Monday, June 19, 2006

The Road to Doodlefork*

I am the little girl in pink sitting on the fence at camp, contemplating a call to Doodlefork, wondering whether I can make it there before my counselor snatches me and takes me back to Bible study.

I am the dark-haired girl in white. I will take no risks. I will sit and wait, like a good little girl, for the next Bible study to begin.

I am the unseen counselor who snatches the girl back from the edge of Doodlefork. I only want to help, to protect her on her journey. But who am I to say whether she should make the trip to Doodlefork or stay sitting on the fence, waiting for Bible study to start? Maybe I should take a detour and walk with her to Doodlefork.

I am the girl to the left, standing outside the fence. I have been to Doodlefork and back, and I know that right here is where I am supposed to be at this moment. I am engaged in conversation with my fellow travelers.

I am the woman beginning the back half (third?) of her life, holding the camera, observing fences and gates, wondering: Is this gate opening for me to pass through? Or has the storm blown this gate open, and now I need to get it closed as quickly as I can?

I am the woman who is shocked that the clock did not stop while I sat on the fence taking my own time out as I pondered whether to travel to Doodlefork or to stay where I am, where at least the challenges are familiar and known to me.

I am the woman who still does not know: Am I supposed to be in the back yard? Or am I supposed to be in the front yard?

Bloom where you are planted, that is a little saying I took to heart back when I first heard it in high school. And it worked well for me for a long time. Be content where you are, don't give in to that restless spirit. But who knows? Maybe that restless spirit is a call to change, a call to get off the fence and take a trip to Doodlefork.

*thoughts upon completing my third assignment for the Journaling From The Heart workshop.


  1. Annie, I love it. While most people, no doubt, mean well, too often we fail to consider the other person's agenda and just give answers from our own point of view. We fail to encourage the other to find what we preach: a personal word from God. I love the pictures. I love what you do with them. Still in my prayers....

  2. Wow. This is impressive.

    I hope you find the answers you're seeking.

  3. Man, did you ever push my button with this one.....I am right there with you.....I would agree it's the partly the age thing. I am the girl who would run off to Doodletown, but make it back in time for Bible study, and no one would be the wiser! And I wouldn't have told anyone I went. I never liked that "bloom" thing. The cynic in me, says "horse doodles" to that. While yes, I would agree that making the best of where you are in a good idea, it reminds me too much of the frog in the pot of hot water....who gets cooked because he's lulled into security. I walk a fine line on the contentment thing. I am not content and I know it. I tried to tell myself I was for almost a year.....and it didn't work. And me, like the frog, didn't realize it until the time had gone by, and one day, I woke up and said to self, "Self, what the heck are you doing here?" Enough said....I'm getting all wordy......:) I love this post Annie, it's a framer.

  4. You know, Annie, sometimes your writing reminds me on Annie Dillard. Well, not your writing, exactly, but your way of thinking and observing and questioning and answering, and all that. And, yeah, your writing! :-)

  5. Thank you, annie, for sharing your writing with us!

  6. Me? I'm tired of the "bloom where you are planted" thing. I've been there and done that... but it still gets you kind of nowhere, if you know what I mean. And, after a while of doing that, it's hard to pull up your roots and go forward. I mean, you are so stuck.
    Do it, Annie- go to Doodlefork- I'll be right there with you.

  7. Jim Thanks, and thanks for the prayers. They are still very much needed.

    Rach Thanks. I will find, I have found, some of the answers I seek, but there are still so many questions.

    Ayekah Thanks...I wrote a short poem about the frog in hot water several years ago. You might like it:


    Depravity moves deceptively;
    slowly, like tepid water
    heating to a boil,
    which cooks the frog
    as he smiles
    and calls to his friends,
    Y’all come on in,
    the water’s fine.

    LindaThanks. I have not read much of Annie Dillard, I keep intending to. I have a few quotes by her in my collection.

    david, thank you for enjoying it!

    RCJ Sometimes I think I spend too much time in Doodlefork! But yes, there comes a time when you jusst have to get off the fence and move. I'd love to meet you in Doodlefork!

  8. Hey, that was catchy.....I sang ti to the tune of Big Rock Candy Mountain!! And Annie, if you and ReginaClare are running off to Doodlefork, y'all ain't going without me!

  9. I wish I could always be the girl on the left.


Don't just sit there staring, say something!