Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I was so much older then...

I've had a lot of preconceived ideas in my life - about how life was supposed to be and what people thought and how things all fit together. I don't know where some of those ideas came from, or how I thought life was so scripted, but there's a lot I've learned over the years and continue to learn everyday. 

When I was a tweenager, I had the good fortune (I understand, in retrospect) to study the piano.  This meant I had weekly lessons with an instructor, who, at one time, was a music professor at Kent State University.  On occasion, this meant taking my lesson on the campus.  


As we approached the building housing the music department, we would drive by the student dormitories, which at that hour of the day were busy with students coming and going and always a few perched in their open windows.  I vividly remember thinking how great it was going to be when I was one of those people, when I was wise and mature, when I had everything figured out.

Sitting and reading to my granddaughter recently, it occurred to me, all of this wisdom and maturity stuff, this having it all figured out, has been very elusive.  As I grew older, so, too, did the people that knew all of the secrets.  The people that were successful professionals or good parents, and even grandparents.  And yet, in many ways, I am still the same person that sat on the floor of the library and read this same book for the first time so many years ago.

To me, others just looked more confident, more mature and more comfortable in their roles than I felt.  I knew my doubts, my weaknesses and my shortcomings.  But then, these weren't the things that others saw in me.  

Like so many things, I think it is all about perspective, where we observe life from, which in turn leads us to many of our preconceptions.  In fact, that was the impetus behind Viewpoints 9.  It was born out of my early preconception, that we were all seeing and experiencing things in the same way.  That the idea of beautiful, or delicious, or a hot summer day, were common experiences we all shared - that we all understood - for example, like the number 4.  But, not so.  And each V9 challenge I am so intrigued how similar our challenge pieces are and how dissimilar they are at the same time.
So, thank you, Lisa-Marie.  I think of you each time I walk by the gelato in the frozen food section of the grocery store......but, I have to date, resisted :)  Which reminds me of my own food preconception.  I truly discovered sushi when I was in school in the 80's in California, and frequented a local sushi bar in town.  We were there so often that the staff and chefs knew us pretty well and were attentive to us.  One evening, the head chef came over and gave me a tip - something not all of the other customers would hear about - they had fresh uni that evening.  I'd never had uni, but knowing it was a delicacy and was something special, I knew it was going to be good.  We ordered some and it came and with anticipation, I eagerly took a taste.  To this day, it is, without question, the most vile thing I have ever deliberately put in my mouth.  The chef stood smiling, awaiting my response, while I tried really hard to not think about it, for fear it would come back.  I think he read my face and was suddenly very apologetic.  I, too, was apologetic, because I knew he thought he was doing something nice and I really didn't want to offend him.  In the end, I had to have the dish physically taken away, it was so disturbing to me.  And, again, I know it was only a matter of perspective.  I had a friend who just loved it and ate it with raw quail eggs whenever she could......vive la difference!

I can't wait to see what folks come up with for this intriguing challenge!

1 comment:

  1. Martha, I totally relate to what you've written. It's interesting to me that one of the first words that came to my mind about this challenge was the same as yours: "perspective". I also thought of the process of learning and enlightenment. I can't wait to see your piece!