Sunday, September 10, 2006

how dare I?

We but half express ourselves, and are ashamed of the divine idea which each of us represents ~~Ralph Waldo Emerson

It has occurred to me as I made my wish list ( see sidebar), that I was most definitely taught that asking for and even saying what I want is rude. The nerve. The greed. A very large part of me still struggles with those learned habits of thought, of judging myself.

Instead, I am trying to teach myself a new habit of thought, unlimited, hopeful, optimistic, even knowing that the world is a place of bounty. Any gardener should know this: things want to grow and expand. Seeds are produced in profusion, roots spread out. Things multiply.

What kind of polite, nice religion taught me that I should not do the same? In learning that I should not, unfortunately, I also learned that "the divine idea" which is me is something I should be ashamed of, that the best thing I could do is to shrink somehow. Imagine that. How antithetical to the natural order of things is that, to be taught from the moment you are born that you should shrink! Oh yes, you should work hard, help people out and be grateful, but you should not stand out, be proud, ask for anything.

Don't get me wrong. This was not the message that my parents meant for me to take out of their words; I know that. In fact, they are shocked that that is what I took from their words. Unfortunately, the mind makes up a lot of things, interprets things as it wishes. And the more "evidence" that appears to reinforce those beliefs, the more entrenched they become. This occurs even though the mind has a funny way of misinterpreting even the "evidence" of life's experiences.

Standing back and examining some of those beliefs reveals a lot of inconsistencies. So forgive me if I'm inconsistent. Forgive me if I make HUGE wish lists. I'm tired of being small.


Blogger Blackswamp_Girl said...

Kati, I have never imagined you as a small person--ever. And since you dared post your wish list I have to ask: Can I legally send seeds or plants to Canada? If so, I have your Japanese anemone and would gladly send you some root... and I believe that I have verbena bonariensis seeds as well. If not, the verbena are ridiculously easy to start via winter sowing. I even managed it this year! :)

"Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself. (I am large. I contain multitudes.)" - Walt Whitman, from "Song of Myself"

2:37 p.m.  
Blogger Kati said...

It is usually how we perceive ourselves that is the problem, not how others see us :) Thank-you very much for the offer of seeds. I believe you can send seeds through the mail, but I think I have to obtain a permit to import seeds, even small amounts. I believe it's the Canadian Food Inspection Agency that I have to contact. I'll have to investigate further, and I'll let you know when I know more. By the way, I loved your quote from Walt Whitman!

4:09 p.m.  
Blogger Blackswamp_Girl said...

I agree with your first sentence... but I still think it is worth noting that others do not perceive you that way. :) If the CFIA process is easy and free, it might be worthwhile--otherwise, you could probably find the verbena seeds via a Canadian mail-order place somehow.

That is one of my very favorite quotes... I love it on its own, and I love it for sending me on a quest to read "Leaves of Grass" my junior year of high school. I seem to reread that every few years and glean something new from it each time.

5:57 p.m.  
Blogger Annie in Austin said...

My comment wasn't so much about the size of your wish list, Kati - I was just thinking out loud about the amount of earth you'd need to clear in order to plant your choices. When I'm working with the Divas of the Dirt on a garden project, clearing the grass and roots is always the hardest part.

The wish list itself was such a great idea that I was wondering how I could make a similar addition on my page. After reading this post one thing is certain - mine will be whatever size I please.


11:32 p.m.  
Anonymous Hanna in Cleveland said...

I am the exact same way. I feel like if I ask for something, then I am imposing myself in some improper manner. It is something I struggle with as well. I am glad to know that I am not alone.

9:25 a.m.  
Blogger Kati said...

Thanks for the "props", Kim :) I posted a bit on my blog on what is required to bring seeds into Canada. Seems it's still simply a matter of tiny amounts that are not for commercial purposes. I think I can get the seeds from "Gardens North", actually.We didn't study a lot of poetry in my high school curriculum. I've made up for it since then!
Annie, I know you weren't disparaging my list or me! I just recongnized in myself the old responses coming for the digging: I'm digging!! I'm digging!! One thing I've learned: ALWAYS dream BIG! You can always work towards your dream in small bites at a time. Hanna, the sad part is that we probably made it all up: our over-protective mind/ego trying to keep us safe, our mind misinterpreting the intentions of our parents et al. Sadly I can see how some of that thinking did have a detrimental impact on the goals my parents might have achieved otherwise, as they now look back on their lives.They say themselves it wasn't true but it's what they believed for far too long(the little niggling doubts about their worth or what they "should" go for). It's particularly interesting as their beliefs sometimes centered around the "class" they were born into in the old country and the fact that they were "immigrants" here and spoke English with a heavy accent. My poor Dad once actually said, certain things were "not for people like us", even though they were quite within their means. Oh, also, when you express a desire for something, it would be wrong of us to assume that you are passively waiting for the heavens to drop it into your lap. Stating your dreams in definite terms simply starts the ball rolling, you stretching yourself, and the universe (which is now simply on notice) setting all sorts of people and events into motion to enfold you in a current that will carry you to your dreams. I've just been in the silly habit of saying to the universe: "oh no no no, actually that is being too bold, selfish, greedy, imposing..." What's the universe to think?

2:13 p.m.  

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