My second writing wave were ages eleven to thirteen. It was at a time in my life that I so wanted to scream at the top of my lungs, “STOOOPPPPPPP!” It was aimed at the cruelty of the world. Or rather I should say the dismissiveness of the lesser, the poor, the helpless. Yes, that was and is me. I’m still that same being. So the other night as I prayed for people, for my family, for self, for our household. These thoughts arose over and over again, in between my prayers and meditations. At those ages I referred to, I was in my middle school years. I kept diaries those years somewhat regularly.
One of those years, I was tremendously blessed with this language arts teacher, Ms. Beltrami. She was frail, and kind. She appeared sickly. But inside all of that, I saw reserve and gentleness in her. I only wanted her to be happy. I saw inside her soul. Sometimes, people let me do that. And other times I’m gifted that view from another source. Even if I don’t want to see what is inside the other being that stands before me. I feel pain whether it is mine or someone else’s, I may still feel it. Many times, I feel other’s pain is much harsher. Harsher to them, because they don’t understand it. Yet me the outsider just might.
“Jody, what you write is horrible. I mean, you really feel that way?” She asked. I didn’t know how to reply. I was age twelve at the time. So, instead I apologized for freaking Mom out. “What does it do for you?” She asked.
feelings. And it’s okay. The world’s a tough place for her, Mom.” I replied.
My three years in that new school system, were some of the toughest years of my life. I was bullied nearly all the time, inside and out of school. I had no friends, accept my dog and God. That was it. Ms. Beltrami, a teacher although not a friend. She was someone who benefitted from my honesty and my view of the pains in life. I saw this, and I wondered how others couldn’t.
Yet, the gift I received was giving someone understanding. To me giving understanding to someone is the most precious gift we can give one another as human beings. It is what makes the world go round.---Jody-Lynn Reicher