

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  17. It's true. The best of people are those who are able to get up after they fall. No matter how much they have suffered, they get up courageously. The book I read in spanish class was about something similar to what Elisabeth said. People who tend to not get up after they fall, are losers, otherwise, they're winners. My opinion :)

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  18. The way she relates it so well with herself is astonishing and how she likes to be her mom´s editor is really cool, especially because her mom is a teacher.

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  19. WOW! Edie... i just LOVE your paper... while reading this, i felt like if I was with you guys... During those moments with Sarah or David... i can just say one word... AWESOME! ;)

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  21. I know, right??? Edie, you write so well, that her essay sucks you in completely!!! I also have to congratulate your mom's writing, as you included a bunch of what she wrote in here as well!! Anyone can tell that both of you are great writers! And BTW, on Friday, Mr. Rutherford said that you and your mom are the "coolest females on the planet!" (His words completely!!!)You two truly do "see" each other.

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  22. Awww... This is a great writing!! Nice Job Edie! I knew that you are a good writer, but this writing made me to think you are great writer!! Awesome! I like the way you wrote about your mom. GOOD!!!!

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  23. i really like the way you described your connection with your mom here. it seems like you are really deep into her writing and are deeply connected with your mom by her writing, and im sure she is deeply connected to you by her writing also. and, thinking about it, your mom is really kind and patient with her students, and she is very good at understanding you if you have a problem and also at helping you with it if she can. like i said before, i really like how you actually managed to write your connection with your mom in words, something hard to explain. very good job Edie :D

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  24. wow this was a great, i liked how you made me think or gave me the idea that you and your mom are really close and you guys have fun.

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