Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Acid dropping

There’s this person I come across in life, quite frequently, who is always dripping with sarcasm. Somewhere in her life she must have heard that it was funny, or clever, or something, so she does it all the time. It’s her regular language.

Every time she opens her mouth it's to cut down the person nearest her.

She even greets her friends with acidic comments, without thought to their mood or current state of mind.

It’s unpleasant. And ironic. She's the first person to point fingers if anyone is less than exquisitely polite to her. 

And I can’t help but wonder if she never ever listened to her mother’s wisdom on the topic of sarcasm, or perhaps if she missed a key element in her education that would have helped her keep or maintain friendships. 

I used to be like this, by the way. When I was a teenager I was always sarcastic. The glass was half empty. I had a snide comment for everyone. In fact, it still sometimes sneaks out. But not as much anymore. I'm approaching a birthday that rings deeply of "Late 30's", which is definitely close to 40. People in their 40's know better. Usually.

worst painting ever- but it was a fun,
relaxing way to spend an evening.
Ironically, this is one of those things I learned to articulate because of a skill I acquired in one of those “fluff” classes that mean “nothing” in college. Isn’t that odd? In nursing school I learned to start an IV, perform CPR, monitor a patient’s vital signs... but one of the greatest life lessons was earned in drawing class.

Life is a measure of contrasts.  
In order to appreciate dark, you have to have light. In order to understand light, you have to have shadows.

In order for the piece you are working to make sense, you must have varying degrees of color. A tree that is one shade of green is a green blob. In order to paint a believable tree you need green, white, and black.  And maybe yellow, but you could get by without it. With the three colors you can paint a tree with depth. In fact, you can be a terrible painter and still convey a tree to your audience if you have shades of color.

I am, in fact, a terrible painter.

But I know that the viewer needs light to see shadow. 
And we need sarcasm to appreciate irony. 
And we need variety to recognize consistency. 
In theory, kindness would go unnoticed if everyone was kind.
but I still wish everyone was kind.

As I go through life this spring, dipping my brush into wells of white, black, and green, I’m trying to remember not to overwork my piece. I need to make sure that there is enough light on one side to see the shadows on the other.

And if I happen to have a little yellow come onto my brush like a drip of warm liquid sunshine, that’s great too. It’s like an added unexpected bonus. It will make the shade feel that much cooler.


Marnee A said...

sweetness to read. loved your analogy and I too am the world's worse should see the bike I painted that I so proudly display in my office at work only to have one of my colleagues ask me how old I was when I did it...."um I painted it last fall"!
BUT I love it! It makes me smile

(Just) Trying is for Little Girls said...

People in their 40s always know better.