Friday, March 29, 2013

Shapes on the Ceiling

When I am lying in bed I see shapes on my ceiling; little pieces of artwork that appear in the plaster. Some of these shapes I see once and then they disappear for days. Others are always there. Like calling cards, they entice me to look up and take notice.
I’ve tried to share these with my husband.
The conversation usually goes something like this.
“Ok, look up…right to where my hand is pointing. Do you see it now? It’s a torso with 3 buttons.”
“Does it have arms and legs?”
“No….just a torso, a torso with 3 buttons. Can you see it?”
“Then you are looking in the wrong place! Seriously you can’t miss it.”
“I can.”
I turn to look at him incredulously. There is a long pause while we try to figure out what is wrong with each other. I turn back to the ceiling.
“Ok, what about the witches face? See the nose and the pointy hat? She is huge. You can’t miss her. Look! Right there…pointy nose…big wart…she has her mouth open.”
“Nope, don’t see her either.”
I crawl to my PJ clad knees and then stand like most 46 year olds on a wobbly surface. I am stretched as tall as 5’2.5 can possibly be. My fingers trace the shapes in the air but I am still about 6 inches away.
“Here….right here. It’s a rabbit. See? Here are the ears and the cotton ball tail….”
My fingers twist out a small fluffy circle.
“I’m leaving now.”
“Seriously! You are not even trying!” I stomp a little and the bed ripples. It’s right here!”
I turn to see him walking towards the shower.
My NO “ show and tell” is over.
I flop back down. More shapes appearing as I wonder.
Why can’t he see what I see?
Sometimes trying to get my husband to see things my way, is like trying to describe cinnamon to someone who cannot smell. It is impossible to do, and yet so hard to believe that it cannot be done. After all, we both have noses!
I know, that if asked, he would say the same about me.
And it isn’t just that we see things differently, we experience them differently too. Often, I wish this was not true. I wish that our understanding was instant, that I did not have to explain my point of view… that we liked the same things… that we never had to compromise…
The world would be so much easier!
But if I am honest, this isn’t really what I want at all. I think easy things are kind of boring. I like a good challenge and a chance to change a mind. And sometimes, though it is hard to admit, I even like my mind changed. As I think of all the reasons I love my husband, I realize it his differences that are high on the list. They are exasperating and exhausting and enlightening and exciting. He provides a different way to see the world. All I have to do is look.
I ponder.
They say when you are ready, a teacher will appear.
As really odd shapes on the ceiling? Who knew?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Time to Enjoy the Ride

As we flew into Salt Lake City tonight we hit a bit of turbulence. The plane dropped steeply and then pitched back up. Moments later it did it again. I looked at the people around me. One lady looked green and was already holding the brown paper barf bag in her hand. The man across from me was clenching both arm rests tightly. His knuckles were so white they looked like marble.

Most everyone else was bored; frequent flyers not easily shaken by a little turbulence. The plane pitched forward again.

This time I heard squeals coming from the seat behind me. I turned to see two little boys. I would guess they were five or six. One had his chubby little arms in the air, as if on the ride of his life. He was wearing a mischievous smile. The other boy was holding his stomach with a look of excitement and awe. He turned to his mom, “my stummy is dropping!” He squealed again then giggled. His counterpart let out a long and low, “Whoooooa! I didn’t know it would turn into a roller coaster. Did you mom? Did you?”

I couldn’t help but smile as the plane rocked forward one more time and shrieks and giggles erupted again.

A few minutes later the plane bounced on to the runway.
As I gathered my bags, I heard the boys express disappointment that the ride was over.
“Now what?” sadly questioned the youngest one.

There was a momentary pause...“Skiing!" Yelled the taller and I turned to see two toothless smiles as happy screams filled the tin cabin again.

Walking off the plane, I couldn’t help but wonder what happens as we age?
When do we go from enjoying the ride of our lives to just waiting for the moment we can get off the plane?
Why do we get stuck at "now what?" when another adventure would be so easy to find?

I’m taking a cue from these kids. Next time, I'll choose not to be annoyed at a few bumps in my road. Instead, I'll throw my chubby arms in the air and put a grin on my face. Who knows? I might even try a giggle as my "stummy" is dropping!