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?”
“Nope.”
“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?