Monday, July 9, 2012

Poetry, not Multiplication.

By Clare A. Howell

My ship is a well-built ship;
She loves to take a dip.
When the sun's high, her masts reach up to the sky.
The wind fills them, those sheets of white;
The wind, with all its might
Pulls her away from the dock.
The water is her frock.
She lives for it; she was made for the water.
With a bluish light the ocean is lit.
When she plows through the wet sea, white waves wash up to meet her.
All this was simply meant to be.

Clare at work.  Don't ask; I have no idea.

This is my girl in our yard a few days ago, rejecting all other responsibilities because she had a poem idea, I imagine after our family visit to Seward.  Seeing her happily scribbling away confirmed to me that she does have a decent attention span and that she is certainly capable of focusing on a project.  As long as it is not long multiplication or division.  She is only half-way through the 4th grade math book (actually, 2 different ones), refusing to give the puzzle of organizing place-valued ciphers any mental energy lasting more than 5 seconds.  I have (mostly) given up the fight and I (usually) don't mind.  Peace in the home is paramount.  We're homeschoolers, after all, and I'm not supposed to care what the government system says a 10 year old should be able to master.  After all, look at the poems and artwork and photographs and stories she delights in creating.

She took this in B&W with our goofy camera and when I asked her why, shrugged.  "I could just tell it was the right way to do it."

Aren't we all like this?   I cannot manage a daily Rosary or the Divine Office, but I love participating in Holy Mass and beginning our days with family prayers.  My husband refuses to again attempt to read music, but is terrific at taking the kids out survival camping and tackling tough conversations.  Some families are good at fabulous field trips; others are good at evening story time; others are good at stimulating science projects.  If you do all of these things, don't talk to me

She is who she is, with talents and troubles.  So am I.  So are you.  Our beloved, now retired priest once told me in Confession, "Your personality was created by God and it is good.  No apologies.  Let's pray for the Holy Spirit to soften the sinful edges.  Still you, but more like Jesus."  God doesn't yell at me because of my concentration troubles and I mustn't yell at Clare because of her mathematical troubles. 

Instead, I publicly celebrate her talents right here on this blog and pray for the sinful edges to soften.  All for the glory of God!

Celebrating Poetry, not Multiplication ~

Such beauty; such composition; such . . . art!

Anniversary doodling for us.





  1. I love the poem! and am in love with the quote from your priest. I think I may meed to frame it and hang it up around here as a reminder.

    1. Changed my life. And I really do remember it often!