Thursday, February 24, 2011

WEE THREE

Wee Three contains in its pages seventy years of memories as seen through the eyes of a child. In Upside-Down Land you can read how a child will take the newly learned knowledge that the world is round and people live on the other side and turn it into wondering if they walk on their hands.

During my readings of Wee Three I have had stories told to me by both children and Elders of what went through their minds when they learned the world was round. One that sticks most firmly in my mind was told to me by Ana, who said her and her brother would go into the back yard every day and dig a bit deeper expecting sooner or later to reach China.

Others show how a child deals with light punishment or watching nature.

They say you can't go home. In Wee Threeyou can relive your childhood memories. Share your own with your children and grandchildren and return to the joy and innocence you knew as a child. Anger breeds more anger and violence more violence, yet you do not need to continue this pattern. You can let go if only for a few minutes and reawaken that inner child and its ability to find happiness within the pages of Wee Three in the simple pleasures of life.

It can be found at:

http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/WeeThree.html

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Wee-Three/Marta-Moran-Bishop/e/9781612040844/?itm=1&USRI=wee+three%3a+a+mother%27s+love+in+verse

http://www.amazon.com/Wee-Three-Mothers-Love-Verse/dp/1612040845/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1293187664&sr=1-2

WEE THREE IS HONORED BY BETH HOFFMAN

I am honored and touched by the generousity and beauty of spirit that is Beth Hoffman. Her book "Saving CeeCee Honeycutt" is not only going to become an American classic but she is also one of the biggest hearted women that I have ever known.

Yesterday she honored me and WEE THREE on the Brava section of her blog and I am including the link for everyone.

I also highly recommend that you check out the rest of her blog it is informative, beautifully written and truly delightful.

My grandmother, my mother and I say thank you Beth for the gift of your words and the honor you did us all. WEE THREE is blessed.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

first draft of "THE MEMORY KEEPER"

FIRST DRAFT FROM “THE MEMORY KEEPER”
Before she had reached puberty she had been picked to learn the history of all the generations before her by the old mother. She could now tell the precise moment when her people should pack up and move on to warmer land. She could smell it in the air and see it in the fast movement of the birds as they flew south.

If she was wrong then the entire tribe would suffer from what could be a disastrous move. She stood watching the faint light coming up over the horizon the black shawl pulled tightly over her shoulders. Mondoani watched her breath in the early morning haze, the cold was coming. She believed they had been here too long. Yet it was important to complete the week long mourning ceremonies for the old woman. To dishonor her memory and life would have lead to further disaster by the Universe. Now the burden of the tribe’s future was her responsibility, she was the new “Memory Keeper,” it was up to her to direct the tribe.

If she chose wrong then they could run into terrible snow storms, beasts of the night that prowled on edges of the winter barren land. They could lose the young and the old in the process. If they left too early they might lose the last hunt that could make their survival on the trip easier.

The tribe wasn’t big enough to survive losing too many. They couldn’t afford to lose those women heavy with babies or the young who would learn, to fight, to hunt and finally to grow the tribe. Each life was dear to the tribe and it was her responsibility to keep them safe. Mondoani found joy in her ability to teach the next generations and to tell the stories of their past at the celebrations.

It was a heavy burden yet she had been trained well by the old mother. She stood quietly smelling the air, watching the light come over the horizon and watching carefully for any traces that would give her the signs she had learned to help her to make the decision. She saw the early morning geese in fast flight south and she knew. She was right they should have started their journey a week ago. They had to move fast now and be on the trail today, within a few hours if possible. Taking a deep breath she pounded the drum to wake the tribe from slumber they had little time and must hurry now.

Setting her shawl more firmly around her shoulders she set to work to pack up her things. Quickly she packed the precious tools of her trade and the herbs that would heal the rot from the cold or the wounds of battle, even the small things that would give comfort to the new baby who was getting its first tooth.

She lifted her bundle on her shoulders, joining the tribe as it began its trek to the south. As they walked she thought of all the knowledge from all the many generations that filled her mind. Knowledge that went back so many generations that even the old mother didn’t know when they began. She thought of the joyful stories and the lessons that must be taught to the children. She loved the children and loved to watch them at play. She remembered some of her own memories of childhood play and she pondered who would remember the children’s stories? Who would remember their play in future?

Maybe she should add the children’s stories to the history that would be passed down to the next “Memory Keeper.”
Copyright Marta Moran Bishop 2011

Thursday, February 10, 2011

My Day at Christopher Heights


As I wrote in my last blog, I chose Christopher Heights Assisted Living facility to be the first place I would hold a reading of WEE THREE, because that is where my mother Pat spend a year and a half of her final days. Many of the residents have moved on now. Yet I did get a chance during the reading to meet once again a couple of women who were her friends during her stay there.

I read from Wee Three about 1/2 dozen of the short stories/verses and we chatted about their memories of their own childhoods. We had a long discussion after I read UPSIDE-DOWN LAND about the first thoughts and memories they had, when as children learned that the world was round and China was on the otherside of it. Most of them remembered thinking if they dug deep enough they would get there. All of them remembered their mother's telling them (when they didn't want to eat something) that there were starving children in China and having the wish to send their dinner to them, via the post. Ana told of her and her brother daily going out to the same spot in the yard to continue with thier tunnel. She also told stories of being a tomboy and preferring to climb trees and play with her brother who was near her in age. He would play dolls with her and she would climb trees with him. As in much of the Europeen community it isn't frowned on for girls to play boys games and boys to play girls games.

John talked much about growing up in America from an Italian immigrants viewpoint and the difficulty he had both in school and at play because he didn't speak or read English. Yet I believe these were fairly happy memories for him. He was the "head of his own gang" and they were quite a handful.

My mother's friend Helen didn't speak much, just listened, she is and has always been quite shy. But Noori who is from Iraq spoke of growing up in Iraq and told me he had made his own "animal garden" as he called it. Complete with cows and chickens.

Two women one named Helen the other Bernadette, told me it was one of the best days they had in years. The women spoke about playing with dolls, making dolls out of bits of wood, pipe cleaners and material and growing up learning to how to be a lady.

Bernie had many stories of her own childhood. Making cloud pictures and fishing with her brothers.

Most like Wanda and Helen just sat and listened with smiles on their faces to both my reading of WEE THREE and the stories circulating the room. Afterwards they all insisted that I join them in the pub where every afternoon they have a glass of wine, cup of coffee and socialize together. It is a warm welcoming room, where we all got to know each other a bit better.
There was much insistance on me coming back from all quarters and if time and opportunity presents itself I would be very happy to do so. It was a lovely day. Full of many wonderful people and memories.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My Mother, Christopher Heights and Wee Three

My mother Pat had MS and for twenty years I was her caretaker, until one Christmas Day she had a seizure. During her seizure we sat on her bed, I held her in my arms to keep her from being flung to the floor. All I could think while holding her was if I let go it would bring more harmful consequences to her frail body that had already been beaten down by the MS. I called my sister and 911 to come get her and take her to the hospital.
At the hospital Pat went into dementia and as the doctors tried to find out the cause, my sister and I watched our beautiful and brilliant mother staring at the wall saying over and over again, “dot com,” for the next three days. It was a truly awful experience and made worse by the fact that after she became herself again she had full memory of the experience.
We were both frightened it would happen again and maybe the next time I would not be there to hold her but at work. For the next few months during her rehab we spent much time talking about her future and how we could manage. It wasn’t possible to afford home health care. Nor for me to stay home with her, financially this would have put us both on the street.
One day late in her rehab she told me she had decided that she needed to go into assisted living. So my sister and I began researching places that we could easily get to, so we could visit often, but they had to be really nice. It had to be a place that she could have friends, her cat Peter and her own little apartment where she could have her own things about her and call it home. We found all of this at Christopher Heights in Worcester, MA. I was of two minds about the entire thing. Guilt ridden by the need to break my promise that she would always be with me and never have to go into any assisted living or nursing facility and the knowledge that it was a beautiful place and the best thing for her.
Though we missed each other and being able to share our days and evenings she was happy there. For this I will always remember Christopher Heights with joy.
I am telling you this entire story as today is to be the first of my events/readings for my book Wee Three: A Mother’s Love in Verse. Wee Three began as a few finished verses and bits of others which I extended and changed that my grandmother Helen Springer Moran wrote for my mother and her brother and sister. It is also a compilation of both my mother’s memories and my own of growing up. And it is only fitting that the very first reading/event will be held at Christopher Heights.
Yes Wee Three is considered a children’s book, yet it is more than that, it is a generational compilation, as seen through the eyes of a child. It brings back to each adult and elder a remembering of their own youth and innocence. So today I will take my grandmother’s, mother’s and my memories on the road for the first time sharing them and hopefully have the opportunity to have the residents of Christopher Heights share some of their memories with me.

Wee Three Book Trailer voice over Marta Moran Bishop