“Rule 4: Consider everything an experiment.” —Corita Kent
If I don’t think about science, I forget how to be an experiment. That fail is written into the rules. That maybe fail is the wrong word. That reacting to the world is its own experiment.
I’m pushing up against a time limit today, wanting to write a poem, but bringing you a rule instead. It’s one of those weeks. After a week with no teaching, I’m teaching my new creativity class Wednesday night (join me at 7pm in Ballard). And Friday I’m back with my students. I’m wading through deadlines. Our exchange student finally arrived from Germany last night.
That’s the cool part of life: a new person in my house. One who has never been to America. This morning I asked what her parents did for work, and she wound her way through the words until I had specific phrases. A mom who does finance for the city and a dad who wanted to work outside and meet people, so he became a chimney sweep. She didn’t use the words “chimney sweep,” which makes me want to research where that term originated. Disney? Or maybe it is a term in Germany too, but she didn’t know the words to speak.
I keep thinking about how in the last year we’ve traveled the globe just by taking in exchange students. France, Australia and now Germany.
And yet: we’re seeing inside a tiny window. Because I’ve also been pondering that we only see what people share, and there is a depth and a breadth of experience to each person. And a country is vast and full of different people and experiences. Within my very own family we have fast and slow thinkers, people who love to drive and people who can sing in tune and perhaps one who can’t hold a tune at all.
Generalizations are great for tired brains, but they generally don’t contain everything.
I can’t even pretend to tie this back to the quote I began with, but I put the quote in for a reason. I feel like every day is a long experiment. I plan for my schedule and end up at the market buying bread and taking out cash for my teen. She told me at 7:50 that she wanted to take our guest to Starbucks. I flex and bend as best I can, all day long.
I’m off to meet a deadline. See you tomorrow.