Tag Archives: “junior high”

heart

So it’s morning, and I’m sipping my tea, and I hear music. My dining room windows overlook the street, and I peer out to see two of my grandson’s friends walking to school. One of them has an ipod sound system, and they are walking and singing along to the music. Their insouiance makes me smile, particularly since the larger one is really large, a hulking boy who towers over his friend. He likely towers over everyone, and he is very shy and uneasy in this body that has overtaken him. I have to smile. Both boys are in that awkward, junior-high phase when everyone is in various stages of morphing, and there are pimples and maybe breasts and hair and fat and thin and tall and short all over the place. But the two boys are singing like nobody is watching. I can remember myself at that age, waiting eagerly for a song I liked on the radio and singing along, so happy, maybe even filled with joy.

My face opens to another smile at the memory. What happened? I think. When did I stop focusing on what I liked and become so aware of what I don’t like. Is it age? Well, I–for one–don’t like that, I will say with a shake of my head, proud of my discernment and unsmiling.

Wouldn’t it be more fun if I could find my junior high heart again, where I was always looking for what I liked, and I found it everywhere….when I sang along to the music……

What’s in your junior high heart?

ancient myth

Long ago on a galaxy far, far away……..

Before 7th grade, she’d been her own exuberant maiden; she’d written plays, loved boys, bossed them, fought them. She’d always been full speed ahead. She’d been a leader. It’s in junior high that Hades rears up out of his dark palace and takes her to an underworld of inferiority, not enough, a place where she can’t match the ideal of femininity in the mid 1960s. She runs for class president. Friends tell her they can’t or won’t vote for her because she’s a girl. Her body betrays her. A lithe androgyny changes to busty, hippy, plump, womanly. The cool girls are slimly, primly ripe. She doesn’t have enough confidence to play Marilyn Monroe, to use the body to manipulate. But later that’s a saving grace.

She can’t go steady. Her mother and the religion they practice won’t allow it. It seems like everywhere she turns in those years there are walls around her, walls she runs into and bloodies herself upon. Her mother is secretly pleased at her failures, her mother who can really do anything, but has only been allowed the roles of wife and mother and who has married into a family of broken men, harsh, handsome men, who order women about as if they’re nothing. She loves learning, the academic piece. It’s a place where she’s allowed to achieve without disapproval. But she doesn’t have a boyfriend. She has boys who like her, but they’re not the boys she yearns for…the heroes. She wants a hero…an outer hero to reflect the inner hero she’s had to suppress.

She is years coming out of Hades. There are no Hecates around with advice. Persephone is searching for her, but she doesn’t hear her voice for a very long time.