Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Smaller Me

When my hands were too small to hold book, camera, paintbrush or pen... Infant me looks happy and brimming with curiosity, a naiad or a dryad, a wild woman in the making, someone longing for adventures. Those tiny feet are just raring to go.

An aunt once said in disapproving tones that I was a strange, wild and difficult child, always asking questions, clamoring for reading materials (and to be taught how to read), demanding brushes, paper, pencils and the family Kodak before I was three years old, running off into the woods at every opportunity. Trees, rivers, butterflies, winding roads leading into the forest - it was all good, and it was all entrancing "stuff". It still is, several decades later.

At the moment, I am dipping into Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Estes again and reading the sixth chapter: Finding One's Pack: Belonging as Blessing. What Clarissa calls the "Mistaken Zygote Syndrome" was surely at work all those years ago, but it took several decades for me to figure it out, for I've always been what Ursula LeGuin called "a slow unlearner". She gave a remarkable commencement address at Bryn Mawr years ago containing that very expression, and it was a wonder - read it here.

7 comments:

Kerry O'Gorman said...

Thank goodness you are still running into the woods to chase butterflies! Love your photos...

One Woman's Journey said...

Cate, I wondered what you looked like - now I know. Keep running in the woods and doing all you do!!

Moonstone Gardens said...

Isn't it wonderful to be able to grow older without becoming an "adult". Stya childlike.
Cindee

Tabor said...

You photo so clearly shows what an interesting and observant person you would grow up to be. Keep running with wolves and unlearning.

liliannattel said...

Thank you for the link and for reminding me of WWRWW. It's been a long time since I read it. Maybe time for a re-read. I like to think of you at 3, wild, curious, and wish you'd had a wild aunt to encourage you.

Heather said...

Thank you for the link to the talk by Ursula K. Le Guin. It was beautiful and inspiring.

Cari said...

Cate, thank you so much for all your beautiful posts, and especially, today, for posting the link to Ursula K. LeGuin's 1986 talk at Bryn Mawr. I loved reading her thoughts on the "father tongue" and "mother tongue" and that third language which births poetry and truth. I had the rare opportunity to have her come to my home several years ago when she was Artist in Residence at San Jose State University near where I live. At the time, I (shamefacedly) had not read any of her books, but after meeting her I set that right by reading lots of her work, and I especially appreciate her essays. Maybe, at the time, it was better I hadn't, because I was able to talk to her without being a "fan" and I think she appreciates that, being just folks. So thank you for this link to words of hers I had not read yet and which truly inspire me. You too inspire me: I have begun trying to photograph the moon, a lunatic enterprise if every there was one.
Best,
Cari Ferraro