About Elizabeth

My name is Elizabeth and I grew up in the lower, North Eastern part of Wisconsin. However, I married, moved to South Eastern Wisconsin, raised four children, graduated college after a divorce, became a Free-Lance Writing Instructor, was pronounced disabled, and moved back to the city of my birth. And those two environments are worlds, as well as miles apart.

For instance: I grew up being called Betty, but after moving away, as an adult, I took possesion of my legal and baptismal name, Elizabeth. I’m into definitions and those two names reside within me and are also worlds apart. Elizabeth literally means “God is my oath” ( a name one could grow into forever), while Betty, often wrongly defined as a derivative of Elizabeth, has no literal meaning whatsoever. Who would ever want to be defined as ‘zilch?’ Its been hard work to get them to compromise, but I’m more happy with the outcome than not.

I lived in SEW for almost forty years, still introduce myself as Elizabeth, but most often get called Betty, sometimes not responding with anything but a blank expression. Friends and family who come to visit risk whiplash trying to figure out who Betty is, while other relatives here, insist that I have always been Betty and that is that. And in a very real sense, I am and will always be both.

Elizabeth is the college graduate who loves to sling words (Have word, Will travel), loves to teach others how to do the same, is intimidated by large social gatherings, loves to engage in deep and profound discussions about almost anything, but prefers the subject of the inherent value of all life, and the need to constantly seek its purpose, is published in both prose and poetry, loves slow rides to nowhere, is intense about relationships, music, the written word, some movies, and can prove that the personal is political and its opposite.

Betty, a definite North Wisconsin hill-billy who lives beneath the roots of all of that, hates being told she has to do anything (actually going immediately into rebel mode at the mere suggestion), loves to sing any song that pops into her mind, emphatically confronts the issue of abuse when it crosses her path, loves to go fishing, and laughs deep down from the belly (having been told frequently that she has a particularly almost evil chortle), doesn’t know how to accept a compliment gracefully, sometimes feels wholy inadequate, but continues to blunder her way through a life she defines as mostly accidental.

Combined together they are, for the most part, often polite, but forever retain the right to become, when necessary, a force to be reckoned with.

Postscript: Although, in my mind, Betty and Elizabeth have clearly distinct voices, if you would like to meet them you are welcome to do so by visiting my main poetry blog.  There, you can read two different poems one by each of them, yet both written by me in close succession. The first is Betty, the North Wisconsin Hillbilly. The second is definitely Elizabeth.

 

  http://soulsmusic.wordpress.com/2009/01/18/at-fifty/

 

 

31 Responses to About Elizabeth

  1. Anonymous says:

    remarkable so far. email me

    Like

  2. 1sojournal says:

    Did just that not more than a minute ago. Told you there was a lot here. You’ll be reading for days. Hope you take something else away besides eye strain, lol.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  3. Heather says:

    Elizabeth (for you are most certainly that to me!) – I feel like I already know you!
    🙂

    Heather

    Like

  4. 1sojournal says:

    Heather,

    am glad you feel that way. I get teased a bit about having a split personality. I just tell people that whether they get Betty or Elizabeth, they simply get a bigger, better version of both, lol. I still respond to Elizabeth far more readily than Betty, but being back here has certainly encouraged that part of me to come forward again, and I’m pleased by all of it. Betty has a great deal to do with the Wild Things inside of me, thus my creative energies. Couldn’t live without her.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  5. madison says:

    i think you’re brilliant.

    Like

  6. 1sojournal says:

    Hmm, brilliant? Not a word I would easily apply to a North Wisconsin Hillbilly in jeans and a t-shirt, with a hankering to go fishing but, I’ll take it, smile sweetly, gracefully bow (at least mentally, physically might be a disaster), find a quiet corner and hug myself. Thank you Madison, you are exactly what I needed this morning. Hope you come back and we can chat, or at least get to know one another,

    Elizabeth

    Like

  7. stillevolving says:

    One of my goals is to accept and integrate the “many faces of Me”. No, I’m not suffering from Dissasociative Disorder, but am realizing that I have many aspects of my self that need to be honored. I am going for complexity, not consistency.

    I would say that both Betty and Elizabeth are forces with which to be reckoned. Carry on!

    Like

  8. 1sojournal says:

    Hi again,

    we all wear far more than one face. I think one of our major purposes in life is to discover all of them and thereby truly know ourself. And I learned a great deal about that by living with someone who did suffer from Dissociative Disorder. Honoring those different and diverse aspects of self is absolutely necessary to coming to know all those different faces. Good luck on your journey and again, check back in on occasion and let me know how it is going.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  9. vivinfrance says:

    Elizabeth, apart from on Writer’s Island and on here, I can’t find how to contact you, so forgive me for doing it on here. I am on a poetry workshop course with Katherine Gallagher, and one of the things I have to do tomorrow or Thursday is to read something from a poet wh has influenced me. Would you mind if I read “Call” and the Birth of Imagination? I know they’re recent, but they had a profound effect on me.
    ViV

    Like

  10. 1sojournal says:

    Viv,

    I sent you an email (ID is lilka), to say of course you can read them, but am very curious as to why they were profound in their affect. They were that and more for my own person, but I’d really be interested to know where you are coming from and what they mean to you personally.

    And deep thanks for thinking of me and my work in such a manner,

    Elizabeth

    Like

  11. Mary says:

    Elizabeth, I now have added your blog to the list of blogs I particularly follow, so I will be checking in with your blog….even when perchance I don’t do a particular prompt. Like Viv, I didn’t find an email address. If you don’t want your blog listed, I would honor that… just let me know somehow. Mary

    Like

    • 1sojournal says:

      Mary, I just sent you an email at the aol addie. It’s listed on the emails I receive letting me know someone has made a comment on my site. I am honored that you would add me to your blog list and would love to hear from you at any time. If you have questions about me, the writing, or just want to chat, please feel free.

      Elizabeth

      Like

  12. A lovely description. Here to repay the compliment you left on my blog. But also to admire.

    Like

    • 1sojournal says:

      Hello 365days, and I’m tickled to see you. I read Robert’s blog every day because I have a long time interest in Jungian theory and I am enjoying his honest ruminations about the daily attempt to implament such a life-altering influence. And although I am most often struck by the synchronicity of his experiences in relation to my own, I am also deeply aware that his is a masculine perspective and thus, a bit different from mine.

      Hope you return, as I also intend to return to your site.

      Elizabeth

      Like

  13. Brian says:

    Another fellow Wisconsinite. 🙂 As someone who is a multiple personality I find the Elizabeth/Betty split to be quite normal.

    Like

    • 1sojournal says:

      Brian,

      you would. I used to be part of an online chat group that had a large number of Multiples as members. And one time, after discussing different aspects of my Personal Mythology with a few of them, I happened to overhear two Littles chatting and wondering if I was a Multiple and just didn’t know it. I did explain, but doubt that either of them actually believed me, lol.

      Where in Wisconsin, if I might ask? I’m in Green Bay.

      Elizabeth

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      • Brian says:

        We’ve lived in Florida for the last ten years. Before that, 15 years in Connecticut. I was born and raised in Madison: I left in 1983. My father is from Whitewater, my mother from Racine. My mother’s mother was from Fond du Lac and father from Bremen Germany via Green Bay.

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  14. 1sojournal says:

    Brian, I was born and raised in Green Bay, then moved to Racine in 1970 when my husband was transferred there through work. Three of my children still live in that area, while my oldest daughter moved to Green Bay about a year after I returned here.

    If you would like, we could exchange emails and talk more in depth. I would be interested in doing so, and you can contact me at lilka1946@yahoo.com.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  15. friko says:

    A complex view of a complex person.

    I think, on the whole, you like who you are, which is good.
    You have self knowledge, which is good.
    Your preference to surf below the surface is good.

    Thank you for visiting my blog, which is a very good thing, because it allowed me to become acquainted with a person well worth knowing.

    Like

  16. 1sojournal says:

    Thank you Friko. I guess I am complex, but most often think of myself as a smidgeon above mediocre and ordinary. However, from what I have read on your site and your responses to the prompts, I am also thinking you are a complex individual yourself. Perhaps we all are, or at least have that potential.

    I have made a lifetime practice out of seeking self-knowledge. We are ever the only person we can really “know”, the only mistery we can truly unravel to some extent. If the only thing that can be said of my person, when its all done, is that she wasn’t a surface individual, I could be satisfied with that. However, it also means I get myself tangled up and in trouble on a occasion (more than a lot lately), but that just means that life is not dull. Also something worth aiming for, in my opinion.

    All of that aside, welcome aboard. I look forward to more conversation, and hope you do as well. Question: What happens when one complex bumps up against another complex? Do they just make more complexities? Sounds fun to me,

    Elizabeth

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  17. 1sojournal says:

    Hi Shane, glad to meet you as well. I was impressed with what you had to say about speaking with and from the heart of a poet. I came to poetry late in life (late thirties) and have since come from that place within me. This is a prose site, but if you’d like to meet the poet heart of me, go to
    http://soulsmusic.wordpress.com/
    and browse a bit. Would be curious to hear what you think,

    Elizabeth

    Like

  18. Spaz says:

    When we leave, what we left behind does not sit still and wait for us.

    So much catching up to do! You’ve been creative! Glad to be back though.

    Got my own dot com now. Still getting used to that. Hope to see you around some time soon.

    S.

    Like

    • 1sojournal says:

      Spaz? Wonderful to see and hear from you. And yes I have been very busy. Four blogs, two for poetry, two for prose. Am doing the PAD challenge at the moment (poem a day at Poetic Asides), and have gotten on the poetry prompt circuit over the past months. Feels like finding something close to home. Will check out your new place, and glad you tracked me down. Welcome back,

      Elizabeth

      Like

  19. espriurenee says:

    Thank you for visiting my site and as I find your writing very interesting here I am again. Yes, we do have some things in common but as I am a very private type of person not sure how much to share. The Blog arena is new to me. I do see quite a few similarities between us as women…albeit one…but not sure if sharing that is an option here. I thought I was a bit of a “wordy woman” but you have me there. I will be back as I want to read more of your writing. You are quite good. Thank you for sharing.

    Like

    • 1sojournal says:

      Thank you Espriurenee, for the compliments and for taking the time to read here and elsewhere. Having spent the first half of my life allowing myself to be silenced, I have a lot to make up for in the wordy woman department. If you would prefer email communication, that is fine with me. My email addie is written above in the response to Brian’s comment.

      At the moment, I am knee deep in the NaPoWriMo poem a day challenge, so I might be a bit slow in response. Life is hectic, even for a quasi-hermit. Welcome to the blogosphere and hope you find it to your liking,

      Elizabeth

      Like

      • espriurenee says:

        So for so good, as they say. New to me and it took going to college after age 30 to bring me ‘kicking and screaming’ into the computer age. As I work at a computer all day at work it was a bit of a quandary if I wanted to start a Blog. But I love to write and just started again after many, many years of, what I thought to be a dry well…but found that is not the case after all. Might take you up on the email. I am not doing a challenge this month as the one I did in March was a bit tiring so am just writing when I can. Thanks for replying.

        Like

  20. Gary says:

    Greetings Elizabeth!

    I’m here to offer a much belated thank you for your past visit to my blog.

    Low ~ and ~ Behold I see the Mandala Stones.
    I’ve seen them before but never knew what they were called. It is fascinating how you manage to extract poetry from the stones!

    For me the stones have a strong resemblance to the exotic Art of Cloisonnes!

    Best Regards

    Like

  21. Julianne says:

    fabulous blog – thanks for sharing!

    Like

  22. lifeunderacarolinamoon says:

    Elizabeth,
    Thinking of you and wanted to wish you a very Merry Christmas. I am doing well and hope you are as well. I see you are still steady at it. I have not done near as much as I’d like as I am now a full time member of the working establishment. I am still with Jim and we are enjoying life together. Not married but most likely will be before 2013 is over.
    I think of you often and fondly…
    Libby

    Hi Libby. Thanks for stopping in. I’m doing okay, preparing to get involved in a writing project come January. Thanks for the good wishes and they are reciprocated happily. Yes, always have my hand in, in some fashion. Am actually thinking about setting up something on this site with the New Year, something a bit different but hopefully supportive for many. Still working out the ideas though. Hope you find some sort of time for more writing. It is so satisfying and fulfilling. Lots of good wishes to you for 2013.

    Hugs,
    Elizabeth

    Like

  23. kim says:

    I am always interested in the writer’s process so am glad to have found your writing both here and on your poetry blog. I am have little formal ‘education’ in writing so love to learn from those who do.

    Your doodle illustrations are entrancing and I’m off to investigate the kaleidoscope app right now. Thank you for your kind comments on my blog and for sharing your work. I look forward to reading more.

    Hi Kim, almost missed seeing this. Glad you like and I really do like questions, so ask if you’ve a mind to do so. For now, I have to get back to the post I want to get up today. I look forward to seeing you as well,

    Elizabeth

    Like

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