Random Thought One
Above I have created another slider of some of my work created during this blog. I chose to pick some of my photography favorites from this past year. Most of the photographs are landscapes or nature studies. I have a solid collection of images that are investigating the process of time on manmade creations. An interesting juxtaposition to the ebb and flow of nature growing up around it, dying off and having a rebirth in spring. All the while in the cycle of nature our objects we create slowly but surely fall off to waste. In those wasted spots, holds the keys to stories of someones lives. What happened in this house? Who owned that cart and why was it left pushed up on this particularly tree in the middle of the woods? All of these objects and structures were special to someone or were used by a person or family at one time. It is beautiful to feel their presence. It is a strange connection to an unknown past. Peering into a bit of their spirit filling the void as the grass grows up and the branches wrap around. The snow, the rain and the wind tear it down. The decomposition process never relenting and force of nature slow and constant but as destructive as a tornado. We just are not around to see the whole process. We are as fragile as the structures and objects we create. I find beauty in the ominous rust covered coffee can as it reminds me of my own mortality, my own fragility compared to the forces of nature and time. One day what I have created will be a remanent and a clue to a past, my past, my family. Will these pieces of the puzzle be interpreted correctly? We will never know.
Random Thought Two
If you know me, you know I am not much for spending time putting on make-up and fussing with my hair. I believe in the 10 minute rule: if it takes more than 10 minutes it is not worth my time on the beautification front. I believe in a being clean, fresh, neat, professional and fit. That is my beautification regime. Lately my youngest PP, is going through the make-up and dress up PHASE. This phase I never went through but LP my oldest went through and has made it out on the other end. LP is now drawing, writing, reading, playing games and is still in love with her dollies. Every once in a while she likes to paint her nails or put on a fancy dress but you can see the interest falling off. My husband is having a fit with PP’s newest obsession. He hates the idea of our girls wearing lots of make-up and wasting their time on “silly things”.
I hate this idea too, not in a judgey way but in a life quality and confidence way. I am from a large family with 6 siblings 4 of which are women. I am the the youngest of the girls and I spent a lot of time watching my older sisters and thinking about the things they did. I love my sisters with all of my heart and respect each of them for their individual special gifts they bring to the world. I think each of them are unbelievably beautiful and always have.
I remember watching my gorgeous sister step out the shower wrapped in a towel with her ivory skin slightly pink from the warm shower. Her hair wound in a towel up on her head so you could see all the lovely curves of her face. She sat herself down in front of the mirror in her room to let my other sister into the shower to get ready for school. In this spot she would sit for hours every morning covering up, re-working, and painting a new face. All the time I was watching this transformation thinking she looked more beautiful an hour or so a go. It did not take me long to get frustrated and bored with this process. So while we were all up at 5 am getting ready for school; I used the time differently. I would go out for a short run, do extra homework or studying, make breakfast, try to get my younger brother out of bed, walk the dog, make my bed, read some of the paper, pace around annoyed that I was going to be late because 2.5 hours was not enough time to get ready.
Now as adults my sisters have all changed these habits. It is really tough being a teenager and to to deal with all the pressures of being that age. I know from watching my high school students do the same thing. Hiding themselves under a 2 cm deep layer of base and powder. Why is it the young men (or men at any age) feel no need to cover up their face. Men spend more time doing as youngsters. How do I translate that to my girls?
What made the difference for me? I don’t think it was watching my sisters. For a different girl it might have been watching their older siblings and picking up beauty tips rather than calculating time and effort vs final product. I think it was my Dad. He always asked me to help him do things. That is how we bounded. I liked these doing things and it helped me understand I could do anything. I enjoyed helping him change the oil in the car, hold the wood for a cut, move a couch, hold the wrench or flip breakers. It was my mom’s love of learning and constant search for knowledge that formed my own academic interest. It was my mother reminding me to be beautiful inside and love people even the ones that are the most difficult to love. It was finding beauty in everyone, looking for their special gifts. We were always taught to be well groomed, dressed appropriately for the occasion, well spoken and professional but that does not take 2 hours and $300.00 of product to accomplish.
So am I freaking out about PP’s new obsession over nail polish and lip gloss? Absolutely not! I think she is having fun and it is all part of her pretend play. It is more about playing with a substance like paint than feeling beautiful. I also feel the more we resist the more she will rebel and pull away. She is four and is experimenting. This is not all she is interested in. She is playing with blocks, puzzles, dolls, books and games. She loves music and dance. My girls love going to the theater, the ballet and have even watched their Uncle Kenny’s perform 45 minutes of Bach for a piano recital at the college where he teaches. As they grow they will help Matt and I with home improvement projects, they will go to art openings, rock climb, mountain bike and ski. Will all of this avoid the low self esteem issues that so many young women end up with? I don’t know. Much of this will come from within and we as parents can only give them the tools to build their lives we cannot build it for them. PP, play away and create your imaginary character with crazy makeup and lots of nail polish but please stop painting your dolls:)
Random Thought 3
So much is going on and I have not been able to fill you in. I am starting to do some contract work for my friends company. One of my classes has filled. I don’t know what I should be doing now. Matt and I were feeling frustrated on Friday night. We are ready for that security of my full time employment but not sure what path I should take. What I really want to do is teach preferably high school. In the middle of this conversation. Matt had to leave to pick up Friday night dinner (no one felt like cooking). My phone began to vibrate. I could not find it. I was searching around for it and when I finally located it, the number was unknown to me. Who was calling me on a Friday night that I did not know? I listened to the voice message and it was Mercersburg Academy!! I immediately called back. The Academic Dean went through a 25 minute impromptu phone interview and called me in for a formal interview on January 8-9. It will be a 24 hour interview where I eat dinner with faculty, spend the night at the Head of School’s house, have breakfast with more faculty and then go through more formal interviews and meetings. I am so excited and nervous!! If I could make a job for myself it would be this job. If I could work with a faculty and staff of my choice it would be this group. So keep your fingers crossed, send me all your strength and confidence because I will need it. I am sure they are interviewing other applicants who have amazing resumes and have done amazing things. I know I am competitive for this position. This is what I have been training my whole life for. I am sure the Academy will find their best fit. The students and this community deserve only the best. I just hope it is me:)
Random thoughts complete! Sorry