Thursday, September 25, 2008

making faces

Painting fabric with Huito, which is similar to henna, in the Yine Indian village of Diamante, Peru along the Rio Madre de Dios.
Copyright (c) 2006 Wendee Holtcamp

Sometimes it's hard for me to stay in one place
- Susanna in Girl, Interrupted

When I was tucking Savannah into bed tonight we were talking about things and she told me how one of her good friends was griping about her older brother's behavior and when she was listening to this, she heard some of her own traits. It's funny because I've had a very similar experience lately. It's like God likes to smack us awake sometimes by allowing us to see ourselves through other people. Lately I keep running across people with my own traits - good and bad and ones that just need to have the volume turned down on. I try to see everyone through the lens of compassion and I like everyone, even people who are sometimes rude etc because hey I make the same mistakes. I thought she was pretty self-aware to be able to recognize that about herself.

So Savie and I then got on this conversation of how when she's mad at me, she makes this awful mean looking face and when she does it, it always makes me mad. She only does "the face" when I'm disciplining her. I said, what is going through your head when you make that face? Are you trying to cast a spell to blow me up? (she loves Harry Potter and has read every book like 10 times!) and she laughed and said, no, that's what I do to keep my mouth shut and not say all the things I want to because I have the problem of word vomit (she didn't use those words but said something that means the same thing - that phrase is from the movie Mean Girls). I was like, "Ooh That is what I need to do!! I have that same problem!" She said, so is that what you're going to do when you're getting mad at me? We can just make faces at one another? (ie disciplining her is always getting mad at her, according to her...). So we started making faces at one another. :) But seriously I was thinking, hmm, maybe instead of sending out an anger bomb to the universe (or someone in it) I need to make a face that no one can see.

I actually have been thinking about the film Girl, Interrupted for some time now because I remembered this dialogue about ambivalence since I saw it the first time it came out, years ago and since I've been thinking so much about how ambivalence rules my life, I decided I wanted to see the movie again. I am watching it now, while catching up on email which had collected dust during the hurricane. Here's that dialogue...

Susanna: I'm ambivalent. In fact that's my new favorite word.
Dr. Wick: Do you know what that means, ambivalence?
Susanna: I don't care.
Dr. Wick: If it's your favorite word, I would've thought you would...
Susanna: It *means* I don't care. That's what it means.
Dr. Wick: On the contrary, Susanna. Ambivalence suggests strong feelings... in opposition. The prefix, as in "ambidextrous," means "both." The rest of it, in Latin, means "vigor." The word suggests that you are torn... between two opposing courses of action.

This was also in an email newsletter I get, quoted from the book God Grant Me...:

Listening is one of the gifts we give to each other. Listening is also one of the gifts we give to ourselves. As we listen to others and learn from them, we stop thinking we are the center of the universe. Listening to others - to truly hear what they say, to learn from them - helps keep our egos in check. We should frequently ask ourselves, "Am I practicing the skills of active listening?"

Prayer for the Day

Higher Power, today I pray that I may open myself up to hearing Your voice in the words of others. Allow me to see the people around me as teachers. Help me stay open to being taught.

1 comment:

Sharon Guynup said...

That was a really soulful post, Wendee. Thoughtful way to start my day.