"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

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Two Painters; or, Perfect Timing

Frida Kahlo. The Two Fridas. 1939. Oil on canvas. 170 x 170 cm. Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City, Mexico.
Today was a long day. I am feeling under the weather; the students have been sick and I am swiftly following suit.
Prussian Blue, who yesterday went home early due to such an explosive bout of diarrhea that not a stitch of clothing was left unscathed, returned today not feeling quite right. Begrudgingly doing the simplest of tasks, Prussian expressed extreme displeasure throughout by continually signing stupid, a daredevil feat when at one point one of Prussian's hands was holding a pair of scissors. (Yes, Prussian is able to speak; yet when deeply feeling emotions, signing, gestures, and facial expressions become Prussian's mode of communication)
Madder's aggressive behaviors have been increasing in frequency; today some of those behaviors were self-injurious. (Yes, Madder is able to speak; yet when deeply feeling emotions, aggression becomes Madder's mode of communication.)
And so on, and so forth.
I returned home tired, late, and feverish. I checked the mail. I found a package from a Dear Friend. I opened it, and laughed out loud with joy. How wise of you, Dear One, to wait for such a day to drop your treasures in my lap. I love the gifts; I love even more your generousity; your thoughtfulness and your metta. I'm glad you got to see her first.
Thank you!
They say that a person can't help the family life gives to them, but that a person can choose the family that they want to be in their life. Under that principle, you have been a sister to me since we first met.
For that, I am very glad.


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

I'm glad I could help make your day better. Now if there were only some way to make Prussian Blue's day better!

Pelicano said...

Sorry to hear of your trying day, but glad to hear of that bit of light sent to you to brighten it up!

Anita said...

I am myself surprised at how often good things happen when we really need them to...
Hope you are feeling better still.

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

Not that you will have time to read it, but I did my Frida post for you. All the images on the blog are in the exhibit.

Diane O'Connor said...

What a gift! Don't you love it when stuff like that happens?

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I'll be seeing my daughter so I'm really looking forward to that.

captain corky said...

We just got over all the colds and what not in our place. I hope you feel better and get some rest Neroli! Don't push yourself to hard, but I have a feeling you will anyway. ;)

neroli said...

Dear Artist, it hasn't been the first time that you've brightened my day, and it certainly won't be the last :)

Dear Anita, isn't it lovely how all those things work themselves? Thanks to your good wishes, I am feeling much better again :-D!

Diane, I absolutely love it when that happens. It sounds as if you are already enjoying your Thanksgiving---it's nice to begin enjoying something early with anticipation. I'm glad you'll be seeing your daughter!

Dear Captain, it's good that you all are feeling better---I'm better myself. And no, I really didn't push it---I was a couch potato for a while. Honest ;)!