EPISODES AND THE MUSE

CLII.

"The Letters of Emily Dickinson", from my personal library, are pictured.
"The Letters of Emily Dickinson", from my personal library, are pictured. | Source


Emily

One day

I wondered when

The tale would end

Or how it would beguile.

So I came

But then

I vanished

For yet, a little while.


〰©Nellieanna H. Hay



Do souls refuse their heirs, elect

Inherit, or but perish them?

Did Dickinson, her muse select

Or Browning's seed infuse?


Is trivial so small,

Profound so very vast

That neither seed nor seedling

Could ever hope to last?


Are roots so damned eternal,

Truth, such layers of veils,

That all else fades and fails

Till all can be dispelled?


Will then the truth be clear?

Will purpose blend with being?

Will all our heirs and muses

Become one final Seeing?


Do not despair from discontent;

It visits all who feel.

Disparage not your detours;

They ferret out what's real.


〰©Nellieanna H. Hay


From out of disuse

Come lamp and pen.

I push off the dust,

Awaken dreams within.

The time is nigh

When they've come true;

And so have I,

Because I trust.


'Put on these garments!',

'The ones of knowing!

Begin where I left off,

By showing what I knew.'

And so I do,

Because I must.


〰©Nellieanna H. Hay


Nao


'Twixt time and time

and times suppose

The truth's abode

Slips from silent lips,

Upon sleep's silent ships.


We toss.

We count the loss

Of yet another

Crime or crimes

In silent rhymes

Of timeless episodes.


Yet follow fitfully

Follow dutifully

Follow faithfully

These rugged roads,

Obscurely.


〰©Nellieanna H. Hay





Source



This day's intense remembrance

Of those brittle times ~

The progress of a century

Defy appropriate rhymes.


Perception accounts for it,

As resonance mounts

Upon the vacant universe,

Still stumbling unattended,

While mortals prime

Their own inventions

With little sight or clarity.


I cannot conjecture how

Those lost days of Amherst were,

Without humiliation

For that vast unattended

Soul of it. . .

. . . . so much, the pity.


If I must go without

The perfect, fitting message

It is a century's loss.

I would to know their hearts

So clearly, so dearly

That I'd clarify their notes,

Their poems, their prose,

Their garden's daisy, rose, ~

The beauty of it all.

Which I could not envision;

Yet I do ~ compose.


〰©Nellieanna H. Hay





I looked on lavender and knew

What stars would never know:

The random bent,


The tenderest hue

Repeats itself eternally

Upon each flow'r below,


This air disturbed effusively

By subtle scent

Exclusive to its bloom,


While trudging mortal life

Is but briefly known

Betwixt its birth and tomb.



©Nellieanna H. Hay

Afterthought: the little 1986 journal where I found these poems

© 2013 Nellieanna Hay

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Comments 90 comments

xstatic profile image

xstatic 3 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

This poetry and the images that accompany them are very beautiful, Nellieanna. These "episodes" all go so well together.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas

Been waiting for more from you. I was about to go read an old hub of yours I hadn't read yet. :)

I really like this verse:

If I must go without

The perfect, fitting message

It is a century's loss.

I would to know their hearts

So clearly, so dearly

That I'd clarify their notes,

Their poems, their prose,

Their garden's daisy, rose, ~

The beauty of it all.

Which I could not envision;

Yet I do ~ compose.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Hello, Jim! I'm honored that you're my first visitor here! I've had priority things going on & have not been publishing as regularly as I prefer! It feels good!

These 'episodes' & musings turned up in a beautiful blank book where I' inscribed many poems and almost-journal-entries, at a time when I first 'retired' from working outside and George & I were newly married. He was still not retired, and I was no longer a slave to housework (haha) after years of working outside my home, so I was regularly indulging my passion for Emily's works and fascination with her life - (what's known of it) - for awhile, until he retired so that we both 'played' & camped out more; and then, the ranch's demands took over more of our free time for many years, while that little book sort of slipped through the cracks.

George found that compete set of Emily's Letters which is pictured in the title pic and got it to me. I like her poetry, but I like her letters even more, as well as what is recorded of her 'story'. After friends told me years earlier that both my writing and my story (as it was at that time) seemed to parallel hers, of course I was 'hooked' - haha!

I've written other poetry, tributes & hubs about her, but this "find" of poetry and notes I made and had forgotten about, really inspired this one!

I'm so pleased that you enjoyed it! Thank you for your approval of how it went together. haha - I've been so out of making hubs, I had to sort of re-learn! :-)


Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 3 years ago from Brownsville,TX

OHHH Nellieanna.. I love Emily Dickerson.. so MUCH.... thank you my lady for such a wonderful delightful poem on our wonderful poets that have lived and loved and wrote so beautifully.. many blessings to you

sharing

Debbie


dreamseeker2 3 years ago

I love anything you write about. Why am I not surprised you'd have a muse? : ) I love these lines of your poem:

'Do not despair from discontent;

It visits all who feel.

Disparage not your detours;

They ferret out what's real'.

Fits those of us going through tough times. Thanks for sharing your work with us once again, fine lady! Voted it up and awesome, of course!!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Dear Shan - WELL - I shoulda waited so you'd have dug back into the archives! haha. JK. I've mentioned that I've had several hubs waiting in the wings to be made or finished. This was not one of them!

When I recently ran across that pretty little blank book (among so many I have floating around) - & which I've now taken candid pix of it & added at the end of this hub) - which has some rather different-toned poetry, much of it about my then-current musings about Emily Dickinson, whose works and biographies I was devouring - well, at first, I didn't really have anything in mind to do with them, other than start transcribing them. I've written a hub about her already, with other poems I've written about her, but these are different from any of those; I felt almost as though I were especially attuned to her mind at that time. Most others have been more as an outsider looking in on her.

I like to reference the poetry I transcribe to a hub if I use it for one, and I kind of wanted to use some of those in the little book, so I began to conceive of a hub for them - and this developed. It feels 'right' somehow. Of course, moments & episodes in time & life have intense associations for whomever experienced them - more than for anyone else. I like that you chose one of my favorites to mention that you really do like! Thank you!!


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas

Don't worry. I'll do some digging soon. Haha Or maybe not so soon if you start popping out hubs waiting in the wings.

So that's what your little handwritten books look like, eh?


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 3 years ago from USA

I have so enjoyed this moment with your beautiful poetry, a bit of Mozart, and a cup of coffee. You did a wonderful job piecing together the music with your poetry. Thank you for sharing your amazing talent.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Dear Debbie! Why am I not surprised that you love E.S.? :-) I'm delighted that you like my tribute to her, and yes - I did mention another of our wonderful poets - Browning, sort of all-inclusive of both the Brownings, though I believe Emily would have related more to his work, perhaps. She loved Shakespeare and many other poets of her past and also some of her contemporaries.

Her own work is so unique, though. She wrote only privately, so in expressing herself without concern for public opinion, wrote simply as suited what she felt and wanted to say. In the process, she broke with many traditions, but not especially intentionally. It was just her special genius, as it turned out. :-)

When my writing - and then my life style - drew close parallels to hers by some dear friends many years ago, I became most interested in her, and found we do share many characteristics - in our writing styles and - back then - in our life styles.

Thank you for your gracious visit and comments!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Dear Gwen - You're so kind! Thank you! The lines you highlighted are, indeed, encouraging to all of us as we continue to meet life's challenges. They keep us on our toes, but we may always need reminding how to 'get up there on them and balance'! :-) haha.

When we no longer encounter such times, though, they'll be laying us away and our balancing days will be over! So we need to appreciate that LIFE is in us now and we are in it! That means it's never predictable! Hugs!


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

What two exquisite writers here . . . Emily and you, dearest Nellieanna! Yes, I can see the likeness in your writings no doubt! Brilliance is present.

It is so endearing about Emily, that she did not write for public opinion.

I loved reading your poems while listening to Mozart! I am so glad you found them in your journals from 1986, and that you shared them here with us all. Have been missing your superb writing here of late.

Liked how you mentioned Browning too.

Voted up ++++ and sharing.

Hugs and love, Faith Reaper


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

Discontent visits all who feel.....what a beautiful line, which I paraphrased but I think still captured the feeling. Nellieanna, you have done a lovely thing this Sunday afternoon. Well done my friend.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Hi, Shan. Well -'digging' fits the challenge - there's quite a pile! This is my 152nd poetry hub out of the total of 216 hubs to date. I usually don't grind out hubs, but I'm usually pretty steady with them, - till lately. I'm not especially 'driven' to do them, but they usually start rumbling around, wanting to get on with it. I've always ample material for them & I adore making the little graphics that enhance them.

About the handwritten books, that type came later, not when I was too restricted to even have access to getting pretty blank books. My collections were on & in plain-vanilla, school-days kinds of materials. I wrote on plain notebook paper, adding to theme-type covers with the pages till the fasteners no long had a grip! That produced about 7 thick ( 2-3 inch thick) of such notebooks, which I still have, in addition to one fully copied and hidden for safe keeping of one of them - after I realized they could be burned on a whim. In the front of the first one of those notebooks are the older ones already burned which I could record from memory - but only so few of my early poems.

Later, I began making up little handwritten selected poem books for special people and started stocking up on blank books whenever I ran across any. I still used those notebook-paper kinds of notebooks up till the mid-1980s, but I also was using other kinds of blank books, which I could then get. I'd began using them for my continuing writing, so there are many of those, all sizes and types, from elegant leather-bound ones to little spiral ones. PLUS, if I had an inspiration (when my life was no longer limited to 4 walls and a little outdoors, - I might grab the nearest handy paper to jot down a thought or inspiration, so there are folders & overstuffed envelopes full of random verses, plus others stuck between book pages or even written on their frontispieces. haha. I may never get them all rounded up & transcribed! Plus I still write them all the time! So far there are nearly 3000 transcribed, though - and I'm still going through the notebooks & blank books - but not rapidly. I tend to want to use them in hubs, rather than just making a big project out of it! haha

I made a hub about some of these various repositories - illustrated, so if you'd like to see how the notebook paper ones looked, too. - - it's at':

http://hubpages.com/literature/HANDMADE-MANUSCRIPT...


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Dear Tlpoague, - thank you for your visit and comments! You've made me feel all relaxed, reading, listening to Mozart and sipping a cup! I do enjoy that combination, especially in good company! Your visit is a real treat, too!


Vickiw 3 years ago

This is a wonderful tribute to a beautiful poet, done in your lovely inimitable style. I really enjoy the way you write, and your beautiful, delicate pictures always add to your creation. I always feel nourished in spirit after reading your work. Many thanks.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas

I visited your link and left a comment there. :) It sure would be a gift for the world to have Nellieanna poetry and quotes floating around in tangible form, well the book anyway. But, I for one, am glad that you did not wait to see (or not) if it happened posthumously or I might never have met your or read your treasured gems!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Dear Faith - Thank you! What lovely compliments! I've felt so akin and atuned to Emily for so long, at leat 43 years, that I sometimes think maybe it just 'shows' - LOL.

That Mozart piece is also among my favorites. It was used in the movie 'Elvira Madigan', - which I never saw but people I loved did see it, and brought it to my attention, so it became one of my standards to listen to for hours at a time, & to play on the piano. When I went looking for music for this hub, it just jumped out at me from my computer's Music folder!

I do love the Brownings' works too. I've a pretty little tribute to Elizabeth Barrett Browning's "How Do I Love Thee" on my website, come to think of it:

http://nellieanna.com/0howdoiluvthee.html


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Billy - thank you. Yes - that line speaks to most of us, I think, at one time or another. We've all felt those vague - or, sometimes - sharp senses of discontent or any of its cohorts, such as discouragement, which I think is the worst of them. That one can get a person so down, it's hard to see out.

If we can deal with such stirrings at the vaguely discontented stage, we've much better chances of moving on past them & regaining our outlook!

Many of those vague stirrings are agitated by stuff that really isn't what's valuable, but can make one forget that there's nothing more valuable than feeling OK & in harmony inside, which isn't dependent on a lot of the stuff that tries to crowd in & crowd out the good feelings. :-)

Thank you!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Vicki - what could be more gratifying than to hear that my work has made you feel 'nourished in spirit'! I'm truly pleased to know that! Sometimes the things that claim their value by presenting constant alarms and by stirring one up futilely, seem intent on being the more prevalent. I believe in being realistic, but some of that is of one's own making!

I remember there was a book titled "As A Man Thinketh", which Mother read when I was young. Without knowing much about it, the title suggests that one determines a lot which IS in one's 'world' by one's own attitude & on what one's own mind is nourished, not unlike one's bodily health takes its cues from what comes into it.

I have to confess that I can reach a "TILT" point with an onslaught of too much negativity, even if it has purpose & value too. There's just not much sense in getting down into every bottomless pit that's out there, unless one is equipped with some serious spelunking tools. ;-)

Thank you for a very charming, cheering visit & comment on this pretty day! :-)


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Dear Shan! Thank you, darlin'! What a lovely thing to say! I must admit that I usually feel that personally delivered 'gems' to fit an interaction between a special someone and me should have at least as much value as a bound book of poems, probably languishing on some bookstore shelf or unseen on Amazon.com waiting for someone I don't know who doesn't know me to order it for their Kindle! ;-)

Still, yes - it would be nice to get my act together to publish some of them. There's the thing, though - which ones? - LOL. I have many more than Emily Dickinson had in her bureau drawers tied up in packets with ribbons! Even so, hers fill a lot of heavy-duty printed books!

I'm not fretting about any of that & I do consider what I've been doing here on HP a good start - much more than it was when those notebooks were just gathering dust. I had some selected poems which I especially liked in several of the blank books, which I referred to most frequently, but, since sharing any of them was minimal, I didn't give much thought to all the untapped resources! Since I've been transcribing, I discover many more of considerable value which I'd not looked at in years & might never have done so otherwise.

It suits me as it is, and that has value. I do really enjoy sharing here on HP, which is more 'public' than I've ever been! I wasn't even intending to publish any of my poetry here when I started!! ;-)


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas

Actually, I might say a personally delivered "gem" has more value than simply publishing it, at least to the person it is delivered to. Maybe that's just the sentimental in me though. I used to keep letters mailed to me. Had a huge shoebox full of them back from childhood. And books with handwritten notes to me in them were treasured.

Publish them all! Haha

I have scraps of paper from several years through full of half finished ideas and random lines or thoughts, some better than others. Perhaps that is just a poet/lyricist's universal habit.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Yes, I think perhaps it is. I've even just jotted down lists of words I thought especially nice sounding or capable of saying a lot in just the one word!

hehe - now I'm going to use one such word. . . goodnight! ;-)


btrbell profile image

btrbell 3 years ago from Mesa, AZ

Absolutely beautiful! Thank you for sharing! up++


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States

The poetry is splendid,and I enjoyed it so much. I can also get lost in that beautiful music. I jsut stopped and listened for a while before I continued on reading your beautiful prose. Voted up and will share.


Marie Flint profile image

Marie Flint 3 years ago from Jacksonville, FL

This is a nice morning meditation.

Does "those lost days at Amherst" refer to you, Emily, or both?

And, I'm still enchanted with your graphics--however do you do them?

Thanks and blessings!


ImKarn23 profile image

ImKarn23 3 years ago

Nellieanna, you do your muse proud, and we, your humble followers are in awe! "Disparage not your detours; They ferret out what's real." Just one of the many lines that impacted me.

Great tribute and thought provoking words, my friend.

Your art is beautiful..

sharing..


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Randi - Thank you, dear heart, for the visit, comment and votes!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Pamela - Oh, yes. I leave that Mozart playing even as background while I'm reading. It soothes my soul! Thank you for your comments, vote and sharing!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Marie, how lovely to think of it as a meditation. Very pleasant! Thank you!

I never made it to Amherst, even on the one occasion I visited New England, when it was all at the planning of my hosts. I always intended to, though (still not too late!). George wanted us to take some summer courses up there. We would have done so, had not other major priorities involving my ranch come into view, which absorbed us for many years, and then he was not up to any major projects.

In the poem, I refer to the fact that Emily buried herself there, which was her choice and produced the body of her work, but still denied the world of it all during her life. It could so easily have been totally lost to posterity, had not her sister and Mabel Loomis Todd recognized its value when they ran across it in her things, and set about to rescue it. Otherwise, that would, indeed, have been a loss!

As it worked out, it's become the opposite of a loss and a gift to the world. Still, she might have blossomed even more, had she been recognized while alive! Shy as she was, she didn't despise recognition! :-)


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Dear Leslie - Thank you, girl! I hope she's not too displeased with me. ;-)

Those lines you quote are so true. We would stagnate and wither without our continuing experiences, many of which turn out to be detours to what we THOUGHT our paths should be; - but they both teach us much and often turn out to be the better paths, as well!

We think we know where we're going but then it seems that the spinnings of Earth, Solar System and Universe set us on other treks - often to the better, or at least, to no worse than our own devices were headed - or would have landed up! haha.

Hugs!!


Marie Flint profile image

Marie Flint 3 years ago from Jacksonville, FL

Thank you for the explanation on Amherst, Nellie.

I remember taking a tour of the Browning house on one of my site-seeing trips while I was living in Boston. The memory is faint now, but I remember the etchings in the lower-right corner of an upstairs window "RB + EB" for Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barret (later Browning). Speculation was that a diamond, due to its hardness and ability to cut glass, had been used to make the engraving. (This hub seems like a good place to share that little romantic tidbit! )


d.william profile image

d.william 3 years ago from Somewhere in the south

Beautiful words, thoughts and sentiments. Bravo. Great poetry. thanks for the sharing.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Oh, Nellieanna, you have always reminded me of Emily. You both share a unique vision…the telling of it is a stunning, creative sublimation that transcends what binds the imagination. I will return to this lovely hub page, again and again, to absorb and enjoy. Thank you, dear poet, for sharing your extraordinary gifts. :-)


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 3 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

What can I say? It has all been said, and yet nothing has been said that really fills the void that lies within me now. Exquisite will do for starters.

I have never read Emily Dickinson that I know of, but I have a vague feeling that there is something at the back of my mind that I have heard of hers, and frankly it was as nothing compared to what I have just read of yours, my wonderful friend.

I have always loved what I have read of yours Nellieanna, but I think you have even surpassed yourself this time. Or are you a wonderful, beautifully insidious drug that leaves me crying for more and more and more?

Your rhyming patterns are so effective and the startling beauty of your words and thoughts and phrasing leave me in absolute awe of these truly beautiful and mesmerising poems.

And to add just that wonderful atmosphere, the Mozart 21 which is one of my all time favourites. I have recently bought the complete Mozart Piano Concerti Played and Conducted by Murray Perahia, as you well know, and I was only listening to the 21st whilst sitting in my car... you know where... on Sunday, and here it is again, and here are you again. Oh wonderful lady and dear friend, please publish so that many may keep and hold in their hands and hearts, such lovely works.

Much, much love

Ian


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida

Each one of these beautiful, profound poetic musings is more beautiful than the one that precedes it, Nellieanna. Top-drawer, m'dear, and voted Up.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Dear Marie. I'm rather mystified about the Browning house to which you refer - - in or around Boston? He/they lived in England and in Italy but, to my knowledge, never in America. But I've not really studied the Brownings so intensely. Actually I just now did more research than I'd done before on them! haha. Perhaps this Browning house is a memorial to their works? I notice that Wellesley College near Boston, along with Baylor University in Texas, have launched a project to digitalize the Brownings' handwritten manuscripts, though none of that would seem to explain the lovely romantic etching in the window glass! I may have to do more digging. :-) Thank you for this insight and inspiration!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

dwilliam, Thank you! I had to refresh my memory who you are, and while visiting your hub site, enjoyed reading one of your interesting hubs. I must visit more often! I'm pleased that you like my hub! Thank you for letting me know!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Oh, Genna, dear friend! I'm delighted that you visited and thank you so much for your kind comments! One thing about Emily which fascinates me is that, without really ever going anywhere or experiencing much, she had such depth & breadth of understanding of so much, from visiting foreign lands to weathering ocean storms, which she'd never done! Of course, mostly, she wrote with her unique perspectives, of the things in her own close world of nature, her feelings, imagination, sense of life & death, interest in literature, concepts & family, - and of course, about her faithful dog, Carlo. I'm honored that you see some of her traits in me or my poetry. Thank you! Hugs.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Ian, cherished friend. Now you've done it! I'm nearly too overwhelmed to speak! Your accolade is truly valued, especially because it comes from you, whose opinion I value highly, though in this case, you paint me in more glorious Technicolor that I feel, which is more modestly colored!

I confess that when I've written something I can admire, I know it has to have been inspired beyond my own powers. At the same time, I do truly enjoy the process of creativity, including the 99% perspiration! :-) I've often thought that my main talent is coordination. It's something I do, and something that gets me through the days! I seem to see the connections between the dots. :-)

Yes, I visualize you in your car at the Commons, as you've described many times. What a delightful coincidence that you'd been enjoying the Mozart 21. Your knowledge and expertise is greater than mine, you know. I've this piece on my cell phone, among about 100 delicious favorites obtained from iTunes, ranging from quite a collection of classics and other genres which I love. But you're such an expert!

Your encouragement is treasured, my dear friend!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Dear DrBJ! Thank you. "Top Drawer" is high praise, indeed! I'm delighted that you read my hub and enjoyed it! I appreciate your comments and votes! Hugs.


Marie Flint profile image

Marie Flint 3 years ago from Jacksonville, FL

Nellieanna, I may have been mistaken about the name of the house. It might have belonged to another author whom Robert or Elizabeth had visited. (I'd have to research this myself! Possibly Hawthorne?)

I lived in Boston for six months beginning in June 1975 and visited a lot of historical homes with guided tours in various neighboring towns. (The house itself was not in Boston.) The memory of the window with the R.B./E.B. initials, however, is very clear and distinct in my mind. The tour guide had pointed out the etching or no one may have even noticed!

If I happen to remember more during my sleep tonight, I will certainly make another post! --Blessings, always.


BlossomSB profile image

BlossomSB 3 years ago from Victoria, Australia

Delightful poems - so beautifully crafted and lovely images to accompany them. Really enjoyed them.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Marie, - those initials really make it seem they must have been there! On the other hand, trying to imagine them using a diamond to carve their initials in a window of a house that wasn't theirs sounds a little odd! haha. If someone were making a tribute to them, though, it would be a quite likely gesture. There is obviously much respect for them in the Boston area.

I was especially impressed with the sense of intimacy in New England villages when we were there. In Texas, especially in small towns, everything is sort of spread out! The streets are extra wide and it's just not intimate feeling. But up there, it felt like coming into someone's personal driveway as one enters the towns, both in the much narrowness of the street and how near the gardens and trees are, like an embrace.

It was like that in England, too, especially when our hosts took us to off-the-beaten-path villages and countryside. Perhaps that closeness relates to the sizes of smaller states and countries, but it also seems to be in the whole attitude and atmosphere. Texas hospitality is sort of 'big-ole-howdy-slap-on-the-back', while up there it's almost like a snuggly hug.

Our N.E. hosts lived in Connecticut but they drove us through several states en route to New Hampshire where we spent several days in a lovely country Inn. We didn't take the freeways, so there were sudden little waterfalls along the country roads. I'll always remember it by those special moments.

My interest in the Browning mystery is certainly stirred!! If you come across any more information, I'll be eager to hear it!! Thank you!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Hello, Blossom! I'm delighted that you stopped by! Emily Dickinson was a 19th century American poet whose work was unknown during her reclusive lifetime and till well after her death in 1886, so she may be less known where you are; but if so, it's all the nicer that you enjoyed my hub indirectly honoring her! Either way - thank you!


Cantuhearmescream profile image

Cantuhearmescream 3 years ago from New York

Gosh Nellieanna, this is beautiful! You are a true poet! I did not realize that you were a fan of Emily Dickinson; I love her work and spent very much time on her in college. She almost defines and defies poetry all at the same time. Enough about her, this is so whimsical and deep and some verses I read twice just to fully grasp the meaning. Wonderful, simply wonderful!

Hugs,

Cat


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York

"...put on the garments of knowing..." would that we could so easily solve life's problems. Each poem here holds it's own beauty and thoughts.

Voted up and beautiful dear Nellieana.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Hi Nellieanna;

Absolutely. I understand that Emily secluded herself from society, but I often wonder if this was an individual choice out of a shy nature. Her father was quite strict before he died, and this distancing herself from general society could have become habit after so many years. Although I’m quite sure that she knew she was different from others in her immediate circle, which probably explains why she reached out to others through her written communications. Perhaps this solitude opened up her intelligent, creative mind even more to her immediate surroundings. Her writing is intensely focused – nothing interfered with her imagination and the subject of her observations and poetry.

I have often thought that she was a romantic; her poems about nature are among my favorites. Her unique vision was rare and powerful…as is yours, with a distinctive elegance and grace. You look at life through different lens, my friend, and are able to share these perceptions through poetry that is really quite remarkable. :-)


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Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Dear Cat - Big hugs! Thank you! (Yah, I am. . ;-) . .are you surprised? :-] tee hee) Now it's my turn because I had no idea you're an ED enthusiast! I love that! Your description of her and her poetry is so precisely true. I've never heard it described like that! This is not my first hub about her, by the way. My Muse - Emily Dickinson (I added that live link to the bottom of this hub just now, too, if you're interested.)

I truly appreciate that you found my hub here worthwhile and ponderable! I always think YOU are! Thank you, sweet thang! Big Hugs!


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Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Hello, Mary! Ah yes. That would be handy if we could just 'slip into' knowing! :-)

There are also other subtle meanings to the line, as whispered by the muse: the most obvious, which is for her admirer to continue writing with her perception. Another, though, & perhaps my interpretation as I wrote it, was to 'know' or sense that one must peel off the confines of intellectual premises in order to reveal true understanding of the whole being and mind of it, including but far beyond just the brain.

I remember a teacher telling me that if I were able to know what she knew, that I'd know more than she knew because I'd also have what I knew besides! Interesting thought; - but, in a way, it applies to anything one studies intensely enough to internalize what has already been known: it simply 'adds to' what 'knowing' which already resides 'in there'?

So I'd hope that anything anyone gains from reading any of my thoughts adds a little bit to all that is already 'in there'! :-)

Thank you so much for a lovely, kind & thought provoking comment, Mary, my friend!


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Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

enna - Ah, yes. Good question! I suspect that it was a combination of things which sent her into seclusion. As a girl, she'd been more 'one of the bunch', but as she began to think & feel her very individual thoughts & sensitivities, she began to pull back.

Yes, her father was quite strict. Also the family's religion was a staunch conventional Calvinist one. When her siblings made professions of belief publicly, Emily struggled with her own feelings and simply held out, never joined. Her personal spirituality was simply too much more complex. She knew she would be probing many areas which would not be in line with the church's dogma, so she honestly didn't feel she could ethically live up to a profession of belief in it and still be true to herself, which she knew was undeniable. She was just too interested in exploring other intellectual influences which were then growing in precedence and she was unwilling to go into the church, already knowing herself to be a hold-out, if not hypocritical to all it declared as being the only right way!

However, she was well read in the Bible and often referred to or quoted it in her work. She wasn't so much ambivalent about it as that her spiritual nature was inclusive of a broader range than traditionally accepted, especially within her family, the church and that home town - or even among the rebels! She didn't fit into any other category than being herself.

This poem of hers says a lot:

Of Course - I prayed -
And did God care?
He cared as much as on the Air 
A Bird - had stamped her foot -
And cried "Give Me" - _E. D.

As do these lines written to an unnamed 'love': "While others go to Church, I go to mine, for are you not my Church, and have we not a Hymn that no one knows but us?" _E.D.

Nowadays it's harder to conceive of being so constrained by the rules and mores of one's whole world that freedom to express one's own views could seem such a major breach, but then. . . it would have been, as she was keenly aware!

So she withdrew from attending church & church activities with her family. Possibly that was the main arena of social activity in Amherst, so it made her automatically less included. She was a little hesitant to participate in patriotic festivities, as well, due to questioning some current political issues. She lived during the Civil War &, from her relatively isolated perspective, she may have wondered how it could be possible for brother to take arms against brother, especially in the name of patriotism! She refused to attend patriotic parades, at least on some occasions.

Women were taking their places more in literature, but it was still a tough 'go', in which their work was not so readily accepted & respected, and it called for a toughness which she didn't possess. I have a sense that she also recognized that her own literary genius, which, like her religious views, did not follow along the beaten paths of the classic poets, so that she further could not identify with the other women trailblazer writers of her day, who were quite independent and willing to challenge the 'powers that be' as far as being women, but who still wrote in pretty much the same-old typical male-invented 'classic' styles, which was not quite Emily's personality nor her style. Her style was even much more avant garde than that of her women peers in writing, so that it would obviously require an even more determined and strong personality to put out there and risk criticism and rejection. She just found herself with BEING a challenge, without intending to make waves or stir up any trouble for herself or for her family. Being a recluse was her solution.

However, my feeling is that she was such a unique seething inferno inside, it probably alarmed her that, once released, she might explode with all she held within! Some of her poems reflect that intensity, for sure. This was a powerful bear in mouse's protective disguise! :-) Writing as she did, privately, mingling as she did with her own familiar, close world, she was free to simply BE & express it, without risking all the consequences of BEING or expressing it openly.

In fact, she'd instructed her sister to burn her papers upon her own death, which, when it came, was pronounced as being Bright's disease of some long standing.

She'd also had some emotional and/or physical ailments, such as agoraphobia and possibly epilepsy, which may have contributed to her hesitation to step forward more fully and openly. But I 'know' her as a quite definite, passionate, thinking, and powerful person, somewhat trapped 'in there'! I must sheepishly confess that, after having lived for a number of years in a similar 'trap' of near isolations, writing my own poetry to keep myself free and alive inside, - then emerging, whole and actually free to continue my life, I've nurtured a sort of inexpressible sense of wanting to rescue her fully free poetic spirit. I know it's absurd, presumptuous, & indefensible - but it's true. (blush)


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MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa

Mozart's Piano Concerto No.21 Andante goes perfectly with these exquisite poems of yours, Nellieanna. I do prefer yours above Emily Dickinson's.

Absolutely beautiful!

I hate to emphasize only one of your poems, or part of it, because each and every word/phrase you write makes an impact. But I have to repeat this one like a chorus:

Are roots so damned eternal,

Truth, such layers of veils,

That all else fades and fails

Till all can be dispelled?

(Lots of fruit for thought!)


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Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Oh, my dearest beloved Cyber-Daughter, Martie! I'm so glad you enjoyed the music and the poetry. I also very much like the poem you've highlighted, too. But please don't place my poetry higher than Emily's, unless you are very familiar with hers. Of course, I'll gladly accept your preference if you still feel it, but I feel sure you'd love hers too! It's as varied as mine, but - consider this famous one of hers:

HOPE is the thing with feathers

That perches in the soul,

And sings the tune without the words,

And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;    

And sore must be the storm

That could abash the little bird

That kept so many warm. 

I’ve heard it in the chillest land,

And on the strangest sea;      

Yet, never, in extremity,

It asked a crumb of me.

___E.D.


Marie Flint profile image

Marie Flint 3 years ago from Jacksonville, FL

Hello, Nellieanna. I started researching last evening (must have been up past midnight) and slept on it. I haven't found the definite answer yet, but I haven't given up, either. Names that come to me are Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. I haven't ruled out Hawthorne's birthplace completely. When I went on these little excursions, the commute usually took 20-35 minutes (thereabouts). So, one by one, I'm going to figure out the name of the house and see if there is a current tour offered. At that point, I will have to email the house's site and see if anyone recalls that little tidbit about the initials. (What fun!) --Marie P.S. I had absolutely no time today for research because I had to move closet items and furniture between two rooms. (My daughter and her husband are remodeling a bathroom that elimiated three closets!)


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 3 years ago

Nellieanna , There are few words that truely discribe your talent ,, I swear ! "Poets " don't have a clue ! You -my fair lady are a treasure that the rest of us can but try to copy ! You are my favorite poet ! Okay there , I've said it !.........hugs


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Twilight Lawns 3 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

Our Nellieanna is a National Treasure.

What more can I say?

Oh yes... I love her to pieces.


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Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Marie - It IS such fun to have a gripping mystery that one MUST unravel! Those two authors were such famous New Englanders, it wouldn't surprise me at all if it were one of them! I can't wait to find out!

How were those excursions conducted? - In a tour bus or van? Wonder if any clues might be uncovered on Google with some key words? They seem to have a clue to almost everything!

Oh dear! I can't even fathom trying to compact 3 closets' worth into some other already- being-used-spaces! Yikes! Boggles my mind!


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Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Ed, dear poet o' mine. I'm honored to be among your favorites, much less the most favorite! I'll have to tidy up my act! :-) Thank you!!


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Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

My dear Ian. . . you're giving me a big head, you know, (she says, glowing!) I'm truly honored that you consider me even passable! I hope I don't get 'found out' ! :-)

You're loved to pieces right back!!


Genna East profile image

Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Oh no, dear Nellieanna. It is neither absurd nor presumptuous to confess to such a longing. For I know of no other poet that could honor Emily more. You bring this realization to its fullest fruition with your poetry.


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Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Dear Genna - Thank you. Perhaps so. It's what I'd do, in any case. :-)


Marie Flint profile image

Marie Flint 3 years ago from Jacksonville, FL

Still trying on that research about the R.B./E.B. initials, Nellianna. (So busy--bedroom is satisfactory; now I have to work on the sewing/craft room.) The usual transportation was as a single person by train. (After the subway system, Boston has some great rail transportaton to Salem and other key poinst.) The only other possible way might have been a car ride from a friend who worked with me at the alternative health school where I resided at the time. I think this particular trip was done alone, however. Future correspondence about this will be through Fan Mail, as the subject matter is not really about Emily Dickenson, the subject of your hub. Blessings!


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Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Dear Marie - I received your email about the Emerson House! Fascinating information, whether or not it had the RB/EB initials! These other New England writers were contemporaries of Emily Dickinson, so it's not far off the track of the hub!

Surely it would be hard to live in New England and not try to take in as much of the literary history as possible! I was just curious about whether there were organized tours. However one gets there, is great! The webpage about Emerson House is almost like a visit! Thank you!


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Gypsy Rose Lee 3 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Voted up and awesome. Just love your wonderful poetry Nell. Great imagery here. Passing this on.


Marie Flint profile image

Marie Flint 3 years ago from Jacksonville, FL

Nellianna, at the time I lived in Boston, the tours were conducted either on the hour or something like that. I think, maybe, at least five people had to have gathered for a tour to begin. (If they were one person short, that would be ok.) And, at that time, the tours were free. For the Emerson house, this may still be the case.


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Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Hello, Rasma. I appreciate your visit and your approval. Thank you.


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Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Ah - well, if I ever visit back up there, I'll try to go to Emerson house! :-)


Cantuhearmescream profile image

Cantuhearmescream 3 years ago from New York

My sweet dear friend Nellieanna,

Of course I'm interested! Thank you for mentioning as I probably wouldn't have realized it was up there. I'm very much looking forward to the read... it'll just have to be tomorrow or, I should say, after I've gone to sleep and gotten back up again as the birds are about to start chirping and I need to find my way to the mattress!

I will see you 'morrow! Big hugs!

Cat


wayne barrett profile image

wayne barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

You are such a brilliant poet. I truly admire your work. It is inspiring.


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Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Cat - I can't say much because I'm too often guilty of it. I've definitely BTDT - sometimes, still do. How easy it is, after one of those all-night marathons writing, making webpages or sewing a design, (or, heaven forbid - just cleaning house!) - to just say, 'oh, why bother lying down at all, now that it's daylight? I can just put some finishing touches on it!"

But let me tell you, it takes a LOT of healthy eating, exercise and all the other good health habits to compensate for poor sleep ones! Hard-telling; I'd probably look like an ingenue if I'd also taken sleep more seriously! ;-)

I know when you ARE an ingenue, as YOU ARE - such things scarcely cross your mind. Just be aware that all we do or don't do is written on our health & longevity, which become more and more valuable to us as ingenue days recede into the mist! Take care of yourself, please!

No need to go to the other extreme, though. You may not have ever heard of the gorgeous actress Delores Del Rio, but it is said that, in order to stay youthful, she slept all but 4 or 5 hours out of every 24! Now that IS silly!! What kind of life could one have in only 20% of one's time? Hardly worth the bother, just for a few good photo-shoots in one's dotage! ;-) hehe.

Anyway - thank you for your sweet visit! I'm always delighted to see you - and you look great! ;D

Hugs!


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Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Thank you so much, Wayne. You know I'm awed by your incredible multi-talents, so your visit and your praise are quite the honors! (curtsy)

:-)


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 3 years ago from California

From out of disuse

Come lamp and pen.

I push off the dust,

Awaken dreams within.

Such beautiful writing---But these are my favorite lines--and I too love Emily Dickinson


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Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Audrey, dear friend. Thank you. Those lines do describe those moments of creative renewal pretty well, I think. :-)

I'm not at all surprised to learn that you also love E.D.!


Cantuhearmescream profile image

Cantuhearmescream 3 years ago from New York

Nellieanna,

Oh you have me cracking up! Ha ha... I had to assault Google twice in one session! Once for ingénue and the other for Delores Del Rio, ha ha! But I thank you for expanding my vocabulary. I ought to get one of those bathroom readers with a new word for each day! Imagine the hubs I could write... lol.

Nellieanna, I must say... you have defied aging! What little aging you have done, you've done so very gracefully... boy if I could look like you as I get a little older, I'll be counting my lucky stars! I imagine your mental health has contributed to your beauty as stress can take years away from anyone. Days at the ranch I'm sure have helped you as well.

I wasn't sure if I was familiar with Delores Del Rio until I looked her up but I do recognize her face and as lovely as it is... I'll pass on her sleep schedule! :D I've always tried to cheat the nights! One has been due to a fear I developed as a child, in which I become terrified of my family dying and would think about death and what it means while I lay in bed at night... so I stopped laying in bed! Second, I just don't feel that there are enough hours in a day to do all the things I have to and want to do.

I truly do appreciate the advice though and I will heed your warning. After rolling into my thirties last May, I've been a little more conscious about aging... I feel like it's all downhill from here! lol... But I shouldn't be so hard on myself... they say the new 40 is 30 and so on.

Yes, those moments of 'Eh, there's no point in going to bed now', usually start with frustration... but end up with a productiveness :D... how much I am grateful for those second and sometimes third winds! lol

You look great!

Hugs,

Cat


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Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

You certainly have me smiling, Cat, not only for your lovely compliments, but with your delightful self-portrayal!

What would we do without Google? It's really amazing how quickly and thoroughly we can research anything that comes up! Early on, when it was just getting up and going, an online buddy asked me if I 'googled' - and I confess, I thought he was flirting. haha. But I found out what it was and have been hooked ever since!

But I'm also a bit concerned about your fear of your family dying while you slept playing a significant role in your night-owl ways! Hopefully it's not still a fear! I guess I expected my family to live forever, if only because they were all so much older already and were obviously so immortal, as far as I could tell! :-) It's quite an amazing idea for me to imagine you as a child having such a fear, though I was terrified of being kidnapped, which is rather morbid, too! haha. Even so, I didn't see staying awake to keep vigil as a solution. No, in fact - I could escape the kidnappers best while asleep when I dreamt of just flapping my wings and taking off flying, with them chasing me till my lift-off took me beyond their reach! Then I got hooked on flying - even without kidnappers chasing me!

My kidnapping fear was based on the big news story then, which admittedly wasn't as pervasive as it would be now, with today's news media! But the national flight hero, Charles Lindberg's baby had been kidnapped, you see. Being a kid myself, I figured I was ripe for the same fate, though Mother assured me I was safe for two reasons: 1) we weren't rich and famous to tempt them to see any purpose in kidnapping me and 2) if they did kidnap me by mistake, they'd soon tire of me & be happy to return me to my rightful owners!

I didn't buy into those reasons, though. First of all, I figured I was prize enough whether or not a huge ransom could be raised for me and second, I didn't accept my undesirability at all because I had cute ringlets and dimples and other little girls sometimes mistook me for Shirley Temple. ;-)

But, back to sleep habits. We share that there are never enough hours in the day to do it all. Also, perhaps you're like me in that, once I'm onto a project, time vanishes completely and nothing else really matters till I either finish or recognize a 'stopping point'.

This started very early in my life, when I smuggled projects, (usually a book) , under the covers, along with my trusty little battery-powered lantern. That was in my youth bed with the high barred sides, actually the same bed I slept in as an infant, I think. It was rather ornate wrought iron painted off-white; no doubt, some awful lead-based paint, since that hadn't yet been determined to be majorly dangerous! I may have gnawed on the bars, in fact, which could account for my oddities.

But sleep, once I am horizontal, comes easily to me and I sleep deeply and well in any amount of it. That's the secret to it.

Those moments of realization of having stayed up till dawn, as you say, start with frustration, or else self-recrimination for being so silly. But, like you, I get the second & subsequent winds, too! A shower and cup of coffee do wonders! I've been known to have been up all day, all its night, all the next day and far into the next night without sleep. But it does eventually require 'catch-up',if only for a few hours. When I think of how much healthier I might be (though I'm disgustingly healthy anyway) had I gotten normal sleep over my lifetime, I must also think of how much I'd have missed. So, who knows. One thing I do know, though, is that once one has all but lived it all, there's no re-do & if the price is in health or longevity, it would be a steep one to pay for the moments of triumph & satisfaction of having squeezed two lifetimes in such time as one has had. It is a trade-off, no doubt. I pride myself in having mastered accelerated quality sleep, but, still, who knows what might have been accomplished the 'old-fashioned way'?

My childhood years were very pleasant; then my teens were trying. My 20s were exciting; then my 30s were probably my most dowdy decade. Then I was like reborn at 40 and it's been improving ever since: 50s, 60s, 70s and now into 80s with no slowdown in sight. I expect it to continue to do so till I just stop. Like sleep, it's the quality of it that matters most, more than the numerical measurements!


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Cantuhearmescream 3 years ago from New York

Nellieanna,

I’m glad I can say that I’ve been alive and a part of the days when one consulted dictionaries and encyclopedias… we had both in my den growing up. ‘Googling’ is great because obviously things change and print that already exists cannot update itself. I also appreciate that it’s at your fingertips and you can find answers in seconds. Unfortunately, sometimes there are too many conflicting answers and you’re no further ahead than you were before you started ‘Googling’… and I love what you thought of ‘Googled’ to have meant… lol!

Oh, I had a terribly fear, maybe even phobia all of my life… it’s better now, but not non-existent. I wonder if the concept of death wasn’t presented to me in a not so healthy manner or something because once I realized that people actually die… the end!... that really did not sit well with me. I started asking ‘Well, then what?’ and nobody could provide me with an answer that satisfied me. I would lay in bed at night, after praying to God to please let my family live forever, and think about what happens after people die. I would run into my parents’ bedroom crying and ask and they would always start with “I think…” or “They say…” No… I wanted facts… proof! At five years old or so… I couldn’t bear the thought any longer and so I’d grab a book, probably nursery rhymes or something… and just read until my eyes couldn’t stay open anymore. To this day, I never ‘lay in bed’ at night… I always wait until I’m passing out before I go to bed because I don’t want to allow my brain time to drift to unpleasant thoughts. Yes, I’m sure that’s unhealthy, but I have problems… lol.

Oh… that’s so sad about your fears of being kidnapped! No doubt the results of parents telling you to stay away from strangers… or maybe a news story, or a bad movie? I can relate though, trust me. Wow, it sounds like your dreams were safe havens. For as long as I can remember I’ve had nightmares… I dream too, don’t get me wrong and they’re very much like something you’d see from Alice and Wonderland… but my nightmares bother me into the day.

Look at me… getting ahead of myself. Sometimes I have to address paragraph by paragraph so as to not neglect an entire statement… ish! You’ve explained your fear of kidnapping and now I see! :D Charles Lindberg's baby! Yes, I remember learning about that in school, isn’t that something… you lived through it! Return you! Lol… I would seriously doubt that! You did not say Shirley Temple! Oh my goodness! I just spoke of her the other day! I adored Shirley Temple as a child. I remember taking Sunday baths and getting out to watch my Shirley! Though I heard she turned into something of a brat as an adult :D

Yes, I am very much like that with projects… I’m not sure if it’s ambitiousness or stubbornness! Ha ha… even worse is when there is more than one project! Then I just find myself overwhelmed because I feel the need to equally accomplish them both. I’ve had people to tell me to ‘just stop’ several times in my life :D

Ha ha ha!!! You had me laughing out loud about knowing on your wrought iron bed! That’s too funny! Hey, I grew up with led paint and asbestos and I frequently joke that it must’ve been from ‘eating the led paint chips’! lol. I sleep well horizontally too! Lol Really though, I know many people who struggle to fall or stay asleep, that is not my problem. I sleep well, sometimes I fear I’d sleep through the world ending! It’s amazing though, how we can wake up to the sound of a baby lightly fussing… make a bottle, change baby, feed baby, burp baby and return baby, without ever realizing it! My first born didn’t sleep through the night until a year… and he’d get up every 3 to 4 hours… I got good though! lol

I am so much like you when it comes to those winds! Lol… I have found that I have a weak spot, sometime after dinner… I never sit down, if I do, that’d be the end of it! Disgustingly healthy… lol, is that an oxymoron? Though I must admit… I couldn’t be happier to hear that!

Oh me gosh! You’re timeline sounds so much like mine so far! Pleasant childhood, though I was born and raised in a dysfunctional family… teens, definitely trying… 20’s… so far have been the time of my life and I’m only a year and month into my 30’s, but so far, they suck! I love the idea of being reborn in my 40’s! I’m so happy that you see your journey as moving up… that is so great. So many people, I fear, waste so much time looking at what’s gone by that they miss out on appreciating what’s in front of them. 80s! I keep forgetting that… I keep thinking you’re in your 40s!

Quality, not quantity… you are a testament to that!

Hugs… you made my night again!

Cat


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Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

No - there were never any warnings - nor need for any - not to talk to strangers in my little border hometown of Del Rio. There really were no strangers. There were two populations, though, the Anglos and the Mexicans. But there was no fear among us. I walked back and forth to school without a worry in the world. Kids played outside all day without much supervision. The only serious warnings I recall were when we went across the border to Villa Acuña in Mexico. Mother would tell me not to touch anything and to stay right by her side, that if I did bother anything, they'd throw me in jail and throw away the key! This really hit home with me, because our Mexican ranch foreman, Manuel Rameriz, would always get thrown in jail for drunkenness when he got to town, and Dad would have to go bail him out! But otherwise, I had no real fears. My kidnap fear was built entirely on the BIG news story that Charles Lindberg's baby had been kidnapped. http://www.charleslindbergh.com/kidnap/ In fact, I don't think they ever found it! Lindberg was the first pilot ever to fly across the Atlantic in a single-engined plane (which was the kind of planes then) so he was big news too. http://www.charleslindbergh.com/history/paris.asp It happened shortly after I was born, and the story was kept fully alive for several years as they searched for the baby, paid ransoms and met without success. It permeated my early life so much that I thought kidnapping was a 'given', I guess. (Oh - I see our paths on this subject have now double-crossed! haha - oh, well - it's still good history!)

So I can understand your frustration with not understanding about death and being truly fixated on it. I grew up in a household of older folks than I. My parents were in their 40s when I was born and they'd both lost their fathers at a young age - both at about 12, in fact. In their days, it was common for a man to marry, have a large family, and the wife would die fairly young, leaving him to manage with the children alone, so he would remarry - older than most. In each of my parents' cases, that had happened and each of my parents was the oldest of the 'second' family of an older father and a relatively younger mother. So each of them had a long list of half-siblings much older and fathers who died much younger than their own mothers. I heard about their fathers, who had been dead for MANY years before they had me. Mother particularly loved her dad and felt he was her guardian angel. These impressions of those who have passed on, to a little girl who had never known much personal awareness of death, sort of seemed like 'just the way things are'. A playmate who had visited her grandmother but who didn't live in our town died of appendicitis and I was terrified of dying when I had it, especially since my parents were at the ranch and I was staying with friends when I had the attack. There was no phone at the ranch, so getting parental permission to operate was a very complicated process. The Chief of Police could give permission in the event that the parents were not reached, at almost the moment death would otherwise result, & they were near that point when finally my parents had been contacted, had driven over miles of rough ranch roads to get to the nearest phone & to call in the permission. THAT was a scary brush with death for me, yet there were some really humorous things about it, too!

It was about 1942, during WWII, when San Angelo's (the little remote Texas town's) Air Force Base was filled with military folks from all over everywhere. Wives had come with their guys, of course. The connection of this with my appendicitis was that there were many of the wives who were nurses at the hospital form all over - New York, Chicago, Philadelphia - - etc. They already knew they were at the dropping off place of the planet. They talked about their drive across Texas to get to our town, which they thought had become a myth before they'd finally reached it.

But then, when this little girl's parents were so out of reach that it took hours to find them, with all the details of that effort, it became the biggest joke going on! You see, first a call had to be made to Pelham Bradford, the store-keeper/postoffice keeper at Pumpville, a tiny town which was about 300 miles from where I was in the hospital and was 25 or so miles further away over rocky, slow roads to our ranch. So after they got ahold of Pelham, someone had to ride out there to find my parents; but when they got there, they discovered my parents were not at the compound but were out who-knew-where, riding miles and miles of fences, in any possible direction from the compound! The only way to summon anyone in that situation was to either start the windmill, if it was turned off; or to turn it off if it was going. The wind always blows out there, so if the tank is full, the wind-powered windmill has to be manually stopped so water isn't being pumped form 700 feet underground & needlessly overflowing the tank! Of course, my parents would be aware whether or not it had been turned off or not before they rode out and if that had changed, it would mean someone was up there signaling or messing around.

So Pelham or whoever rode out there did the windmill signal and waited for my parents to see it and ride back up to the compound. It's a very large ranch, not at all flat - with many deep canyons and quite a few mesas and buttes, so that would have taken some time for them to be in line so as to be able to notice the windmill's activity.

When they did get the signal and rode (horseback, of course) up to the compound, then they had to drive the 25 rugged miles to Pumpville to call in their permission for my emergency surgery! We were beyond the Model Ts by then, but we're not talking speedy transportation here, so it was considerable time! haha.

Of course they headed on back home to San Angelo to be sure I was OK. I was never more happy to see them! I remember that Mother had made me a pink and white striped gingham stuffed giraffe! I loved that thing! I also remember saying that I wanted 'something to eat that wasn't something to drink'! after the operation. haha. But that was days coming!

I guess my next awareness of death was the tragic accident that took my sister, her husband and all 3 of their little boys when she was 35 and I was 21. That death was so first-hand to me, I will never ever be completely over it. Now I've lived through almost everyone I knew earlier in my generation or the ones before it being dead. The only living members of my family besides myself, are the young folks.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

My reply exceeded the # of words allowed, so I'm continuing in a second comment box! ;-/

Oh, yes. Shirley Temple was actually 4 years older than I, and was quite the popular child actress when I was little. I saw her movies, sang her songs, wore Shirley Temple Frocks, had a Shirley Temple doll and paper dolls, - the whole bit. And I was sometimes mistaken for her by little girls who didn't know better. If she were alive today, she'd be 85. She did have a rocky teenage as an actress but she matured well beyond that. She was quite an active philanthropist, in fact.

When I'm obsessed with a project, it's so intense that I never think about anything else. I am capable of multitasking, but that kind of obsession is focused on just one project. "I" cease to exist apart from it, so there is no anxiety about it, just dogged determination, I guess - LOL. I've been told that I 'think too much' - how ludicrous is that? - but usually no one interferes when I'm into one of my marathons.

I sleep totally horizontally - on my back, no pillow. If I go to sleep holding a Kleenex, I will awake in the morning still holding it. Oh, yes - with a baby to care for, or even in the event of a really alarming noise in the night, I'll awaken. It's been a LONG time, though, since baby sounds were part of my life. My 'kids' are 56 and 58 & grandparents themselves!

Usually I go to sleep quickly and wake up fully refreshed, hours later. I went through one semester as a college freshman having insomnia. That was really horrid. But I learned to relax my brain and drift off easily. I feel very sorry for folks who can't. I went through a time after George died of not wanting to go upstairs to bed, so I literally slept down here on the couch for a couple of years. Part of it was that I felt more vulnerable sleeping up there alone. But my routine now is to set the alarm system at night & feel pretty safe. There may be other precautions I probably should take, in case of natural disasters.

I don't begrudge myself any catnaps I may take. I figure that the wisdom of my body is in charge. Truly. It knows what it needs & if I'm not too headstrong, it can quietly accomplish it without fanfare. The only thing I regret is sleeping in awkward positions when I could have just stretched out! haha

If my natal family was dysfunctional, we didn't know it. haha. My parents were totally opposite in personalities, but they were of one mind when it came to doing what they'd set out together to do. There were no arguments or fighting, though there were plenty of lively discussions! My much-older siblings created a 5-parent household in which I grew up. I was always 'the baby' & not given much acknowledgement for anything else, so I just grew anyway. My parents 'saw' me but there wasn't a lot of attention given in their generation to opinions or psychological needs of small children. Mother didn't think kids had "nerves" - haha. But she was good at encouraging creative accomplishments & Dad was good at encouraging intellectual ones. I'm not sure they ever really knew "me" or that I'd mastered any of them, though No, that's not really so. In their own ways, they did. But innovations were sort of overlooked, and I'm innovative. My siblings were the stiff-necked ones! haha. They'd brook no deviation from what they thought or how they did things. I suppose it all served a purpose. I just went on and 'did me' because I didn't know what else to do and that just emerged. hehe.

This has been an interesting day of genealogical research and counseling with my eldest granddaughter who just turned 37 & is at a crossroads. She lives in Indianapolis. She texted me and we had a lengthy text-talk.


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 3 years ago from Philippines

I can't think of any other superlatives that preceding commentators haven't made. I am still feeling the emotional impact of these poems despite having been reading or rather experiencing them these past few days. It seems inappropriate to say I "read" your poems, for their words span many levels of consciousness that each new experience of "reading" is different from the last. Thank you for sharing these poems which must have come from very private reflections on significant events in your life.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Silent Reed, your comments are ever among my most treasured ones. What a deep compliment it is to say you cannot simply 'read' my poems, but that they involve much more than eye-to-brain action. That is truly one of the best testimonials I could ever have. It's true that my poetry does spring from reflections -or even as-they-are-happening events of my life, and the words simply flow from my deepest experience of the events. If I ever sit down "to write a poem" - it would result in one that you could just 'read'. haha. I may not always be exactly inspired at the same depth, but it always springs up and out from inside my being. As I've said in other explanations, many of my poems were written down almost as a privately coded diary at a time when my external expressions were quite restricted. The poetry was where "I" could BE and be safe from exposure in that particular situation, but where I could always refer to be sure "I" was still intact. Now I find it gratifying that the 'coded words' speak so well to others who have the heart and soul to take them in. Of course, I've written many more poems since the days to which I refer, but my poetic style was set, I suppose, so that they're still written with the same subtle privacy, but yet, within it, - with utmost clarity.

Thank you so much for your very pleasant visit this morning!


MrsBrownsParlour profile image

MrsBrownsParlour 3 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

Exquisitely artful writing! It is written on an ethereal, noble level...so very beautiful. :-) Lurana


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

What lovely adjectives, Lurana! Thank you!! Hugs!


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 3 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

Is it true, or is it just idle gossip, that this very talented poet is about to present a prose hub entitled:

'Dining Al Fresco with a Very Elegant Lady'

or its alternative title,

'How to Show Elderly Yuppies what Real Style is All About'.

Mwah!

Ian


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

haha! Now that IS an idea! However this lady has long-since relinquished any notion of being able to show anyone, any age, any thing! haha. In the rare cases of exceptions proving the rule (as you know), she is simply eternally gratified. In general, it's found to be better to simply exemplify one's better lessons, and then hope - perhaps - to be noticed favorably, though the high risk is to be noticed unfavorably for one's better lessons, which can hurt! haha!

There's hope for 'Dining Al Fresco with a Very Elegant Lady', providing no connection is made with said writer. hehe. More of an objective observation, which gets by better.

Mwah, dear Ian! :-)


Cantuhearmescream profile image

Cantuhearmescream 3 years ago from New York

Nellieanna,

Okay, I'm ready for my History test now! Ha ha... actually, that was quite a bit of interesting history and stories all in comment box number 1. I couldn't help but laugh when I saw you'd exceeded the allotted commenting space... but when you ain't done, you ain't done! lol.... I actually have only seen the first sentence of your second comment box so far, but if I don't comment on what I've already read, then I'm bound to lose it.

I imagine your childhood was much different than mine but there was an innocence still, when I was growing up; a kind I don't see nearly as much of today. I lived in a village of about 100 houses and new and spoke with all of my neighbors. My parents constantly had my brothers and I check in, but we always came and went, on bikes, on foot... and never really had any fears about any of it. I suppose the fear of being thrown in jail would've done something for me too! Golly! That's almost funny!

Lindbergh, wow... I knew of the story but I hadn't know nearly the details I got from the links. Wow... I think I just spend the last hour reading about it and it was quite fascinating... and sad. When you said you didn't know if they had ever found 'it', I assumed you were talking about Lindbergh's baby? According to the article they had found the baby about 2 months after he was kidnapped... very dead and very detailed, that was bothersome. I actually got so frustrated reading about that, that I knew I just had to keep reading to find out if they'd ever gotten to the bottom of it. The investigation very much trickled into NYC too, not far from where I was born and raised. What a nightmare, the whole thing and the bad leads, frauds... but finally catching the kidnapper and having him executed. I'd say justice was finally served.

At first, I was thinking, how terrifying... as far as your appendicitis scare goes, but my goodness, the story that followed thereafter could make it's own hub! I guess we really ought to be grateful for modern medicine and technology!

I am so sorry to hear about your sister and family, I cannot even imagine how that must've affected you. I just know that I'm not strong enough to get through something like that. I'm glad you have.

(I've probably left out something I planned on mentioning... but... onto Shirley Temple!)


Cantuhearmescream profile image

Cantuhearmescream 3 years ago from New York

Nellieanna,

Now I'm really confused... I thought Shirley Temple died and I thought it wasn't that long ago that I heard so... but I can't find her dead on the computer anywhere... are you sure she's dead? Ha ha... I'm guessing you've kept your ears and eyes open for her over the years, well with being a fan and a lookalike! Perhaps you even specifically remember reading or hearing about her death and here I am questioning it... maybe you even went to her funeral? lol...

That was so interesting to read about you growing up in real-time with Shirley, as I knew she was an 'icon of the past' even when I was a child. I really kind of lost track of her after her childhood years and had only heard she was now known as 'Shirley Temple Black' and that she was either hard to work with or mean or something, so to hear your refer to her as a philanthropist is pretty cool.

I suppose there's a big difference between having to do something and wanting to do something. That is not to say that sometimes we don't find a way to want to do something that we have to do anyway or that we can't accept that we have to do something regardless if we want to. When those are the circumstances and I take ownership... the determination kicks in and there's no stopping me... much of what you said sounds very familiar! ... and 'think too much'! Ha ha... I've heard that one plenty and it's not usually in the form of a compliment! :D

Gee, I guess when you say horizontally, you mean horizontally! I could never sleep without a pillow, oftentimes two; but that's usually the result of cheap or beaten pillows just not having enough fluff anymore and my desire to watch television or read when I lay down and needing to be propped up. As adamant as I am to have my head up, I am equally adamant about having it in an awkward position too! Just from EMT training alone I'm aware of where the most 'neutral' position is and I don't like to deviate too far from that... or I will pay dearly in the morning. I don't know about the whole 'tissue' thing though... lol. I've always been accused of being a 'restless' sleeper... though I always feel I've slept wonderfully :p. I remember buying a pair of shorts in high school that were 'between' sizes. The size up would've been too big and the one below would've been too small, yet the pair I ended up with could've afforded to be just a touch roomier. I thought they looked fine in the dressing room mirror, but when I tried them on when I got home, I felt like they were tighter that I wanted. So... my plan: wear them to bed and they'll stretch out! Why is it that when we were clothes around for the day, they seem to stretch out some? Yet... did not work as planned! As a matter of fact. I woke up in the morning and felt 'naked'. I jumped up out of bed, wondering why I didn't have pajamas on... forgetting about my night before plan... then I spotted my shorts on the ground next to my bed and couldn't for the life of me think of how they got there! Isn't that pretty bad that I could take my clothes of in my sleep? Ha ha... they were every bit as crisp in the morning as they were on the rack in the store!

I guess times had changed a lot from your childhood to mine. But I do recognize the kind of family you're talking about. My parents are both one of six and my father's family may have included some 'illegitimate' siblings, but they're family secrets and anyone with answers has died.

Also, my parents had my brothers and I, in under 3 years. June 1980, June 1981 and May 1982. We grew up in the 80's, when dysfunction was born... on my street anyway! I'm not complaining... I did more with my family growing up then the kids today will ever understand and I'm grateful for every minute... despite the psychological damage I may have now, as an adult... from parents who didn't understand the psychologies behind raising kids. Despite the fact that innovative things were pretty much overlooked... I'm glad you kept at it; that's no doubt had some affect on who you've become and it sounded like quite a lovely upbringing regardless. We all have our unique little things that make our families our families, don't we?

Texting with your granddaughter? How cool is that a grandma in her 80's who rocks out on the computer and texts? lol... I think my 60 something grandmother still has a cord on her phone and knobs on her TV!

Ahhh... thanks for making my afternoon!

Hugs,

Cat


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

haha - Cat. Perhaps it's time for classes to let out for the summer. I really did load you up! No test, in any case!

New lesson: brevity. hehe. No, I love these discussions. I'm quite wrapped up in tracing genealogy, which is why I've not been here so much. It's almost like a 4th of July project, because so many of the ancestors on both sides fought in the Revolution and/or for the Union in the Civil War. I knew there was one Revolution veteran in Mother's lineage, because a cousin had traced it to establish that for the purpose of qualifying for DAR. But I really am surprised to find some of Dad's progenitors did take up arms, and are qualifiers for Sons of the American Revolution, though their religion generally frowned on it.

Yes, that Mexican jail threat has become very amusing, but - at the time, not so much! :-)

We've much better access to the news of the Lindberg kidnapping now than we had when it was in progress. As a toddler, my facts were rather biased, besides! It was a horrid nightmare, you are so right!

A prelude to the appendicitis story was that the neighbors with whom I was staying had gone out to visit grandparents on a farm way out of town & far from the hospital. When the attack started - violently - I was somewhat at their mercy and the mercy of their full realization of what it was, and then, of their transportation. All in all, it wasn't a fun experience. And I had visions of my playmate who had died with an appendicitis attack which ended badly.

Yes, my sister's family's death was a major trauma. Even after all this time, it is quite clear.

No, I wasn't certain Shirley Temple died, though she did have some issues with cancer. I spoke of her in the past tense mostly because her public life was no longer, though I did mention she'd be 85 if alive. So she is alive it seems.

Of course, we often set our inner dials to want to do what must be done. I have a motto which says, "If it can't be fun, why do it?" - which is known to cause consternation to some folks who interpret it as meaning to irresponsibly play & frolic all the time. Of course, what it means it to make whatever one does BE 'fun' - or enjoyable or rewarding - somehow positive. But it also sets a limit, that if there is no way to bring something 'up' and if it's totally negative and oppressive, it may need to be changed.

I suppose one fine line between doing things that feel like "having to" is when we're being required to do something at someone else's whim or preference without consideration for our real needs. There are such cases when one person's whims are being served at the expense of someone else's needs, and that is very unfortunate.

However, often in such cases, we've usually allowed ourselves to be roped into that, either by an over-active eagerness to please or something - which may afford its own kind of pleasure, but, unless it's appreciated in like measure, soon becomes a tiresome chore or burden, and harder to put an end to than it might have been to simply say or demonstrate 'no' at the onset.

A few such experiences begin to sink in as being not worth it & avoidable by justified choice; though if one is of a nature to want to please, they can keep occurring, by the same means.

I guess one must weigh the value of whatever it is to which one is giving oneself and one's life, and use reasonable judgment accordingly - without feeling guilty. There's a happy balance in there somewhere.

Yes, one must take ownership of her own choices and follow through on them.

When I used to use a pillow, it was little more than a case lightly filled with down, which I called 'Pilly", which could be rolled up under my neck for a nice effect. But I don't want to get a 'widow's hump' or any other misalignment of my back & organs, so sleeping flat, which is my preference anyway, seems to serve that purpose, too. I usually massage my neck before I go to sleep and when I awaken to get out any 'kinks'. If any part of me is restless during the night, it might be my legs, but not frequently. That's quite a story about your shorts on the floor and knowing you'd taken them off in the night without waking up! haha.

For me personally, innovative was always at work. I usually figured things out pretty much on my own, so my methods tend to be rather innovative. But I realize I have a talent for 'finding' just the right thing needed to get on with a project. It's almost psychic! haha.

I also text with my 16 year old great-granddaughter. I'm a bit of a techie.

Hugs -


Isaac White profile image

Isaac White 3 years ago from Welcome to my beautiful world, where magic is no longer a myth.

great poems and great reads. You're gifted. Voted up.

I. White


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Isaac, thank you! I appreciate your visit and kind comment! Thank you for the vote, too! Hugs.


Monis Mas profile image

Monis Mas 3 years ago

Beautiful poetry... You can sort of just "fall into it"...


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

What a delightful comment, Monis Mas! I love that imagery! Thank you!

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