My Grandma always said

My grandma had a saying for everything; I guess that comes with being a grandparent eh? Some of them were just funny (funny ha-ha and funny quirky). She was quite the performer too. She could tell a story, dress up, do a skit, and perform at a moments notice for those at the dinner table or a crowd of a hundred. She could pull up a prop and get into character at the drop of a…well a napkin, let’s go with that. When she was waiting for something she would say, “It won’t be long now, said the monkey when the train ran over it’s tail.” When you asked if she would like to more to eat her response was classic, “Oh, I have had an elegant sufficiency, anymore would be superfluity.” Yep superfluity is a word, (noun, superabundant, excessive amount). Now I don’t know if all of these sayings were original, or if she borrowed them from somewhere else. In my world, she is a God. Oh, she would not like that analogy at all, well at least a Minor God, or maybe just a Saint. Suffice it to say she was/is pretty important to me so if she said it, then she gets the byline on life’s references page.

One of the things she would say is, “I can do anything I want to do.” As kids we would challenge her, “Ok, fly!” Her response was simply, “I don’t want to.” With this great laugh that I can hear to this day, and a twinkle in her bright blue eyes. Ah, to be with my Gram again! As kids, my brothers and cousins, we would just laugh. She was grandma and said funny stuff all of the time. As I grew older and started to think more about this, she was really teaching us something very important. We CAN do anything we want to do. We do have the ability to set our attention and intention to make things happen. She certainly did this in her own work as a seamstress/decorator. Her customers would come to her and describe a room setting, or whatever they wanted created in their homes. She would draw a picture of the description, which is amazing as a story already. THEN, she would make the vision without a pattern. Her customers would say the picture was better than they had imagined, and the final product was more than perfect. She could do anything she wanted to do. She said it. She believed it. She did it.

Recently I heard a presentation by Dr. Vincent Harding, a friend and confidante of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was talking about a book that he wrote with Daisaku Ikeda, America will be! The title comes from a Langston Hughes poem. Dr. Harding said, “Our dreams are only a fraction of what we can do. Our lifetimes are only a fraction of what we can dream.” I tried to find if he was quoting Hughes again. I couldn’t find a poem that used these lines. But, this line reminded me of my gram’s “I can do anything” axiom. The truth is, our ability is largely untapped. If you could do anything you set your mind to, what would it be? What have you created and completed from just your thoughts? Truly, the answer to that is EVERYTHING, since all of our actions were thoughts first then carried out. We do have the ability to do anything we want. What do you want to do? When will you start?

I will leave you with two Langston Hughes poems I did find.


Hold fast to dreams

For if dreams die

Life is a broken-winged bird

That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams

For when dreams go

Life is a barren field

Frozen with snow.

And, this one reminds us to live NOW.

“Life is for the living.

Death is for the dead.

Let life be like music.

And death a note unsaid.”

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