This week I’m grateful for one single thing.
Once upon a time – or just yesterday if we’re being candid here – I was a young woman who searched for back-ups. I searched for back up opinions about the proper thing to wear, the proper thing to say and the proper job to seek.
Although I prided myself on my independence and self-sufficiency, I often ended up looking for a supporting cast of opinions. Sometimes I just forced myself to do things based on those second string opinions. I forced myself to talk to people I really could afford to pass on. I told myself “but it’ll be good for you, this party, this gig, this nice decorous black suit (I hate wearing black).”
And then I had a thought of my own yesterday. What if life is not an ensemble drama, but a character-driven comedy? Maybe I’ve been watching too much Glee, but come with me…
What if the most important character is me or you, as the case may be? Then I wouldn’t be so exhausted all the time fighting with the others, who are just xeroxes of people I’ve met and known. Their voices and opinions grind loudly in my head.
I’m not very good at forcing myself to do things, anyway. It turns out part of me is rogue and violent about it. So that part will thrash the others until we all collapse into another other and I am whole again. Exhausted and whole and sad and confused.
I could skip all of that if I just ditch the chorus. I could go a capella.
A totally radical notion.
Today I’m just walking around dismissing so many crazy thoughts I had picked up from other people about how to live my life that I laugh out loud by myself. One woman looked at me on the street and laughed back. I hope she’s having her own a capella moment.
On a different note: I’ve been featured on Jessica Quirk’s What I Wore Blog. Thanks Jessica!
Great website on how to teach kids to be imaginative for the future is made of creative jobs. It’s not just Seth Godin who says it. The US government and some educators fear steep competition from India and China where kids are outranking US students in math and sciences, both key subjects for the creation of new technologies. Education is not just about memorization anymore.
After years of being taught that you have to be an average worker for an average organization, that society would support you for sticking it out, you discover the rules have changed. The only way to succeed is to be remarkable. – Linchpin, Seth Godin
And for that you need to be creative.
One of the innovative ways to teach kids that has been much vilified is the video game. Parents complain endlessly about shiftless teens who sit in their rooms and play videos all day long. In this video, Spencer Zuzolo of 3D Squared, a company that works on digital education tools, talks about how to use what a kid loves to help him find make a path for himself in life.
Another great article at the cross roads of education and technology: Your Professor Tweets More Than You. Hilarious but good info.
ART INSPIRING ART
What is it about a naked young woman that makes artist want to paint her over and over again in this exact position? This painting is as quintessential for 18th and 19th century painter as the Pantocrator was to the Miedeval artist. I’ve seen it over and over again and I always wonder what is it that each one hopes to capture? What did the last one miss? It’s the perfect painting in a way because when you use an old idea you have to be confident enough that you can make it your own, you have to have a distinctive touch.
Eduard Manet is often confused with Monet. They both were Impressionists. Both had long beards and both were French. But I think the distinctive spark is that Manet’s women always look more sexualized. Monet’s women were bonnets and pomp-pomp under their skirts. They carry umbrellas, they stroll on the beach. A Manet woman rolls in the grass, looks straight at you and maybe past you while her servant shows her the last batch of flowers from her suitor.
Francisco Goya liked to paint those who lived in the underbelly of society. He liked the smut, lunacy and everything we like to keep in the dark.
Director/Writer James Cameron makes his Titanic heroine (Kate Winslet) disrobe for her first intimate moment with her new beau.