Tuesday, December 11, 2007

When Re-visioning Really Means Re-seeing
I have a long history of misunderstanding song lyrics.
For most of my childhood I thought Johnny Rivers' song "Secret Agent Man" was actually "Secret Asian Man." (Which I thought was a little weird, but since it was written in the pre-politically correct 60s, not impossible.) And now I find out that the tune "Red Hot Love" is actually "Radar Love?" Well, that just changes everything, doesn't it?

The good part is that I'm continually learning to look at things in a new light--to re-see things if you will.

Take this Diego Rivera poster we have hanging in our living room.

Now for the longest time I've seen this picture in the following way: a woman kneels to hoist
a basket of flowers onto her back. I thought about how labor can intersect with beauty and I thought about how burdens, while back-breaking, can also contain a bit of the sublime. But I always thought of her alone, shouldering that load with something akin to piety.

And then one afternoon several months ago I was staring at that print while thinking about other things and in a split second everything changed. I saw that the feet beside her could not possibly be her own. And then I noticed two hands on the basket's rim and at the top of the bushel of flowers a white cap peaked out t me.

There was someone behind her.

Someone was helping her lift that basket onto her back.

She wasn't alone at all.

I've discovered that there's a powerful lesson in this for me.

How often I've fallen into that trap in my life: thinking I was alone only to look around and realize that I was not, that there was something or someone there helping me lift my basket. (Our burdens are ours alone to carry, but a little lift here and again makes more difference than I ever thought possible.)

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Blogger Martha Elaine Belden said...

this is a beautiful post.

there's nothing else i could say here other than that. beautiful thoughts.

2:22 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

So well said, so true. Perception can be deceiving, be open is wonderful. How often we feel that we have to be stoic and shoulder everything on our own, when if we just looked around, we would realize that people are willing, and happy, to be there for us. Great inspiration for today.

2:20 PM  

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