“You know the famous final tapestry of the ‘Unicorn in captivity?’ Where the unicorn sits surrounded by a round fence, tethered to a tree, but looking peaceful and happy?”
“Of course. I saw it. It was lovely.”
“That’s an allegorical representation of Christ, who became a willing captive to the small circle of a woman’s womb. Just as a unicorn gives up its wild freedom to lie in the arms of a virgin maid, Christ gave up his Godhead to sit in Mary’s arms. And to become our Savior.”
“Oh,” she said. “I didn’t know that.”
“There are layers and layers to the story. Human love and marriage, men and women, God and the soul. On the exterior, the tapestries are about human beings hunting the unicorn. But if you scratch the surface, you find it’s really a story about the unicorn hunting us, out of irresistible love. And when the unicorn finds you, your life is changed forever.”
“Sometimes I wish I never met him,” the girl said, her throat contracting suddenly. “I wish I’d never known what a unicorn was like…”
This little girl is now 21, the age that Mother was when she was married.
There is a sense of restlessness about me lately.
These first three years of college have flown. God has blessed me immeasurably and led me in my self-discovery down paths and to new interests that I could never have foreseen. It’s almost comical in some ways… Paco is, of course, beginning to consider his options more seriously, and recently he has come to the conclusion that he wishes to go into engineering and political science. Mother wonders aloud how she could have raised a scientist and a politician, for neither are her particular strengths, and our high school courses were not heavy toward this end. But that is one of the beauties of homeschooling.
One of the more familiar criticisms of homeschoolers and unschoolers is that the parents wish to brainwash their kids and turn them into mini-me’s. There may indeed be cases where this is true, for all I know, but what I have seen and lived is quite the opposite; homeschooling has deepened my sense of adventure, as well as that of my siblings. Our exploration of new interests is not limited by a curriculum or the strengths or weaknesses of our teachers when we learn from a very early age the value of taking ownership of our education.
I graduated cum laude with an Associate’s degree in Culinary Arts and Science, and am currently working towards that Bachelor’s in Culinary Arts Technology. I graduated an Honors Scholar and an Outstanding Graduate of the Business Technologies Division. I’ve been blessed with four scholarships in the past three years. I did not do my co-op requirements abroad, but I did discover downtown Cincinnati, discovered that I love it and like spending time there, and even more specifically, that I love MCI. At 1 Night 12 Kitchens this past Sunday, I ran into one of my former employers at MCI; she embraced me and greeted me with, “Oh, honey. You’re home.” The most beautiful thing about MCI is that it was another home, and in that sense, I never stopped homeschooling. I’m laughed at constantly for the amount of free time that I pointedly pass at MCI, but it is where I want to be, and where I hope to continue to be, in the years to come.
Tang Soo Do is currently sitting on the side, just waiting to be picked up. I’m a little lacking in motivation in that respect, but I have no doubt that martial arts will continue to be a part of my life, if not very largely right now, maybe in the way that it was for Dad, leaving it when he was sixteen and then coming back to it once he had kids to enjoy it with and to keep him motivated. Drunken Boxing is out because I’ve tried kung fu and more or less detested certain fundamental aspects of it.
None of those previously-unexplored instruments listed have been explored, and both violin and piano have been incredibly neglected, but guitar has only gotten better – I’m currently taking a classical guitar class – and best of all, I joined the UC Women’s Chorus which consequently graced me with the friendship of another homeschooled Catholic young lady who wears her chastity ring proudly in the face of extreme incredulity.
Jewelry-making and food-writing are purely hobbies that one find’s random spontaneous moments for, and I don’t mean to do much about changing that.
I still get jokes about marrying a Pinoy and keeping the bloodline pure, but I think that’s all they are now – jokes. One of my Kuyas suggested once in an age long past that I might be a little racist. It prompted some reflection and soul-searching, which revealed that I am not racist, but perhaps slightly biased, though I’ve become considerably less so over the past three years.
On that note, that is still my greatest ambition. To be a wife and mother and write living epistles. As I wrote (yes, snail mail) to two friends recently, the spiritual direction I received recently concerning the possibility of a religions vocation [with the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia] was, in a nutshell, “Don’t worry about it.”
And so 21 finds me trying to leave the vocation thing to God’s time. Patience is not my forte.
There are so many opportunities before me, so much that I can [and will] do, all of which is constructive and will only serve to make me a better person… School goes well; what more could I ask for? I’m leaving for my internship in less than six weeks. I’m continuing my sommelier studies on my own time, and that in and of itself is something in which one could choose to drown one’s entire life and never run out of new material. I’m continuing to serve at St. Max and will hopefully be taking on some new responsibilities come Fall. For the duration of this quarter, my free time is being filled by Young Adult activities courtesy of both St. Max and St. John’s, Dead Theologians Society meetings, and Theology on Tap. My chapter at Daveed’s is finished, it ended on a good note, and continues to bear fruit in the form of friendships that I have discovered do indeed exist, some cases of which have been very pleasantly surprising.
But I am restless. Naturally so, Mother confirms. A career is only an aspect of one’s vocation, and it’s gnawing at me.
In high school, we may fear the unknown and be anxious to find our way; I find myself having a fairly good idea of where I’m going and being anxious for what I hope is still unknown to come into play. I say I have my priorities straight – but perhaps a more accurate way to phrase it is that I know what I want my priorities to be, once they actually become viable options.
Dreams of a future never found,
Memories of a past still sweet;
Half-writ poems, stories wild,
April letters, warm and cold,
Diaries of a wilful child,
Hints of a woman early old;
A woman in a lonely home,
Hearing, like a sad refrain, –
‘Be worthy love, and love will come,’
In the falling summer rain.