Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Accept Godliness in Yourself | The Divine You

Imitation is Suicide. Insist on yourself; never imitate. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson | Self-Reliance

Prompt by Fabian Kruse
Write down in which areas of your life you have to overcome these suicidal tendencies of imitation, and how you can transform them into a newborn you – one that doesn’t hide its uniqueness, but thrives on it. There is a “divine idea which each of us represents” – which is yours?

Digital Writing Jolanda Nietveld
Printing a, b, c and each additional letter of the alphabet. Stay between the lines, let your pencil glide across the paper. First handwriting lessons, symbols painstakingly copied from the black board.

You and your parents visit another family. In the living room the man named Joop, uncle Sander and Papa bend over a book of artists' signatures. Used to the company of adults you feel insulted when sent outside to play with Joop's daughters. The mother hands you each a large carrot. The eldest girl insists you have to mash the carrot swallowing just the juice, and eventually you nearly choke on the pulp.

The rocket has landed on the moon and every one with access to a TV is glued to the set. Except for one other girl there's nobody on the playground, not even the guard. You and the girl leave the fenced area and scan sidewalks and stoops for coins. Money is lying in the gutter, the girl knows. Tired of looking you ask a woman for a dime.  
 "Do your mothers know you are begging for money? If you continue doing this you'll wind up in the gutter."

You have moved to the country, two hours north from the city. Whereas you were printing letters in italics before, the letters and numbers now have to stand upright. And whereas the upgrade from pencil in the city was to a ballpoint pen, the children in the village school are promoted to pen and ink, black for everyday use and colored when you make no mistakes. Your notebook is filled with green, purple and red that turns darker, nearly black as it dries.

Your mother sews your clothes from remnants a friend sends, after the latest fashion in Paris. The knee socks under your skirts are plaid, your long pants make schoolmates snicker, "That's boy's wear". Until the village catches up and everyone rolls up pant legs, showing the lighter side of denim.

Never advertise for free

Your mother turns name carrying shopping bags inside out. You learn to cut out labels, to not drop names, to know the difference between chic and ordinary.

Your father dresses you in Tartan, in tailored pants, a forest green bespoken suit in the latest Terlenka® and tries to find matching pumps and hand bag in the Godforsaken outpost. You're mother dresses in overalls, yet paints her toe nails and lips a startling fuchsia. She buys you candy striped and polka-dotted dresses in turquoise, pink and orange, but calls shocking pink vulgar, because it's favored by girls with the wrong hairdos and dialect.

You're an only child, who doesn't play much with other children until you go to Kindergarten at age five. "She loves to share," the grade-school teacher says when you move up north with your parents two years later. Girls at the village elementary school deny you a piece of candy. Your father gives you a guilder to buy all kinds of sweets and orders you —for once— not to share. A girl you don't play with, your best friend and her brother call you an i-di-Yid, the boy adds "voddejood". You're puzzled, the one thing your father doesn't deal in is rags, he buys textiles (your mother won't touch —that boring) from the Jewish pedlar who comes by on his bicycle loaded with merchandize. The men schmooze for hours, nurse their coffee, throw back a shot of jenever, and suck their cigars.Your father writes your friend's mother she should be ashamed of herself, to raise her children to call his child an idiot Jew. In her answer she says it's his fault entirely, in making his daughter stand out from the crowd, he singles her out himself. 

You are the one and only

And so it's up to you to take your unique singular self and deal with the pain of your elders; accept the godliness in every one, the divinity of life, and be, always be yourself.

This work by by Judith van Praag is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


Judith van Praag said...

So, here's some cross insemination without knowledge of the donor. But when you get a nice return comment on Twitter can't just let it lay by the way side.
Fabian Kruse
"Enjoyed reading this response to #trust30 by @DutchessAbroad: http://bit.ly/la9ZfF Accept the Godliness in Yourself."
10 hours ago

Fabian Kruse @DutchessAbroad "Your words transported me to another time and place, so early in the morning. Thanks for sharing!"
10 hours ago Favorite Retweet Reply

See what I mean? If people don't comment on the blog itself, but elsewhere, I'm just going to scoop 'em words up.

Judith van Praag said...

Here's another tweet, this one from LoriRandallStradtman: Adore your thoughts on imitation. @dutchessabroad: @Lori_Randall with ♡ from Seattle writedayindayout.blogspot.com

Judith van Praag said...

My thoughts: Is this Imitation? Re-publishing tweets feels like it must at least be bad etiquette, the way Re-tweeting (RT) a tweet just because someone paid you a compliment is B.E.!
But jee whiz, I wish folks would leave a comment on the blog, after all, that way we can follow them back to their own blogs and leave a comment and spread the ♡