“Courage and Faith, Miss Honeychurch. Courage and Faith.”

I don’t always know what I’m talking about.  I talk out of my ass sometimes.  These words escape my lips and then I’ll reconsider and wonder why I even said what I said.  Have you ever lost your train of thought while in the middle of a sentence?  I do it often.  Like right now when I just wrote that I thought about the silent ‘t’ in the word, “often”. Then within that thought I thought, Dad never could pronounce the word the way it’s pronounced.  He never ackowledged the silent ‘t’.  That thought was followed with another one: Phonetically, how is that written?  How does it look in Webster’s Dictionary? (pron. off-en) And then, isn’t the pronunciation which includes the hard ‘t’ sound still acceptable in the English language?

You see?  I just can’t help myself.  I was designed to go on multi-layered tangents.  It seems like an inherited trait from my Dad.  We used to have a sort of joke amongst ourselves (immediate family only) that my Dad could start a story, be completely distracted from it, only to finish it off, like, an HOUR later.  Seriously.  I’m not even kidding about that.

So if that were an inherited trait, think of all the other meaningless and benign traits I managed to inherit…yet another tangent.  I’m so multi-layered. 

  1. Sticking out my tongue when working on something hard – I’ve asked my mom about this and apparently, my grandfather, her Dad, does this too.  I’ve tried to catch myself doing it, but have never really noticed it much.  Now that I’m aware, though, I probably will.
  2. Holding a mug – Yup, my Dad.  He holds a mug in the weirdest way: The thumb gets placed entirely over the lip of the mug while his other fingers grasp the handle. I know.  Annoying, isn’t it?
  3. My Face Says It All – My mom is notorious for wearing what she really thinks about those fishnet stockings and hot-pink pants.  You can’t escape the look.  Ever.  Sometimes I wish I weren’t so transparent, but I am.  I can’t even help it. 
  4. Raised Eyebrow– Dad again.  We familials always lovingly called it, “The Fisheye”.  Dad probably got it from hearing criminals tell tall tales.  See that?  Alliteration.
  5. Changing my tone and manner of speech to match the person I’m talking to – Mom has this uncanny ability to have total strangers trust her within seconds of meeting her.  It’s all in mom’s first impressions.  She, without effort, simply adopts their mannerisms, their manner of speaking, and their movements.  It isn’t calculated, pretentious or insulting.  She unconsciously adopts these to make the person she’s addressing feel comfortable.

Well, those are the only ones I can think of at the moment.  I’m sure some other ones will come up as I’m doing ordinary things like sweeping the hallway or washing dishes.  Sometimes when doing the menial tasks of the day-to-day my mind is relaxed enough to notice these things.  Sets my mind to wandering.

Why did I name this post “Courage and Faith…”?  Well, before I pounded off a 5-step life affirming entry about human traits that I’ve inherited, I was really pondering the quote from “A Room With A View”.  But since I’m a true threader, I took off with the list first.  But imagine this, ok?  Life made up the two opposing sides: Courage which sets aside fears to achieve or succeed at something you hold dear, and Faith which allows the higher power to maneuvre every aspect of your waking life.  The latter, of course, leaves nothing to chance or a turn of fate.  No sir.  It is either a pre-determined existence or we have the free will to make independent decisions within the confines of what this higher power sets in our path.  For the most part, I like the concept that it sometimes takes Courage to have Faith and vice versa.  I like that little interweaving of two ideas.  But let’s just look at this closely in the Mema-verse, since everything is ALWAYS ABOUT ME. 


In my world, I am faithful to a lot of things.  I believe in a higher power.  Call it God or Buddha or Shiva or an alien named, Fred.  It doesn’t matter because this entity in my eyes is incorruptible, omnipotent, and the guardian of all things.  I don’t always look to my Roman Catholic historical past to get to that conclusion.  I look at things that I’ve personally experienced, seen, or felt to arrive to this conclusion.  That being said, I do not believe that this Being is infallible.  I’d like to believe that a Creator would have made human beings to be most like him or her.  Or both or none, for that matter.  Something familiar.  Something pleasing.  Something fashioned just like themselves. Think about it.  Would you want to associate with a bunch of strangers that don’t speak or look like you?  I don’t think so.  I sense, or I feel the presence of something greater than I am all the time.  Something inside of me knows it’s there.  Something also knows that something else had to have made me.  Something limits my memory until I’m old enough to understand them.  How come no one can remember birth canal trips and baby-crib mobiles?  We aren’t meant to understand those experiences of infant life, so we just learn, absorb and grow until we can actually remember.  Do this as an experiment: trace your life as far back as you can go.  You’ll scarcely be able to remember your life before the age of say, two.  Even though the most impressionable years occur before then, they’re not enough to retain in your memory because these are shared conscious experiences.  Everyone was burped as a baby, fed, bathed.  At least children who were cared for properly.  So those “experiences” get removed from memory because, hell.  Do you really want to maintain a record of all that baby crap?  Exactly.

Now for the courage.  I had to inherit the courage to say what I needed to say when I needed to say it.  This one is often a learned response.  If we receive negative stimuli from an early age, we feel less inclined to bravery.  If we receive positive feedback early in our stages of development, we feel more confident about expressing ourselves.  Take little Mema.  I gained courage as I stumbled on the road of life.  There were times I wanted to throw in the towel for various problems and life-affecting issues.  Some I overcame and some I didn’t.  One can be faithful without being courageous.  But can one be satisfied to the fullest extent of what life has to offer?  I don’t think so.  At least not in America.  Without courage, we wimp out and suffer for our own inability to come out with the truthfulness of our lives.  If we aren’t truthful with ourselves, then how fulfilled can we truly be?

I don’t know about you, but if I am on my way to the Pearly Gates, I don’t want to show my face unless one or two or both of these ideals are met.  I hope that when I’m being judged, I’m good enough to meet the necessary requirements. Guess all I need is in that one line: “Courage and Faith, Miss Honeychurch.  Courage and Faith.”


About Lisa Perez

Lisa M. Perez is a published poet, editor, copywriter, public speaker and artist. The co-creator of the first ever ArtSpace in Jersey City, member of IUOMA (International Union of Mail Artists), and administrator for an online Mail Art group, Lisa supports the arts and advocates for creativity. Her successful, Art Journal and "Notes from my Brain" series are ongoing projects that evolve with the artist. In addition to being an active blogger since 2005, Lisa scripts and edits copy for various online articles and videos. In September 2017, she was a guest-speaker and virtually chaired a YOGA Recovery meeting. In her spare time, Lisa studies, reads, and creates while maintaining a day job in a STEM field and being a full-time fur-mommy to her shih-tzu, Cher.
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