Thursday, July 23, 2009

It's all about perspective

This week's drawing class was about perspective. You know, the artist holding up his/her thumb in front of whatever it is they are drawing? Always wondered I know. In class we actually used bamboo skewers, (The kind used to ummm...skewer things, like veggies, to make shish kebabs. Yes, I know other stuff is skewered on them but not in my world.), to serve as a unit of measurement. I did not like this class one bit. My arm hurt after an hour or so of holding it out, putting it down, forgetting the measurement, doing it again, putting it down, double checking... in front of a bunch of boxes stacked on top of each other. It didn't seem artistic at all, it seemed like math to me. When you start in one place you need stay in that place because if you move it changes your perspective. I got frustrated and felt a bit rebellious so I sketched what I saw without using the skewer. When the instructor came around to critique and offer words of wisdom, she paused in front of my easel and pointed at the free hand sketch. "That is what I am talking about, good angles, nice placement, good perspective," she said. (I said thanks and chuckled to myself.)

Last Sunday I was checking my gmail account. It is one that I don't check regularly. I was scanning through and noticed two emails from a name from my distant past. This wasn't someone I expected to hear from ever, so I honestly thought it was a mistake. I opened the more recent one first. It was from the person that I knew oh, 23 or so years ago. Someone, that while not looking for me, found me because of the title of my blog. Unbeknownst to me the song by Donovan Catch the Wind had been associated with me in this person's mind at one time. We never listened to it or talked about it and the association was made after we had parted ways. Apologies of past behaviour were made. Apologies for what? I wondered. Given the years of non-contact and my age at the time (young) and his age, young (but older by, ahem, some years) I had a pretty tight lid on that period in my life. Thoughts of him had dwindled to the random, I wonder what he's doing these days? Explanations and apologies were provided in subsequent emails and filled in some of the blank holes but strangely, instead of feeling settled I feel angry. Would it have made a difference knowing that I had actually mattered to this person? I've always treated that time in a rather cavalier fashion because it hurt too much to treat it with the importance it deserved. I chalked it all up to something in me that was lacking or wrong. To find out that I was special and cherished while at the same time being pushed away for reasons unknown to me (at the time) is gratifying to a point. I have been given a new perspective on a pivotal time of my life. It is requiring some changes in how I view my past and present. This shift has been unsettling to say the least. Ultimately I think it is a positive thing and I am grateful to this person for taking the time to make contact. (Although the bouts of random tears are growing tiresome.)


Blaize said...

Perspective on the past isn't always easy, is it? Thanks for the story.

Jenn said...

That's funny about the painting. I have avoided most people from my past, esp high school, cause I just don't want to rehash crap. I lived it once isn't that enough. I'm glad it gave you a new perspective.