“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.










2 thoughts on “Flex

  1. Wish that I could attend the classes. I wish I could do a lot of things.

    Lament, lament, lament.

    We thought about doing the exchange student thing as well but “stuff” at home prevented that from being a reality.

    I like the idea that life is an experiment and failure is just a part of it, it’s just another option of success that you have eliminated. Or something like that. I can’t remember that quote exactly.

    Holy Names had their incoming freshman sports orientation and information night last night. It looks like Dela is going to join the swim team. Obviously different kids are going to have different high school experiences, I am looking forward to seeing how these two so close in grade will turn out since they are such different people and going to different schools. There is going to be a lot of flexing and bending going on…

    1. I wish you could attend too! I keep making myself teach the class and figure out how to promote it, telling myself to enjoy some solo creative time when no one shows. But either way, I’m enjoying the experience so far.

      I’m not sure how you manage what you manage right now without adding an exchange student to the list! I am a weak person, though, managing to only juggle so much.

      Kk loves Blanchet’s swim team, which has room for those who swim for fun and those who swim for sport. It’s weird to watch our kids grow up, and I am realizing again and again that they choose their path. I need to add some guidance, and that guidance is often hard to give and hard to take in. I keep being pleasantly surprised….

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