Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Canvas and The Painter

I write about writing itself more than I write about anything else. I think that's because of my on-again, off-again relationship with the sport. Yes, I said sport. I can associate writing best to the Wasatch mountains. For my entire life they've been there, glaring at me from the east. They're a constant reminder of where I am and which direction I'm facing. They're also a sore thumb, throbbing; a reminder that I'm still here, in the same place I've been my entire life and that makes me panic a bit. There is an entire world out there waiting to be seen and I've been crowded to this corner. Everyone once in a while, it feels nice to be lost. Writing is the same for me. It feels nice to be expressive and get my thoughts in an orderly manner. But sometimes, it's better to be lost. At least then you can push thoughts to the back for a while. 

Having a writers brain though, thoughts don't stay hushed back there for long. They lunge themselves to the surface, aggressive and urgent. We're running out of room in here, they say, let us out. 

I've been trying to.. chill out, if you will. I think people are hurtful, by nature. They talk about others without hesitation and things are said that can't be taken back. Word travels fast and friendships are ruined and pride is damaged and reputations don't go unscathed. I guess I could dwell on this but I've decided instead to focus on me and my little family and forget the rest. You know that old saying, those who mind don't matter... 


We were sitting in an In & Out burger when a young woman started swearing, profusely, loudly across the restaurant. She was chatting with her boyfriend, nonchalantly, as her language forced rosy red color to any sweet old lady sitting a few feet away. An elderly man very politely asked her to speak quietly, not even suggesting she change the words themselves. There's young kiddos here, ma'am. She swore at him, telling him she didn't give a flying fluff and maybe he should, ahem, turn his hearing aide down instead. 

I tried to ignore the language but this woman took the incident as a reason to start talking louder. Soon, Kade started watching her, fascinated. I gently explained to him that those were angry words and that he needn't use them. She laughed, a sort of sneer, and said to me, "He's gonna learn it anyway." When the woman finally left the restaurant, the nearly full lobby clapped. They actually applauded her departure.

The statement itself makes me uncomfortable. In my humble opinion, that attitude is the force driving our kids to be careless and disrespectful. They're going to learn it anyway. Unless, of course, we change the way we speak. If we all teach our children respect and love and kindness, they don't have to learn it. Who said that's a common thing to learn as an adult? They're going to learn swearing and disrespect anyway but not forgiveness and patience and charity? This is backwards; it's wrong. 

Working at the daycare, I saw a lot of violent kids. It was a regular ache in my heart because I knew that they must have learned it somewhere. Kids aren't born with violent thoughts or intentions to hurt others. Children are born pure and wonderful. They are a blank canvas. We are the painters. 

I hope I'm painting a masterpiece. I hope he learns to love without condition and give without reason. 


We're getting ready for a Seattle, slowly but surely. We've applied for two apartments and are getting the car ready for a 863 mile trip. I guess you could say I'm settling down. That feels good. 


  1. Love love love your posts!

  2. i love your post Jess I wish you and your little family the best in Seattle.


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