Tuesday, September 22, 2009

love and belonging


I claimed myself and remade my life. Only when

I knew I belonged to myself completely, did I
become capable of giving myself to another, of
finding joy in desire, pleasure in our love, power
in this body no one else owns.

Dorothy Allison, from Two of Three Things I Know for Sure


My auntie, likes to call me "Swanie", from the Hans Christian
Andersen tale. There was a time when I tried to be someone I
wasn't, always trying to wear a costume that didn't fit. Now, older
and wiser, I've embraced my uniqueness. I realize it's okay to be
me, and have reclaimed myself. I can now truly appreciate
acceptance and harmony.

Auntie, who understood this long before I did, always signs her
correspondence, "with love and belonging". This dear salutation
soothes a certain craving for interconnectedness, a kind of
clannishness. It may be my Scottish DNA speaking, but I think
we all have an inner desire for kinship and society.

photo from google images

57 comments:

  1. oh willow i love that quote and of course i have my own fave dorothy quote to share here: “two or three things i know for sure, and one is that i'd rather go naked than wear the coat the world has made for me.” yeah girl. nice post willow thankyou. steven

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  2. "love and belonging" I like that phrase. I suppose those two words sum up what we are all in search of. We want to belong somewhere. When we walk into the pub on a Friday night we want people to look up and welcome us, glad to see us join them, glad to be part of a group that is defined by love and belonging and not race, creed, colour or family.

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  3. Oh yes. Love & belonging, clanishness, kinship, society... it's what we all need and crave. What we starve and wither without.

    I just spent the weekend in a cabin with seven other female friends and came away feeling fed on all those good things.

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  4. i think we all have a desire to know and be known, to have our tribe that we belong to. i wonder do we all go through that in our formative years as we are figuring ourselves out?

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  5. "It is never too late to be what you might have been." ~~George Eliot

    I have this quote on my sidebar! :)

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  6. Oh it is so true that we all desire kinship and acceptance! Can I steal your profile photo and put it on my sidebar, just because I love it! I really think that it looks like Jigsaw!!!!! :)

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  7. Your aunt sounded like a dear, sweet & insightful woman. I love that Love and belonging salutation! I'll have to use that sometime.

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  8. A very wise woman is your Aunt Willow! I love the fact that our 5 beautiful boys are out in the world carving a place for themselves, but always want to reunite with their 'tribe' at times that mean the most to them. To wander through life without a tribal connectedness & the opportunity to share your joys & sorrows with your own is almost too unbearable to think of.
    Millie ^_^
    P.S. Yes, you are right, the Sturt Desert Peas do look exactly like little crepe paper lanterns!

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  9. Love and belonging. It's what make the world go round.

    That is a darling photo and so complements your post.

    Hope things are going well at Willow Manor.

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  10. It is so amazing to me - to imagine you as someone who was trying to find their fit - when you now have thousands of people all over the world following your words everyday....I for one am happy you have found your comfort and decided to share.

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  11. even in my ripe old age (heading very close to 40) I still find that I want kinship and belonging. It kind of infuriates me, I should be long past that. Yet here it is, staring me in the face.

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  12. Very nice Willow. It's amazing that we are not born with self acceptance, or maybe that we lose it somehow. One of the nice things about growing older I think, is that we finally learn it's OK to be who we are and to know who that is...

    with love and belonging.

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  13. What a pleasure to know who you are and rejoice in it! Sometimes all it takes is a little age and the wisdom that comes with it.

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  14. what a beautiful way to sign off.
    it is a lovely clan you belong to.

    xx

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  15. Hi Willow

    We all experience that primary need to belong and connect - in varying degrees. Your aunt gave you some sound advice way back then...

    Happy days

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  16. I agree with Aunty, Willow. We do want to belong, and the blogworld allows us to be different, yet belong.

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  17. I have always wanted to belong. We all do and you are so right. How clever of you to find this photo for this particular post. It speaks volumes!

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  18. Yes, I think we all crave some sort of connections; we need them. Very wise, your Auntie ("with love and belonging"); very wise, her niece (you are the one who has--or had--"we blog to know we are not alone" on her sidebar).

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  19. "Love and Belonging"...I love that. I have heard of 'with love' and 'love' and 'love and light', but 'love and belonging' really speaks to me. What a wonderful way to say 'you are loved.' Thank you for sharing.

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  20. I love this: "with love and belonging".....such truth.


    S

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  21. I love this post. Inspiring words for all of us.

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  22. I think we all make our unique families which are not dictated necessarily by DNA but by love. I am glad you have such a sweet auntie. The quote is lovely dear Willow.

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  23. Didn't we all worry a lot about our image/appearance/fitting in/ being cool when we were young? I remember how self-conscious I used to be. Now I look back at photos of myself when I was 20 and wonder why I didn't see myself as I really looked - quite lovely really.

    Ooops - not very modest am I.

    We are our worst enemies.

    x

    (your aunt sounds lovely)

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  24. Great phrase. We all look (crave) for belonging not realizing that fore and most we belong to ourselves.

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  25. A very nice quote and quite uplifting for some of us with broken families.

    Christine

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  26. I found Willow Manor by accident and what a pleasure! Great quote and very appropriate at the moment...thank you! I'll visit again and again...

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  27. Willow I just read the Ugly Duckling to my daughter the other day and was moved to tears. It's such a lovely story filled with such yearning. One of the blessings of growing older is you lose the hunger to follow the peer group. I am quite content not to belong at times as well! xx

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  28. I have been looking at that picture for the last five minutes. It's perfect. It conveys tenderness, affection, humour. The accompanying poem is a masterpiece and this is complemented by your own anecdote. Brilliant post. I, too, have embraced my true self.

    Greetings from London.

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  29. It's a great quote and I agree. :)

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  30. Hello Willow,

    The idea of belonging is that 'you' have to want to and others have to want you, which is fine so long as they accept 'you' as and for who you are rather than having to conform to fit in.

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  31. all true. The ducklings are cuties.

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  32. Derrick, you are so right. Others have to accept the "you" that you have embraced. And believe me, I know, this is not always the case.

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  33. There are times when I feel like a duck out of water and there is nothing like the comfort of a loving Auntie to keep me on course. The picture you've included is endearing. Thank you for a little soothing harmony today.=D

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  34. I wish the whole world would embrace those thoughts and words. Nice post.

    Your visits are always appreciated. That is my hardest job. To post things so people who stop once, will want to come back.


    Pick a Peck of Pixels

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  35. Beautiful, beautiful...belonging is like wearing your favorite coat on a crisp Autumn morning, it feels so wonderful.

    I would love for you to come visit my blog...
    much love...or better put "love and belonging"

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  36. Your uniqueness is far more than OK - it's magnificent.

    With love and belonging. Wow.

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  37. Yes, this is almost a primal urge.
    How horrid it is to be excluded.
    When I was a teacher I was pretty fierce about this in class!

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  38. I am wondering if you've truly settled in ... why do I wonder, well, its due to the ever changing header photo and background coloring ..you seem to be still trying on costumes ..

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  39. There was a time when I tried to be someone I
    wasn't, always trying to wear a costume that didn't fit.


    How I relate to this statement. Isn't it nice when you wake up one morning and realize that you don't have to wear that costume?

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  40. I think the tragedy of our age is the lack of connectedness we experience. We move away from home, from place, from clan, from faith and then wonder why we feel lonely and lost. With maturity is is from those things that we finally learn who we are. Thank you, Willow, for reminding us of the value of love and belonging.

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  41. What a darling photo--those little guys are a perfect example of your sentiments. The older I get, the more comfortable I am in my own skin. I geuss it's sort of a rite of passage to have those feelings you describe, of not fitting in or being a part of things, and to reach acceptance of ourselves. Sadly, some people never do, I'm afraid.

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  42. I have never perceived myself as others have, I've always been the loner, shy and laid back...but now I'm comfortable with it and don't require all that stress to be rich with happiness...oh yes, my faithful, furry heathen fills the rest of the void in my belonging!

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  43. I absolutely agree willow. In times of worry there is nothing more reassuring than gathering together as a family and facing the situation together. I like the idea of "love and belonging" - gives me a warm feeling.

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  44. Daryl, with my blog, it's more like changing the cover of a magazine. Everyone tires of the same old cover month after month, or at least, I do. It's the artist in me. Change is fun!

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  45. Simply put, and so true. Thank you.

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  46. I like the sound of your auntie - a wise lady.

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  47. its so wonderful that you have claimed yourself and are at ease with who you are. A blessing.

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  48. I hope my nieces remember things I lovingly write to them, as you do. What a great relationship.

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  49. Beautiful, brief but everything is said as it should be.

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  50. This is such an appropriate post for me today. I have been thinking about how good it feels to belong to my family at work. While I was in the hospital on my b-day they made a special effort to make it a neat birthday under the circumstances. You always have the greatest quotes.

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  51. I remember reading "The Ugly Duckling," as a young child, and it would always move me to tears. Imagine then, when I saw the beautiful animated version. I was a total wreck for a week! Thank you for bringing back memories, and sharing that lovely photo.

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  52. So much easier to just be ourselves. Takes so long to figure that out.

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  53. Kinship and belonging--yes indeed. I like your Aunt's sign off.

    Do you ever wonder how your life would have been if you had earlier embraced your own uniqueness?

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  54. What a beautiful post Willow!

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  55. nice post. thanks.

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Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)