Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Grizzly in Lucie

(Felt: a medium for moments while on prednisone. However, the post isn't drizzled in the drug. No, it is the raw cog turning of my brain. Enjoy!)

"It was the Best of Times, It was the Worst of Times"

This Dickens quote comes from: A Tale of Two Cities. A title that even reflects the polar themes therein.

On one occasion, when Madame DeFarge descends upon Lucie and her child, with an enlisted mob to join her in her evil plans to destroy the offspring of Doctor Manette's daughter and the daughter herself,

Lucie instinctively kneels down on the ground, draws the child to her breast and protects her. DeFarge could seemingly smother the two in a short period of time because of Lucie's innocence and timid nature but Lucie stops her. She deflects DeFarges advances and attempts at annihilating her being.

One online forum on the characters, that I read the other night, says that Lucie is hardly the "personality to start a revolution".

I disagree.

Despite the daintiness of Lucie, inside she carries a strength that has power to deflect DeFarge;
inside she has the strength of a Female Grizzly protecting her young. And you don't want to mess with a Grizzly bear. She isn't weak. Her power is like the Snake River's undercurrent. Peaceful calm up top, turning strength beneath. That's why mothers and women are so powerful. Not weak.

The basketball court in the gym of the HS I attended, has a sweet picture of a Grizzly Bear tearing through the floor boards. I have mentioned this before in a post some time back. But I love the depiction of this in my mind when I feel the strength come over me to accomplish what I need to accomplish in my life for my son, and for myself. As a woman placed here on this earth, at this time. Sure there are times when my talents "stay beneath the surface."

I love when those moments come that I am able to defeat the obstacles in my path, rise up over adversity and rule over the events in my life- even with little to no reserves. -

When that strength is somehow tapped from somewhere else besides me, it feels incredibly powerful. Like the times I played sports; when all the practices and effort combined with a season well under way when I had achieved optimal endurance and my team was in sync with each other like one big heartbeat.

-- It is then that I feel like that grizzly tearing through floor boards like at Skyline High. Even as I am encapsulated in a "weak" frame like Lucie's; swallowed up in illness and the binding side-effects of meds, somehow I am endowed with ability that rips through it, shines past it and causes my soul to rise up and above, beyond all physical limitations- even death.

Women do possess the unequivocal power to exact a rising. For good or evil, mind you. (Recall DeF arge.)

Of course it doesn't feel like it when you are cleaning up throw up, sweeping the same linoleum for the 10th million time of your life, filling the sink with water to hand wash magically appearing dishes when there are state of the art dishwashers at Sears, all while simultaneously switching out laundry in a faraway location. (Think of Dr. Suess-like houses where the bathroom or laundry room are at opposite ends of each other.)

And that is what DeF arge wants us to feel; that she can overpower. So Look. Out. SHE is the one dominating the stage of life and is ready to duel if you so much as step out of your mind frame that you are more than just a maid and taxi driver and attempt to challenge her.

If you are like me, it is easier to battle when you know who your opponent is. It isn't your religion, your spouse, your nation or: fill in the blank, that is keeping you "down". But good 'ol Lucifer who barges into your life with his lies about who you are and what you can become. Lies that are so powerful; he can quite literally push you onto your back and force you to lie down- if you let him.

Circumstances, that, yes, we make by our choices- But that we aren't limited to if we can remember Christ and the redemption that can come through Him if we choose. More on that later...

Sometimes when I talk with my friends we bemoan "what could have been" had motherhood, or womanhood for that matter, entered into our life and put us at the bottom before the race even started. But that kind of talk is like a turtle spinning on its shell; fruitless.

Like Lucie our lives are actually quietly grinding a mark in mankind and making the most remarkable difference of all. Despite the generic-ness of the role.

True there are no rewards handed out, promotions given that acknowledge our hard work and gives us a tangible, even monetary, compensation for our effort. We need to keep up the mental accolades if we are going to remember who we are.

Recently I spoke with an individual that commented that women didn't need to "choose" a profession. And in that we were lucky. The comment wasn't necessarily well thought through and was simply a blanket statement assessed while attending a certain LDS University. Which does make me chuckle.

I admit that I had "that mentality" growing up, as well. In HS, when the career counselors were desperately trying to get us thinking about a career, I was pulling a blank and thinking: "But I just want to be a mom...." and then filled out all the college apps, scholarship and financial aide forms in the hopes that a career would manifest itself to me.

But, yeh, if I am to be completely honest, in the back of my mind I was relying on the "safety" that my boyfriend and (my male counter parts) at the time was pretty smart and knew what he was gonna be. And that was the safety net.

It wasn't my religion, but my need to grow and find out what it was I loved- and translate that into a career- that made me choose Child Development classes as a default at Ricks college.

He made a good point about the women in our faith, and possibly in general, not taking "the bull by the horns" and obtaining the skills necessary to compete in today's world. And we women need to take note and teach our kids the invaluable need for education. (See

Thankfully, the school of hard knocks made up what for what I couldn't obtain through formal education and faulty thinking in the beginning.

As that comment has sifted through my brain and my heart in the weeks since hearing it, I concluded that most women did in fact choose her "main" career- before we set foot here on earth. A difficult decision in an earlier time, that had earthly ramifications set in motion even before we got here. Which took courage. (PS- thanks for saying it to me. It has made me reflect..)

When we choose the "secondary career" it is, at times and for some, in direct conflict with our very nature. It can be a difficult but necessary decision in this day and age, but can be another selfless sacrifice we can choose to help mankind. That said, it doesn't mean we can't work outside the home and be mothers. In fact, today in many cases, it is necessary. But we CAN choose whether we will take on Lucie qualities or DeFarge ambitions as we multi-task those two roles.

I do believe we had a choice before coming here that we would be a mother, or mother, and that choice designates whether we create in a manner that breathes life or we knit a death sentence like DeFarge.

** I feel really sorry for English teachers in this day and age. If you are a kid writing a paper and getting ideas off my posts, you are one lucky smhuck. Someday, I encourage you to actually take the time to read the book. You will be glad you did!

(These pictures were illustrated by Hablot Browne, Dickens longstanding illustrator-23- years, whom he let go after these pictures were done for A Tale of Two Cities. It was believed that he was let go because the illustrations didn't fit his darker, more serious, later novels." (David Perdue's Charles Dickens. Charles Dicken' I feel they capture the nature of Lucie. But agree, wholeheartedly, that they don't portray DeFarge and the other dark aspects of the book, at all.)

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