Sunday, January 13, 2008

A Gossamer Thread

When I was in college (the first time) at Carnegie Mellon, I was involved in too many extracurriculars. For me, though, at age 19, that did not mean drinking games or crazy nights in the fraternities (well, a couple people could tattle on my few random nights at SAE & Pike...) so much as just getting involved in every available opportunity on campus to meet new people! I was a wide-eyed child on the gorgeous open campus where we played all-morning games of Ultimate Frisbee, afternoons of tennis with my high school friend, Rick, who was now at CMU with me, and club after club after club. Again, not dancing clubs (although I did take in one or two of those with roommate, Leslie)...I mean social networks. Sound like the ModMomMuse you still know & love? Oh, yes. It was fairly insane.

I was an art major my Freshman semester. I had earned two scholarships to get into CMU--small honors that lifted my spirits & helped my application go through. But, once I saw all that CMU had to offer, art became last. I had songs to sing in Gospel Choir! I had an original play to co-star in with the thespians in Scotch & Soda. I had tables to wait on at the cute pub, "Scotland Yard." I was in the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF, AKA "I.V."), the Baptist Student Union and the Christian Student Fellowship (or some such repetitive title...). Believe it or not, I was also on the SKI TEAM!! I attended ACOA meetings with other dysfunctional teens and a couple mentoring therapist adults, and I managed to squeeze in a storytelling troupe, too, led by a unique sophomore who always wore a long black trench coat and an architecutrally shaped design of facial hair. His black curly hair cascaded down his back and I only knew him by his moniker, "Shakespeake!!" We took appointments at libraries, book stores and other public venues to recite & act out children's stories. The group was called A Gossamer Thread. In the first semester of my sophomore year I was also on staff for CMU's freshman orientation. What did I have to tell them? I should have said, "Stick solelyto your studies the first year!" And, just as I was invited to rush a sorority, I left almost as quickly as I'd come.

Good grief. It's no wonder I was doing so poorly in ART!! My major should have been "Disorganized Crazy Fun. Grade: A+"

Anyway, I learned a new word, then. Gossamer. Great word! Well, today, in my scattegorical way of running my kids from one fun activity to another, I took advantage of our being out in Fairfax for church--I had preprinted a bookcrossing drop (scheduled for around 3 PM) at a Panera Bread on Lee Highway.

We showed up after Teagan took a car nap--and met several bookcrossers who were set up to advertise the club & give away books. We picked up the exact free book we sought & left excitedly!! A quick walk over to the Petco made the trip that little edge more fun for Miss Teagan, who really wanted to see the "Ghee Pigs."

Talk about a gossamer thread. The book we picked up was Charlotte's Web!! We are so excited (it's one of his favorite movies). And, this is a hardcover with dust jacket--(c) 1952!!! Sweet find. What a wonder. I love this new letterboxing/geocaching/bookcrossing life. Plus, since we have a new homeschool fellowship on Wednesdays, I am starting to schedule our lives a little more & think quite seriously about Logan's kindergarden goals. I can check off many of the SOL's for him, already, so I am so glad we are homeschooling, so that he is not lost in a large classroom with children who aren't yet reading. Logan reads along with us, pointing out when we skip words. One day my mom skipped the word "dumb" or "stupid" on purpose, and he corrected her! It's amazing to see how well he can absorb information, when it is presented to him in the right environment, at the open moment. I'm eager to step it all up a notch.

One day Logan may be telling stories in libraries, himself--but he'll be the author, and he will have a degree in English. Not that I can see his future, but it certainly seems that language is his strongpoint!!

A Noiseless Patient Spider
A noiseless, patient spider,
I mark'd, where, on a little promontory, it stood, isolated;
Mark'd how, to explore the vacant, vast surrounding,
It launch'd forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself;
Ever unreeling them--ever tirelessly speeding them.

And you, O my Soul, where you stand,
Surrounded, surrounded, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing,--seeking the spheres, to connect them;
Till the bridge you will need, be form'd--till the ductile anchor hold;
Till the gossamer thread you fling, catch somewhere, O my Soul.

~Walt Whitman

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