"Like the study of science and art, accounts of historical events can be intrinsically fascinating. But they have a wider significance. I believe that people are better able to chart their life course and make life decisions when they know how others have dealt with pressures and dilemmas---historically, contemporaneously, and in works of art. And only equipped with such understanding can we participate knowledgeably in contemporary discussions (and decisions) about the culpability of various individuals and countries in the Second World War. Only with such understanding can we ponder the responsibilty of human beings everywhere to counter current efforts at genocide in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia to bring the perpetrators to justice."
"...we humans are the kinds of animals who learn chiefly by observing others---what they value, what they spurn, how they conduct themselves from day to day, and especially, what they do when they believe that no one is looking."
----Howard Gardner, from The Disciplined Mind, published in 1999

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

My Apologies; or, Procrastination Gives Me Tunnel Vision

I would be most remiss if I did not share with you, my friends, two wonderful things that happened yesterday.
The first:

I was driving to class. My spouse, code name Snowy, called me on my cell phone. (I'll make his dialogue his favorite color.)
Where are you at? he asked.
At the intersection of_____, why?
Oh, I was just out to get some samples, and I thought I might see you go by.
Oh, okay.
Well, okay, see you tonight, bye.

Dear reader, I must drive past Snowy's workplace on the way to class. His office building is on the corner of a well-travelled intersection. Snowy works for a world-famous company that generates much tourist traffic, and most of these tourists drive by and/or are stopped at this same intersection.
Imagine my initial surprise when, as I approached the traffic light at this intersection, Snowy jumped out from behind a rather large planter (you know how those urban beautification projects can acquire some rather gargantuan planters for their horticultural crowing), and pulled up one trouser leg to the knee to display his own leg in a shameless wanton display, grinning like a lunatic, grinning like love, and looking directly at me.
Dear reader, I am unsure how I managed to stay on the road, for I was so simply surprised: surprised to see him, and then surprised as to how tourist season and a corporate office don't figure into the hows and whens of things. I was delighted by his gesture.
Snowy saw a chance to express his affection, and he took it.
It's a wonderful thing, surprise.

The second:

Big Guy came in the room and slumped down on the couch as I was finishing a PBS show---Simon Schama's Power of Art. Each episode in the series centers in one one work, putting it into its social and iconographic context. I really appreciate the host's work; but that is beside the point of the story. Last night featured David's Marat. As the previews for next week came on, the show to feature Turner's The Slave Ship, the host commented that some contemporaries of Turner, when viewing the painting, compared it to a "kitchen mess."
Well, BG said, they need to remember that art is a subjective thing.
(Why yes, his favorite color is blue!)
Happy surprise number two: BG, who may very well be in the running for "Most Likely to Date Princess Leia," or so he would have it seem, is in all actuality, a person who listens, thinks, and then articulates his thoughts so succinctly.

Oh happy day!
I wish such surprises for you, dear reader. May you be as delighted as I have been.


min said...

Both those surprises are way cute!! You are lucky to be surrounded by precious jewels!

The Artist formerly Known as Purpleworms (!) said...

How wonderful! Neroli! Yopu have the best blog!! It is always interesting and heartwarming! I wish I could be half as endearing as you in my writing and thinking!!

neroli said...

Min, very lucky indeed.
I consider this new venture here, of mine where I get to practice writing and do it while meeting fabulous and interesting people as and example of some recent luck. Sometimes I really do wonder if I should pinch myself, as they do in the movies. (I always feel that it's best not to.)

Artist, I am so very glad that you enjoy your time here. You have to know that it is in no small part due to your influence and guidance that I can try to be facile with writing---for how else would I be able to communicate with you?---Swampy's got all the best brooms!