Monday, May 25, 2009

My Godmother (Or Why I am the way I am)

Photo: Andy Wright

So I’m driving down the road with my Mother today … I’d tell you where I we were coming from, but my girl Rebecca-san would drive down here and smack the taste outta my mouth. {smile} Maybe I’ll tackle that one tomorrow …

Anyhoo – We’re looking at all the beautiful flower along the road. My mother points out these beautiful jewel-tone blooms, asking what they are.

“Maybe they’re nasturtiums? Or is it too early?” I respond.

“Maybe. They look like some I had in my garden. Joan Agocs gave them to me, and I planted them on the hill on Maple Avenue. She told me they would grow by themselves as long as I didn't try to move them. She was right.”

“They grew well?”

“Till I moved them. Then they died.”

“Dear God! Why’d you move them?” I laughed.

“Well I … I don’t know. I just …”

“Didn’t believe her? Wanted to experiment? Geez! Who is Joan anyway – what was her name?”

“Joan Agocs She was your Godmother.”

“Well of course that’s why I don’t know who she is! Because you appointed a godmother that I never met!” (Old argument.)

“You can’t let that go, can you?”

“Never met her. She went back to England …”

“She was funny and interesting. I liked her very much. Another very good friend that just disappeared from my life. That happens to me all the time.”

“Maybe it’s because you never call them.”

“Well … We all lead such busy lives” She sighs.

“Honestly, Mom. So what was she like?”

“She was a war bride. Came over from Bristol after the war. Her city was bombed a lot. Once she returned home on the train from a date, and the whole section of town had been bombed out. Even the train station was gone. Her date abandoned her on the tracks to see about his family. Just left her there. She had to pick her way back home. There were no landmarks left to navigate by.”

“Eesh! Sounds gruesome.”

“And, stressful. They used to have dogfights over her city. Everyone would stop and watch. Joan said, ‘We would forget about the blokes who were actually flying the planes. We would watch it like it was a football game. Just look up, and there they were. When our bloke shot down the German plane, everyone would cheer.’ She had lots of bad memories of the war. That’s probably why she was an atheist.”

“An atheist? My Godmother was an atheist? You chose an atheist to be my Godmother??” I was laughing so hard that I could hardly see the road.

“Well she was spiritual.”

“See, this is why I am the way I am! My Godmother was an atheist. My Mother taught me to cast astrology charts and read Tarot cards when I was a child, and now she has the nerve to play organ and piano for Sunday church services!”

“Well, she came to your christening.”

“And, where was that? Stonehenge?”

“Since your brother was christened at my church, your father insisted that you be christened at his.”

She of Zoar Methodist and he of Wesley AME. Tsk. Such rich African American history! And yet, still I’m half pagan baby …

“So how’d she like it.” I asked.

“Hmmm. Well, once I told her how church enlightened and inspired me. How it filled me with warmth and community. Later she came up to my desk and said, ‘Don’t show me light! I don’t want you to show me no light!’ And, she walked away.


“Must have been the war. She was just such a terrific person.”

I have full faith and confidence that she was.


Janie said...

Funny story. Ah, now it's all clear why you're a bit of a cynic!

CoyoteFe said...

Why Janie! Me? Cynical? I am sure I don't know what you mean! :-)

mountain.mama said...

That is a GREAT story!

My godmother was my mother's sister but she died when I was 11. She probably wouldn't have approved of my religious decisions but it would have been nice to know her. So it goes in life. Anyway religion and spirituality aren't the same thing.

rebecca said...

I don't think I was ever appointed a Godmother, you know Dad being WASP and Mom being Catholic, I think I came at a time when they were arguing over religion and never got around to actually baptizing me though they claim they did. I don't know, those two couldn't agree on a religion or a church for us kids, but they CLAIM they baptized us, but how we do we know, huh? Nah, they were shady if you ask me. =)

But, ANYHOO, I see you've added 'stalker' to my personal resume. And here I was thinking I was all ninja-like and was flying under your radar unnoticed. *sigh*

Your mother's got some funny stories! HA! I like her! And, you know what a nasturtium is? Geez, you are an Earth Mother! I need to google that, I only know geraniums, daisies, roses know, simple flower names for the nature-lly-challenged. The way I plant my garden is that if I see a flower that looks "pretty," that's the one I buy. Simple as that. Yeah, don't start naming me names because this brain of mine can't absorb. That's a whole different language altogether! Nasturtiums....geez!

'smack the taste outta my mouth' hmm? wonder what that means? and, where were you coming from? don't tell me you were in Gotham and did not visit me!

I still can't get over that story! HA! Oh, man, you must have been a handful when you were little and your mother really fixed your wagon! Listen, so Joan of Agocs, the atheist, was your Godmother, how bad can that be? she could've been Joan of Arc, and you see where that got her, right? There you go, now you understand Agocs? Pft! Do I have to explain these things to you! My God! Oh wait, don't say that too loud now, you might get burned at the pyre! LOL!

Later ~

Carolyn said...

What a wonderful post and to still have your mom to be able to talk/laugh about it with. Thanks for sharing.
Blessings and smiles

CoyoteFe said...

Mountain Mama!
Thank you! I feel you! There's a bunch of my Mother;'s people I would have liked to know. And, my Mom knows very well the difference between religion and spirituality; that's what makes her so funny in this!

I love those family history breaches where everyone claims that something happened that is suspect to everyone else!
Stalker? What do you mean? (batting eyes) Wait till my next blog (scheduling up for rescheduling without notice!). And, for the record, you are not at all ninja-like. Unless there is such a thing as Brazen-Rainbow-Ninja. My mother always has had garden, and I worked at a nursery until I feared that I would wither under the tender mercies of the Main Line Garden set (urk). I like the garden strategy of planting whatever you fancy. Why woudl you do anything else?
Smacking the taste outta one's mouth is quite effective for bad behaving coyotes, I say, and I would not DARE come to parts of NY without stalking out my blog sisters and brothers!

Every time my Mom would fix my wagon, I would fix her - and me - back - ha!

Finally, yes! Please explain things! I need many pieces of explanation every day. I am a whole picture girl and need explanations to stay on the straight and narrow!
Try to behave.

Halloo Carolyn!
Thank you! And, I do treasure my mother so very much! Blessings and daily joy to you too!

One Red Horse said...

Great story. And great picture of my very favorite flower. Thing I love about Nasturtiums is how once they have a tiny bit of earth, they find a way to thrive - onwards for generations.

CoyoteFe said...

Thanks! DId not take that photo though (Doug Adams did). Never tried to grow them, but apparently they do not like to be moved. Ha! Now I have to put some in my Mom's garden!

CoyoteFe said...

OK, now Iam just silly - must have been thinking of the Hitchhiker Series! Andy Wright took the photo!

San said...

I've been wanting to get back to this post in hopes of learning why you're the way you are. Now I have a clue. I have an inkling. I understand the dance between tradition and wild searching. The contradictions make for richness, a spirited inner dialogue. Just like this outer one you've shared. Thank you for that.

CoyoteFe said...

Hallooo San!
Thanks for coming back! I like the way you put that. Spirited inner dialogue is good, yes? Sometimes, though I think I would be a bit more productive if I could turn it off. OK, maybe down a little?

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