Sunday, January 24, 2010

Which direction is YOUR duck facing?

Today in Sunday School, I heard an interesting idea. The young man teaching the class (which happened to be about love and communication within relationships) told a story about his friends, recently married and living in San Francisco. For their wedding, they received a traditional Korean gift (er, did I mention they were Korean? So the present wasn't as random as it sounds...)
The gift was two miniature ducks, carved from wood. The couple would place the ducks on a mantle or shelf, and used them as a weathervane for their relationship:

Ducks facing each other: all was well. No misunderstandings, no hurt feelings. He was using enough dishsoap in the washer, she was folding the towels right way, the dog was being fed, things were going smoothly.

However, a Duck facing away: trouble. Someone's hurt, upset, a little confused, feeling uncommunicated with. Maybe her back is sore today, maybe the radio was on too loud last night, maybe there were unkind words said in the car, maybe there was just a little problem with the tax receipts--but now, we're all aware of it, thanks to the unassuming, unbiased ducks, and now, it can be solved.

Strange? Maybe a little. Visual representations of personal conflicts are always a bit uncomfortable. But think of the genius: if I had my feelings hurt, but knew my (theoretical) husband was too busy to talk at the moment, how simple to sneak to the table and do a quick rearrangement of the Duck Creche, knowing that resolution would come quickly, at a better time for both of us. Also, ducks can't gaze in spite: no hurtful words would need to be said to initiate the issue, it could just be a simple conversation. ("Sooo, the ducks are fortelling a little conflict, hmmm?" "You look happy tonight sweetheart, but the ducks tell another story..." Heh.) But seriously, no emotional elephants lurking in the corners of the living room. And maybe, just looking at the two, unassuming animals gazing in opposite directions would be enough to soften my perspective. Interesting, how when I am forced to take physical (and not just verbal) action on my inner feelings, I tend to adjust them. Are the dishes left in the sink really worthy of a duck adjustment? Probably not.

So, I haven't scampered out to buy duck effigies yet, but I'm thinking about it! Until then, I'll just try to keep my duck facing in. :)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Small Poem.

(Painting: Monk By The Sea, by Caspar David Friederich)

A monk by the sea,
A monk by the sea,
With his ponderous cloak
and back bent like a tree.
He peers through the mist
past the soft-spoken glee
of the wind-ruffled waves,
and he whispers his plea.
oh what does he see
as he stares out to sea?
Perhaps it's a vision of you
and of me.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Repentance and Thrice-Wrapped Scarves

Today, I ran into a good friend whose writing makes me drool (and whose blog you really must check out, called Word of Me, it's brilliant) and we talked about writing, Sherlock Holmes, Ghana, and blogging, among other things. And so I've decided to repent! And write more, just little pieces, to keep words fresh within myself.

So. Tonight, as I walked home from Spencer's apartment, (where I brought him a grapefruit and five dollars and returned with an original piece of artwork, a fortuitous exchange!) it was so cold that I wrapped my scarf around my neck three times (until I almost couldn't lower my chin without fear of cutting off my windpipe) and then once more, across my face. And then I sang all the way home, as loud as I wanted, all sneaky-like because the cars dashing by had only a smeared view of my eyes, forehead, and very shiny earrings before I disappeared again. My breath evaporated before me, slipping back into my face as I trotted homewards, back to muffins, a toasty afghan, and a good dose of literary analysis on "The Importance of Being Earnest." What strange breath of fortune tangles my hair on evenings like these.