Saturday, September 21, 2013

Perception Warped

Was toodling around on Facebook the other day and under another friends post I saw a familiar name. Ed Oldfield. THE Ed Oldfield. My art teacher from Brooks Jr. High in Powell River. Like many underachievers art was my favorite class...and Mr. Oldfield was a really interesting guy. I recall his persona as cool, stern/no-nonsense and somewhat intimidating. He walked with a bit of a limp which I always assumed was due to something completely bad ass. I have no idea though...he could have had arthritis in his hip for all I knew.

Naturally, I had to say I commented how his class was a my favorite and sorry if I was a pain in the ass. Soon after I received a private message:

Jennifer, You were not an ass. I'm glad you enjoyed my class. Thanks for the comment. It made my week. I hope life is treating you well and that you are happy.

Happy...? Such an innocent statement to wish someone happiness. Not gunna made me twitch a little. Happiness talk gets thrown around a lot in life...people have very different criteria for happiness...for many people wealth and security factor in more than personal relationships and health as an example. Naturally I asked myself " are you going to answer this?" I lied of course. I said I was happy and added that it was Friday. I am always happy it is Friday. Anyone with the weekends off LOVES Fridays. It was not a lie but it also was not a truth either.

Happiness is a fleeting thing...we all have periods where we feel happy...but it is such a grand expectation to be able to label yourself as HAPPY in the general sense...I have never been able to. I am not happy most of the time...but neither am I wandering about like a sad sack moaning and groaning about life defeating is what it is...we all have difference capacities to suck up happiness and I think mine is a limited capacity. Just don't feel wired right for it...I have talked before about seeing ppl walking down the street with a smile on their face for no reason. I assume those are happy people...or mentally ill. I can never tell for sure. I have tried to walk downtown with a smile (slight smile to not look like I am frowning really) and I feel like a big fake fucker...seriously.

At times my behavior is clearly that of an unhappy person...I am very self aware of how that projects too. Being overweight makes it IMPOSSIBLE near impossible to hide the real core level of happiness. Not to say every fat person is unhappy but I think in our culture it is not an enjoyable experience even if you do not have childhood baggage dragging behind you like a 3 wheeled wagon. [JFC do not send me messages that I am trying to paint all fat ppl with the same brush, I am not...but I do think 'fat' is a symptom of other things most of the time and they are not positive or encrusted with shiny diamonds and gems]

Back on topic....Mr. Oldfield and I messaged briefly...he told me that I can look forward to my daughter being an absolute joy in a few more years...his daughters are now 28 and 30 and he says they are nothing but joy to him. He also told me I was never an ass in his class and when I told him I was going to copy and paste that for my mom to read he said it made him laugh and cry at the same time...I thanked him for his kindness...and off we went about our lives.

Truth is I was a pain in the ass for the most part (though clearly I was on my best behavior in that class)...I am not even 100% sure he remembers me b/c I went by a different last name back then but...who knows...perhaps I was a slight bit more memorable than I presume or he is one of those ppl who just remembers all of his was a nice exchange and his kindness was well received. The only thing I recall making in that class was a tiled mosaic. We were allowed to make it however we liked....naturally in grade 9 I made a pentagram....all black tile and the circle/star in white tile...I loved grouting...something satisfying about grouting...I carried that friggin Wiccan piece of crap around with me for many years...many moves....once the corner pieces started to loosen and fell off it eventually stayed in a either got lost in a move or I turfed is permanently burned into my mind though b/c it was so perfect and the freedom to create it however I wanted really stayed with me...the tile just worked perfectly...I have always wanted to do another mosaic project but like most things in life....I haven't. 

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