Monday, January 10, 2011

It Was a Very Good Year for Small Town Girls

Seventeen was the age that I knew everything. I would like to say that was a great year for me but it was not.  The only people who believed that I knew everything were my fellow seventeen-year-old friends.  All of the adults would shake their heads and say, "You have much to learn".

As I turned eighteen, I could feel the purity of my sense of knowledge start to tarnish.  So I decided to learn more to gain back the light of knowing everything I need to know.

I learned quite a bit at college. Somehow though, the books, the courses, the friends, the boyfriends only pointed out how much I didn't know. 

So I moved to the big city. 

I kept trying to learn to fill my brain with books (damned books, why do I keep reading them?) and life experiences that would get me to that high ground again.  No doubt, many lessons were learned. The main thing I learned was I didn't want to live in the city.

So I packed up my books and moved to the seashore.

I got married and had children.  Now, if there is a sure way that you want to prove that you don't know squat, get married.  

To really feel dumb, read several books on child rearing and then have some children. Children are happy to show you just how much you don't know. Despite the sleep deprived nights and maintenance filled days, there is beauty in seeing these kids grow up. 

You get to watch them learn.  They learn through trial and error, watching others and occasionally listening to advice from a grown-up. This is a messy process that often leaves someone or something bruised or dirty. It is an inspiration that learning is always possible. It is OK if you don't know everything. Keep trying and eventually you'll get the hang of it.

One day my kids will be seventeen. I am going to do my best not to ruin it for them by telling them that they don't know everything. I hope that they can bask in the light. It won't last. 

Trust me. I know.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Byte from the Apple

My son felt that it was only right that he pick the word for the letter, "V" since his name begins with that same letter.  He also thinks that when he grows up he will have red hair and a beard and be a Dutch painter.  I don't argue. I draw the snake.

This got me thinking about an article I recently read about VanGogh and his famous ear mutilation. According to some researchers, it was Vincent's roommate at the time, Paul Gauguin who sliced the ear. The theory is that VanGogh attacked Gauguin and Gauguin defended himself with a sword. Word is Vincent covered for his friend who took off for Tahiti. This sounds like a reasonable turn of events based on my own personal roommate experiences.

I wasn't a very good roommate. I don't like to do dishes or laundry. I am a bear in the morning. I freely express my opinion.  I don't like your boyfriend.  My art stuff is taking up more than my fair share of the apartment. I smoke your cigarettes and wear your favorite shirt. I don't like to grocery shop or to refill the ice cube trays.

I would like to apologize to those of you who have had to live with me. My housekeeping skills have improved slightly and I quit smoking a long time ago. Mornings are not my best time of day and I still don't like your boyfriend.

If I still owe you for the phone bill in 1993, give me a call. I'd love to hear from you.