I hear a cell phone ring tone Cock a doodle doo! I hear a home phone….brrrring brrrring brrrrigg in my younger brother calling me tonight. He does this once a month. Checks in with me. I am grateful.
Yes, the crude sibling who endearingly refers to me as “Tricks, and Cr** Blossom calls routinely as he is driving home some sixty miles from Hill AFB after a weekend of Reserves. His home is an hour from guard in Tremonton, Utah. His vehicle is having trouble sputtering a bit and he thinks he must have gotten some water in the fuel line. The truck he calls the “Yellow Banana” is a natural gas vehicle. He paid a total of $1,200.00, including shipping to bring it from Ma. some seven years ago and it has run well for over 240,000 miles. He prides himself on the purchase. It has been a good vehicle. My brother drives a hard deal and mostly gets what he wants. I hope he gets what he wants in getting home safely tonight. I hope he got enough of what he wanted in our conversation just now.
Getting home is what I have been thinking about after reading J.M. Barie’s Peter Pan, watching Disney’s version of it on cable with my girls, and over the weekend watching a feature big screen film of the life of Jesus Christ. Yes. Home is on the horizon for me….in mostly being home all weekend and most weekends in the winter. I have been thinking about all of my homes, real and hoped for.
So tonight I watched Peter Pan with my girls. I remember hearing these wonderful songs on a vinyl 33 speed record under a scratchy needle. My mother read me the classic. Aside from the segment where Peter Pan makes peace with the Indians and the chief accompanies his people in a strange song, “ Why does the red man say “HOW” I think I mostly understand this tale in all its magic and fantastics. The red man profiling has racist roots, no doubt. Unfortunate. Still, I will not throw out the baby with the bath water, because I still find a lot of meaning in characters and sequences of the delightful tale.
The Disney animated Chief “Ug” is about as red in the face with frustration and embarassment as I’ve ever had cause to be, and have been lately. And while I honestly don’t have a clue why the red man says “How,” I have heard myself asking this question repeatedly. How?
How am I to go forward? How am I to get home? How am I to fly? How am I to kindly be true to myself and to others? I have over thought and over wrought (ha ha written to rotten) What, what what am I doing?… and What, what, what have I done?…until I’ve flown in and out of sticky spider webs in trying too hard and accomplishing nothing much good. One by one web in seeking freedom. This is not unlike a frantic Tinker Bell trying to get to Peter before Captain Hook’s gifted bomb explodes in Peter’s face. With time and opportunity running out the bomb explodes painfully in Tink’s face as she snatches it and saves her most loved friend. Yes. Heaven help me, I plead. And it has. I have heard holy whisperings among my sometimes not so holy ones and I have seen valuable metaphores in favorite Disney animation yet again.
Here is what I have learned from Disney this time in viewing Peter Pan:
I’ve been a COD FISH…. A bullying Captain Hook
A tic toc crocoodile in biting remarks and bad timing
A lost boy in adventuring and fighting
A cock a doodle dooing Peter Pan in pursuit of lost boys, lost shadows and lost mothers
A Nana dog on a leash barking and wanting to help and protect
George Darling shouting for “a little less noise” and needing to take his own advise
Jealous betrayer, yet loyal love struck, magical pixie dusting Tinkerbell
I’ve splashed and assaulted innocent Wendy standing on a rock in Mermaid Cove….
I’ve even joined in the circle of mesmerized, flirting distracted mermaids caught up in wilder Peter stories
I have needed new stories….safe and sound mother’s stories
Needing someone “like” a mother or a friendly voice of reason
Sometimes finding this thing in opening spiritual eyes and enlarged heart
The lyrics of the Disney song go something like this:
“Your mother and mine….an angel voice,
a kiss on the cheek, a helping hand
that guides you along whether you’re right, whether you’re wrong,
your mother and mine.
I know. This sounds kind of crazy…..for someone like me, nearly fifty years old, struggling to Do What (I’m) Really Meant to Do, including being mother to my birth children, and mother to my school children, and mother to some church children, sometimes failing and sometimes succeeding in these. Asking for a mother’s help, still. In feeling lost. Motherless, and feeling the unloved child grown up. True. Subscribing to lies. Searching for truth. This is the human condition regardless age and circumstance. Search and rescue.
And then the lyrics continue:
What makes mothers all that they are?….might as well ask
what makes a star. Ask your heart to tell you her worth…
Your heart will say heaven and earth….Mother divine….
Your mother and mine…
Who is my mother now that my mother has gone on. I have been trying at being my own mother for some ten years? Before this too. Good question?
This song, sung by Wendy, is especially touching. At it’s end, she tucks in her younger baby brothers and in their last waking words they are begging to go home to Mother…to deep sleep….to calm….and they find this in their sister, the surrogate or foster mother to these young ones. Mother, for a short time also, to the lost boys and Peter Pan. Wendy is a good fill in mother.
Tonight, above all else I would like to sleep deeply. Yes. My mother is not with me now, but I believe I will see her again at which time I will improve that relationship. I am not looking for pity. My mother is little more than an ideal now, but ideals are fit and worthy of aspiring toward.
So Peter obliges Wendy and the boys in fulfililng wishes to embark for HOME again.
“Let’s go home,” says Wendy.
Home. Home a blessed place of round-about, of peace and rest, and healing. I pledge to turn around and away from the second star from the right….for awhile…..and more toward other familiar smiles, places, family faces.
I resign to trying better at both school and at home. To sorting out toward better and best thoughts and thinking. To eliminating distractive patterns and behaviors, and addictions. This is tough. I commit to better waking with focus and friendlier outlooks. On to gratitude and to pure love without thought of self and anything in return. These are lofty goals. I may fall and fail. I CAN try though to achieve these with much pleading to my God, and with the help of Christ’s grace and power.
So, over the three day weekend, in an attempt to stand, well sit, in holy places, my girls and I took the Mermaid to the movies. No I didn’t make church. Can you imagine a Mermaid at church? Really. She flopped around noisily at first in the theater seat. Then she settled in. Did not talk one bit through this one. Along with five other viewers in a very large, cold theater we saw a grand and glorious adventure. This one not a fantasy, more the expository non-fiction film genre, of “holy” proportions, although unbelievers would call it a myth. I choose to call it a miracle.
This overwhelmingly unsuccessful flick that isn’t selling it’s weight in gold T-shirts, merchandise, ticket sales, and popcorn is…
Son of God
This was powerful. I am not often silenced to still and open heart all that often in theater settings or anywhere. Of course one does not find audience with Jesus for an hour and a half often, or any day for more than a few moments at a time. I left the show in tears and humbling, encouraged, and thinking I will do better. In spite of failing I will try again, and again. I will think happy little thoughts every day at school and every place I go. I will do my best to do better. In this I will FLY as I keep a greater FOCUS. I will take the helm and steer my cock a doodle dooing to soft whispers, with fewer and farther between foolish expeditions, resolving not to look back so much to Neverland but forward and up to new stars…..and one star in particular, a Christmas star over Bethlehem.
Under this star I will find a holy mother, and a baby. A Messiah who is certain to mature to adulthood, in filling a Godly mission. In the waters of baptism, I imagine my Lord takes me by the hand. He speaks softly to my soul with a loving smile. “Don’t be afraid. Why do you doubt? I am with you.” In the movie, I recall Him saying to John the beloved, “Behold your mother.” Somehow this ideal will be realized in my life, in some form of ideal, in some way, and certainly in Jesus. I am realizing it already as I imagine holy. Through faith, and trust, and work I will more fully feel this thing and sing a new song. “The song of the heart is a prayer unto Him.” Enough crowing for awhile.