Monday, May 28, 2007
My Godmother and others
My Godmother is here visiting, as I have mentioned before, and I am having a marvelous time. There is a story of the beginning of our relationship. I know one side. I should ask for her version. What I know is that when I was a baby my parents did not have me baptised. Now you may ask yourself how I came to have a Godmother in that instance, but my Godmother felt that since I would not have a Godmother, and as far as the story I know goes, she would be unlikely to garner any Godchildren so I was chosen by her. Can't say that I had all that much to do with it at the time, but one of the lovely things about having her here is that it is the longest time that we have gotten to spend together since I was a child. She lived in Germany for as long as I can remember, and she now lives in Latvia so we have only seen each other on brief visits; but she has always turned up in my life periodically and my parents are still friends of hers, thankfully. I am pleased to feel that she is a friend of mine too.
She knows mountainous volumes about literature and art and music, and I am deeply enjoying talking with her about it all, my knowledge is much less extensive as well as more restricted to the English speaking world, and especially North American literature. She, along with Beth at Books Etc have gotten me started on my second Atwood novel, the first was a disaster and I swore I would never pick up another...but...
We both drink at least a litre of tea in the morning.
Neither of us can remove a stain from clothing for love or money.
I love her taste in clothes, she always manages to look both cool and comfortable and herself.
She has taught English for many many years, and I am teaching English as well, and we both share a fascination with words and language.
One of the things I am enjoying immensely is her astute outlook on many issues. I am also trying not to talk her ear off. I fell into this trap when I was travelling alone. I would find someone I could speak to, and who interested me, and who seemed at least faintly interested, and I hadn't talked to a soul in a meaningful way in SOOOOO long... I just about talk their minds out the other side of their heads I think. I am finding myself consciously holding back sometimes now. It is so nice to have another adult to talk to. No slagging my husband here, he is the best, but there is no way on God's green earth that any one person can fulfill every single need of another, and it is too much to ask.
I have other informal God mothers, though I am not sure that they are old enough to count...maybe mentor-friends...? I feel very lucky to have these other women in my life, and I miss them badly. I worked with one for years. She is a deeply philosophical thinking human being. There is not a move she makes that is not a direct reflection of her values and beliefs; and she is the one who let me in on the Baha'i faith. She is a good person, a great person, and very dear to me.
I have a friend I met sailing years and years ago who can face, as far as I have seen, almost any adversity with a sense of humour and inborn wisdom that I find hard to match. I aspire to it. Her kids are also about five years older than mine, so when something weird starts up, or I lose faith in myself and my knowledge and decisions, she is a sounding board that is both funny, wise and experienced.
I have another friend, also a Baha'i, who lives an intensely generous life. She is phenomenally talented as a writer, actor, dancer, teacher, choreographer....and she gives and gives and gives, of herself, her creativity, her intellect, her will, her determination to make everything around her better for her having been there, and she succeeds. I love her directness, and brilliance, and her perspective and honesty and her deep down integrity to what she believes in and what she does.
I am lucky to have any number of other fantastic friends, and soul mates, and kindred spirits who all fill me with joy and delight. I am just thinking at this moment of my nominated mentors, my unspoken teachers. Some of the wise women I am lucky to call friends, who are further along the path, be that intellectual, spiritual, with wisdom or humour and perspective, because they are so closely linked..., and who have been formidably strong and delightful and brilliant enough to let me ride in their slip-stream for some time.
These are women who have managed, either directly or indirectly to influence who I am, and how I see the world, and what I know and think and reason for the better.