This morning was an absurd morning, to say the least. And guess what! My mom and sister aren’t even up; I was a loner on this one.
So I was on my way to swim practice – I ride my bike for 20 minutes to the town pool Mondays through Fridays. It said it was supposed to rain in the A.M. yesterday, so I was secretly hoping that would happen. When I woke up, the sun was out, there were only a few clouds, and no rain. Dang! I went through all the motions, and heard the tell-tale pitter-pat of a drizzle coming on (we have sky-light windows in our family room, so rain sounds like rocks on them). I went outside to see if it was that bad out; if it looked like a strong rain was coming, it was NOT a good idea to bike ride for twenty minutes, alone.
The rain was very weak and I could hardly feel it; the only real solid sign of this drizzle was the rippling circles in my pool. I decided, “We have a meet tomorrow, I didn’t exercise all weekend, I’m already ready, I might as well go. I’ll just tell the coaches that if the rain threatens again, I will have to leave.”
I rode quickly (I’m always a tad late), got up the biggest hill on the journey, and coasted to my last turn before getting to the pool. I checked my phone at that point – aren’t I impressive? – and saw I had six minutes to get there with at least an eight or nine minute commute left. (By the way, for swim practice, On Time is late. Early is on time.) Shoot! So I booked it.
As I was coasting the rest of the way, a burnt orange colored pick-up truck slowed near me and a voice called out, “Practice at the pool is canceled for today!” I looked over and saw a vaguely familiar face – I think he’s a frequent jogger and swimmer that I see on the way to practices and such – and asked, “Is it?”
“Yeah, they just called me back.”
“Okay, thank you!” The pick-up sped off and I U-turned. Why couldn’t I have just been lazy and not come at all? And followed my instinct? Wait – my instinct is to be lazy? Oh, come on! The rain hadn’t picked up, though so I made a brilliant plan: since I’m already out, I might as well make a bike ride out of it! I took a long route – a very round-about one – that I never went before. Just about a minute before the turn onto the long road leading to my neighborhood, thunder struck. Crap. I started to book it again, and thunder threatened a few more times before the rain began to pick up. Crapcrapcrap.
Finally, I got home – I have to say, I wasn’t out of breath at all; I must be in shape! I unlocked the door, got changed out of my bathing suit and sweaty T-shirt to my pajamas again. I meandered back downstairs – I forget why – and glanced out the sliding glass door in my kitchen. It was pouring. I had been home for not even three minutes and the heavens had opened up. I realized then that I am one COOL cat. Who is this lucky on a Monday morning? Me. I am. Oh, suh-NAP!
Now, of course, it’s hot, sunny and dry outside, only an hour later – it’s actually been nice for a half hour already.
So this brings me to this post. My English teacher described our brains as trees – a new branch grows with everything you learn, and as you delve deeper into each topic, more branches and flowers and leaves sprout and grow further. I think this is brilliant. I love the idea that a person can be many things, but she will always remain herself. A tree is always a tree, but it is also a tangle or twist or cluster or maybe just orderly rows of branches, whatever is unique to that person.
The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
(I always thought that was a cool quote; I’m still not quite clear what it truly means, but I love to bend my mind with all the different ways it could work. That is why I love words!)
As a result, I drew a tree. A tree o’ me. I was going to be really thorough and rub a brown pencil over it on actual tree bark to get that real tree-y feel, but it rained. And now, ten minutes after I wrote it wasn’t raining, it’s raining again, but the sun is out. So, to show how much I care, I rubbed the pencil on whilst trapping the paper over a wooden chair back in my dining room. It isn’t the greatest effect, but it’s the thought that counts right?
It looks nicer in person.
The strange lines running horizontal all over the page are the result of reusing sheet music as scrap paper. I don’t play piano, so I won’t be needing the piano chart for “What Is Hip?” by Tower of Power (great song. I am hip, by the way, TOP, so the million-dollar-question has finally been answered, but feel free to keep playing it).
I think if you look closely, you should be able to figure out what I’ve written; some of the Music-Listening ones that are hard to see are: searching for new, CDs, iPod, Dance, Rock/Blues, concerts, Funk/R&B, Jazz. While this exquisite drawing is an orderly organization of my brain, this is what it feels like most of the time:
Only not so gloomy and ominous – sometimes.
On a last note, Mavis Smith is a very cool artist, very good at capturing real life in an almost over-ampified, over-exposed way. Like a stranger up-close. This is what she says on her About page:
We come into contact with dozens of people on a daily basis, catch their eyes for a brief moment and move on, never knowing the intricate accumulation of experience that forms their reality. My work is about that moment – hinting at a narrative, yet remaining intentionally elusive.
Very hip. My favorite that I’ve seen of hers is this:
Anyway, have a great Monday – gosh, it stopped raining again – and maybe look at your own Brain Tree. You might be able to draw some connections you never made before. This is a very right-brained (creative) activity and it’s kind of fun in self-discovery, cleverness-inducing way. Ah, whatever.