The Gypsy Gene

Weekly Sabbath Survey
The Gypsy Gene — 2-28-2015

There are people among us who are different from the rest of us. (I know, we are all different, but hang in there with me here.) The ones I refer to are those prone to mild mood swings, or to engage in deep contemplation at inappropriate times, or to act impulsively and forget appointments. They can easily be labeled by others as day-dreamers, ADD or bi-polar. While some may be that and may require medical help, there are others who are just a little eccentric or easily pulled off task.

More ordinary people have sometimes thought of these others as unreliable, not trustworthy, and hard to understand, mostly because they themselves just sort of amble through doing the best they can, and maybe feeling a bit “less than” some of those creative types who excel with this, that and the other. I have a friend that I tell others is my “Gypsy” friend. She is very Southern, what could be thought ‘flighty.’ She flits around like a butterfly and does some of the most amazing things with art and other creative projects. She has lots of adventures. Her gift for decorating and her fashion sense are enviable.

We were talking recently and I commented that she is a Gypsy. She asked me to explain what I meant. I told her, “It means that you like to fly by the seat of your pants!” She laughed and we talked on as I told her how I learned to keep house, rear children and do all the things adult life demands. I gave up the art I had been dabbling with before marriage. Quit trying to play the guitar. The writing I started as a pre-teen went away, too. Essentially, I buried my talent and my inner child along with it. I grew up.

My Gypsy friend said, “Oh, you need to write about this!” So here I am writing to all who tried to be normal in spite of their Gypsy Gene, or knows someone who did. Duty called, and we all suppressed our Gypsy self. I know at this late time in life that I did that, most of my adult life. I knew how to behave, keep the rules and please the people I needed to please. My husband was sort of a free wheeling type, so I became the one sensible one. I had my eye on the ball at all times, made the budget, paid the bills, planned for what we needed. kept house, cooked and raised kids. Like my Gypsy friend who taught school for a number of years, the kids became a cover for fun adventures to the park and wading in the creek on hot days. The many adventures with my boys were perfect to help me exercise my Gypsy Woman. We finger-painted, later did paint by number, and every Christmas we made some kind of ornaments for our tree. (I still have most of those!) The kids helped me keep my Gypsy Gene alive.

The Lord God makes us the way He does, but society makes up the rules for what is “acceptable” and what is not. There is little room in middle class America for people who are a bit eccentric or just too “different.” Anyone who doesn’t fit the mainstream mold is out of step with the rest. But it might surprise some of us to know that some disorders and problems at milder levels, are often linked to qualities we value as a society. Many of these free spirited people have been, throughout history, some of our great writers, artists, musicians, poets, performers and even government leaders. When they are in a creative flair, their exuberance seems unbounded. And they can almost always think ‘outside the box.’ Heck, some of them LIVE outside the box! (Think Robin Williams here.)

I have known a number of secret Gypsies who after retiring, threw off the suit and tie (or high heel shoes) for a much more laid back life of fun and creative pursuits. Have you always wanted to paint? I did pencil drawings in my teens. I loved water color, but I never tried it because I heard it was the toughest form of painting there is. Now I dabble and have fun with it, combining pen or pencil drawings with water color. I wrote a book a few years ago, something I had been thinking about doing for years. These efforts at exploration were most satisfying. Not exactly lucrative, but very enjoyable.

I urge parents and grandparents and teachers to encourage kids to branch out in pursuit of their interests, both in and outside of their school work. And if you yourself have a life long habit of hiding your talents and gifts, leaving them undeveloped for years, it is never too late to redeem what remains and enjoy doing it. So, get in touch with your inner Gypsy, and see where it takes you. We never know where the next Grandma Moses might come from.

We, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one of us are members of one another; having gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us. Romans 12:5-6

Charlene Reams Manning

Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah

Forward any WSS you feel has merit. (without changes, please) Copyright December 2014

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