poetry • art • marriage • momhood • faith

my "HI THERE" addendum

So since I posted my “hello” in the general forum, I’ve been thinking of things I didn’t say that maybe might have been worth mentioning. Or not. Either way, here’s more dirt on me.

I prefer LONG hot showers over baths.

I am lazy and procrastinate and sleep too much.

As a little kid, I thought I wanted to be a doctor. It sounded like a good answer. I’d never heard anyone say they wanted to be an “artist” when they grew up. Then I learned I don’t handle blood well. Kinda threw a kink in the works.

I liked chemistry in high school. I also liked and did well in geometry and trig. Physics was ok, calculus beat me up. History, well, let’s just leave it as that. However, I do often enjoy that channel.

I am not convinced that GW is the worst president in history, nor is he the best. He is human.

I am registered Republican. I am pro-life and pro-woman. I subscribe completely to the beliefs and causes of Feminists For Life and believe that the founders of feminism would be appalled at where the movement has gone. In theory, I am opposed to the death penalty. I believe in small government, low taxes, capitalism, and that we all need to take responsibility for our own actions. Sometimes for our ancestors’ actions, sometimes for our children’s. But not always.

I believe in private and individual charity, because sometimes the ends WON’T meet. But I also believe in hard work and in dealing with the consequences of the lack of it. I feel guilty for my tenancy towards slacking.

I believe in God, Christ, a “Catholic” (universal) church, and the rest of the Apostles Creed. I do not worship Mary, though I do honor her. I believe in the virgin birth of Christ, but struggle with “The Immaculate Conception” of Mary. I also am not completely convinced that Jesus was the only son of Mary. But I don’t think it’s worth arguing against.

It took an agnostic boyfriend to help me fully claim my Catholic faith. I meant enough to him that he came to Mass with me. We wrote bad poetry to each other in a journal we passed back and forth. Considering how poorly matched we were, it really was a pretty healthy relationship. He is still a dear friend with whom I wish I were in better touch.

I hate severing relationships. To a fault. I hate double standards but can understand occasional exceptions to rules. I have high standards for people, especially in terms of respect. You have my respect until you lose it — not the other way around. It takes a lot for me to write someone off. I forgive easily and often. But I am highly offended by consistent inconsiderations.

I consider creativity a spiritual language. I identify with GOD as Creator and Artist. The concept that we are all intentional creations, pieces of artwork, makes me feel warm inside. I treat others better, I think, when I remember this.

My mother says she knew I would be an artist when I made slippers for my doll out of paperboard and a little stapler when I was three. Why a 3-year-old had a stapler is beyond me, but it was one of my favorite art-tools. I made a series of paper “marionettes” with jointed limbs sometime around age 5. I wrote my first poem when I was 8.

I applied to the PA Governor’s School of the Arts for Visual Art in my Sophomore year in HS. I was accepted as an alternate but never called. The following year, I applied in both Art and Creative Writing. I made it to the “final” interview for both but was not accepted for either. I cried so hard when I found out. I felt a failure. I’m still pissed off about it.

*Correction, I forgive easily and often, except for myself.

I went to college 500 miles from home on an academic scholarship with an a small art scholarship supplement. I got a BA in art, not a BFA. Most people don’t know the difference. I am angry with myself about that too, though, the fact that I did not get the BFA. Mostly because I let a particular professor get to me. Also because I was dealing with “mild” depression.

I do believe there is a place for drugs in treating depression, but I also believe they are overused.

There is one nude picture of me on the internet. As far as I know, it’s the only nude picture that’s ever been taken of me, aside from my infancy. The picture is not hard to find, nor is it flattering. Yet, I approve of it. It is a self-portrait.

I currently work at a job that I liked better when I started it. I now feel it is a waste of my time and their money, but I still need their money, so I won’t tell them that yet.

I love my husband. I LOVE my husband. I love him deeply and completely, and it amazes me that it took me so long to consider giving him a chance. I realize he is not perfect. But he is a perfect partner. He is supportive, understanding, patient, and goofy. There are things I’d like to change about him, I think, but I know I can’t, so I don’t try. I think we are both happier for that. He is a fantastic daddy.

Even before realizing I didn’t want to be a doctor when I grew up, I knew I wanted to be a mother. I had never considered otherwise. Being a mother has been the most fulfilling experience of my existence so far.

However, I don’t know if it’s the predominant influence in my writing yet. I think that role is divided between two experiences: the death of my maternal grandmother when I was nine, and a less-than-favorable prematurely physical relationship when I was 18.

I had my first kiss too early and too late at 18. I have had intercourse with only my husband.

I enjoy pretzel sticks with my vanilla ice cream, french fries with my Wendy’s Frosty: salty-sweet makes me happy.

I love my cats, but I don’t know if I’ll adopt more when they’re gone.

Dreams weigh heavily on me. I hold onto them for years afterward, if I can remember them at all. I still remember a nightmare I had in preschool or kindergarten. I remember going to my parents’ bed because of it. It was something about great big dancing hamburgers.

I don’t read as much as I’d like. I forget most that I do read. But I do enjoy reading. I admire JK Rowling.

In middle school I had decided my life career goal was to win both the Caldecott and Newberry awards. I still consider that. But my focus is elsewhere.

For now, I am happy to spend time watching VeggieTales with my son, writing during his naptimes.

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torch bearing quietly

I will not act out, will not
yell or curse or slam doors,
will not make a scene -- you
do not deserve such a chance
to make an example out of me
to be proven right since you
are not. Instead, I'll stand
at this street corner, raise
my hand high and clench that
light which yet remains. It
will burn brightly, quietly,
fiercely before fading as I.

Then I'll be gone but found.

©JAC 2005

Poetry by Julie Ann Cook!

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Love Like Weeds
by Julie Ann Cook
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