fledge capable of flying, from Middle English flegge, from Old English -flycge; akin to Old High German flucki capable of flying,
Old English flEogan to fly -- more at FLY
intransitive verb, of a young bird : to acquire the feathers necessary for flight or independent activity

Friday, May 30, 2014

Not so black and white

I was at this park watching all these little, little kids inline skate on this really crazy, difficult course. It was insane! These little kids, maybe 4 or 5 years old, doing these jumps and flips and going so fast. And I thought, uh-oh, this is something else my kids cannot do. Something else that I've neglected to offer my children. All the kids will grow up being able to jump and flip, but not my kids. At any rate, it was time to leave, so I got in the car with my husband. He was driving. Jack was walking with his friends up ahead a ways. I asked my husband to stop to pick him up. He drove past him, saying it was not a good place to stop. Stop, I say, and let him get in the car! Jack is running as fast as he can to catch us. But my husband speeds up. The world is not waiting for Jack, my husband says, Jack needs to pick up the pace, this is good for him to run. Jack hears this and then he turns away from us and starts running down a foot path, which we cannot drive down. Jack just keeps running and running away and we cannot follow him. I want to apologize to Jack. I am not sure if I want to apologize for not pushing him enough, because he cannot flip and jump on inline skates, or if I want to apologize for pushing him too much, making him take all those AP classes and not slowing down a bit. "Jack!" I to yell aloud to the boy running away from me..."Jack!"... And my yell wakes me up.

It was a dream.

My subconscious is not subtle. While pushing the kids to excel, will I push them away? Will I always feel so guilty for not doing enough and for doing too much? I know several families, who have a child graduating from high school. These sons and daughters have awards and scholarships. They know to which excellent universities they will be attending in the fall. Those parents got it right. I wish it were all more black and white to me.

But it's not, is it? The one thing I really want to get right, help my kids to the best of my ability become the best version of themselves, I might be getting wrong. 

It should be simple. Black and white simple. Like a Saul Steinberg drawing. Which is actually very sophisticated and layered and complex, even though it is simple.

"The artist is an educator of artists of the future... who are able to understand and in the process of understanding perform unexpected – the best – evolutions."

- Saul Steinberg

Saul Steinberg
Untitled, 1948.
Ink on paper, 14 1/4 x 11 1/4".
Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.

This is my blatant infringement. Can we agree on "homage"? 

I left this thread loose, hanging out of the needle. It may not last long there. Or maybe it will.

Okay, that's a tad dramatic...but I do believe doing something creative does lend itself to a considered and experienced life, don't you?

Anyway, that Saul Steinberg infringement homage is the outside to a roll-up sewing tool kit. I'm always doing a bit at home, then a bit at my office...and I'm always leaving this or that tool somewhere. So, I'm hoping something like this will help me keep my stuff together. If I can't keep my sh*t together, at least my stuff is together.

I quickly made some "smalls" to put in the kit.

I liked making these itty-bitty smalls. In about fifteen minutes, I've sewn something. And something super practical. I like to carry around a tape measure. And I like to have itty-bitty Post-Its handy. So these do the trick pretty well.

I also made a book cover for my old copy of The Hobbit. Anna doesn't think she needs to read The Hobbit and/or The Lord of the Rings, because she saw the movies. If I were Queen of the World (am I am available for that position), I would make sure everybody read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings before seeing the movie. Or at least after. So I made Anna this book cover to help encourage her to read this book.

By pulling a tab at the top, you can move the owls eyes up and down. By pulling the tab all the way out, you have a book marker.

Behind the eyes I used stamps to write "Read more"... a bit of dyslexic stamping on that "E" there... *sigh* 

Even black and white gets complicated. Anyway, this keeps me from getting bored, right?

“The life of the creative man is lead, directed and controlled by boredom. Avoiding boredom is one of our most important purposes."


Jen said...

Your point about pushing kids and wanting them to be the best 'self' they can be is something that I've been thinking about lately - my oldest can't seem to do well in more than one class, kind of like not being able to walk and chew gum at the same time. I keep kicking myself that I've somehow failed at parenting her, particularly as she's going to be in high school in the fall and things that don't seem important right now suddenly become all-important for college entrance, etc.

I am not the Queen of the World, but I wouldn't let her (my oldest) see the Hobbit movies until she'd read the book first. She read it and said it was the best book ever and was then able to comment about Peter Jackson's deviations from the original text. She's impatiently waiting the last installment of the movie. Meanwhile I own all 3 of the Lord of the Rings movie but won't let her see them until she's read the book. I told her if she wanted she could read the first book and then see the first movie, and do it that way. But she's still stuck in Bree at the Prancing Pony. Maybe she'll finish it this summer. I've done the same thing with my younger kids and "The Neverending Story". My husband is reading them the book now and they get to see the movie when he's done.

Fledgling said...

Hello Jen! Thank you for sharing your thoughts! It is a psychological tightrope being a parent sometimes, don't you think? Just when you think you're about to let them cross the street by themselves, it's hard to imagine them in that world on the other side all by themselves. What is "good enough"? And is "good enough" good enough? And who's good (or not good) enough? And isn't that exactly why we send kids to school: To teach them what they don't know? I often feel like school is a place that arbitrarily measures arbitrary things your kids should know arbitrarily. If, for example, your girl excels at one thing at a time: I say, Great! We know she has excellence within her capability. We're all expected to specialize at some point. There are very few physicist baker author attorney tailor dancer game show host politicians out there, am I right? So it should be clear to the schools, that this girl will excel when she finds her calling.

You are an excellent Queen of Your World. My girl is a stubborn, I mean, "self assured" one. But I am putting my foot down. She'll read The Hobbit through before the summer is over!

mooi hoor... said...

Wonderful set and cover. When I saw Lord of the Ring I was shocked. No one can replace reading the book by looking at that film (I wonder, is the book really that Kitschy, and I never saw it?). Ah, those young people always taking the fast path ;)...
Self-assured is good. Nothing worse than the arbitrariness of it all getting to you!

Ixakay said...

Nancy, you are among the most creative people I know. I love the etuis. Wish I could get so motivated to make similar cases for all my lacing tools.

And you, my dear, have my vote for Queen. Thanks for your availability!


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