Friday Five

Friday Five: Where on the Stairs?

Halfway Down (As posted by Jan at RevGalBlogPals)

Halfway down the stairs
Is a stair
Where I sit.
There isn't any
Other stair
Quite like
It.
I'm not at the bottom,
I'm not at the top;
So this is the stair
Where
I always
Stop.

Halfway up the stairs
Isn't up,
And isn't down.
it isn't in the nursery,
it isn't in the town.
And all sorts of funny thoughts
Run round my head:
"It isn't really
Anywhere!
It's somewhere else
Instead!"

— A. A. Milne
“Halfway Down,” When We Were Very Young

First of all, I love this poem. Three years ago it became the text for a blog post/letter to #1 Son as he began his 3rd year of college, and that became the core of a sermon.

Now, the Friday Five.

Thinking of your childhood as a stairway, when did you feel (and how did you feel then)

1. at the bottom? — The stairs of life looked high to me, slippery like our uncarpeted and shiny staircase. I wondered how I would manage them. I liked it when my father carried me up or down, piggyback.

2. at the top? — By the end of my adolescence, we lived in a house with carpeted steps that were "hidden," and I too felt constrained and ready to break out!

3. halfway? — Ah, at the halfway point, we moved to a split-level for a year, and I remember the odd sensation of having more choices about where to be, not just upstairs and downstairs.

4. At this point in your life, where would you place yourself on your own stairway? — At the foot of our stairs, you'll always find a little pile of things that need to be carried up, and at this point I'm aware of all the responsibilities I carry on the stairway, things no one else will either bother or be able to restore or resolve.

5. Identify a place for you that "isn't really anywhere" but "somewhere else instead."– The Internet! It's the odd somewhere/nowhere place where I've connected with old friends and kept in touch with family and made a quite amazing number of new friends in recent years.

8 thoughts on “Friday Five: Where on the Stairs?”

  1. The internet. What a good idea. I’ve found pictures of myself from my college newspaper. So you really can go back and forth, up and down!

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  2. That was a cool connection with the internet. I hadn’t thought of interpreting it that way. I love poetic stuff–leaves us open to all kinds of interpretation.

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  3. great play! love the internet answer. i especially love the answer to #4 and knowing the responsiblity of the stairs and things to take up.

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  4. Great response, Songbird! I don’t think I will play again this week (too overwhelmed by being home with the babies with still no sermon in sight), but I love how you’ve played.

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  5. I’d forgotten about leaving things a the bottom of the stairs to be carried up to the top.
    Interesting thought about the internet.
    I think you must be the one to thank for fixing today’s Friday Five with the posting info; I completely forgot! Thanks.

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  6. yah… i too have a pile at the foot of the stairs. but it’s me or the dog to carry ’em up… interesting comparison though to the weight of responsibilities… i hope your pile lessens.

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  7. My brain is too tired to try to play this one, but it wasn’t too tired to connect instantly with the illustration — I remembered the illustration even before I remembered the poem which just further supports an idea I’ve been trying gel. (I’m writing a paper for a class that uses art to pull language out of students.) Beyond that, I read a book years and years ago (somewher between 6-7, I think,) where some child was punished for misbehavior by having to spend the day sitting on the stairs. My friend had what I thought was the most awesome stair case (it had a short run of stairs, a landing, and then the final set of stairs which turned you 180 ° directionally). I drooled over that staircase and truly wanted to spend the day living on that staircase. I’d have my breakfast at the bottom, have my “reading nook” on the landing, and I assigned different steps to different dolls and stuffed animals. I had it all thought out, even though it wasn’t my staircase! I thought that would be so cool! And the final brain connection to stairs — I’ve always carried an image of my faith journey as a staircase. Sometimes I’m climbing upwards, sometimes I’m resting on the landing, and sometimes I’m descending far from where I want to be . . . Wow!!

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