Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Point of View

Over thirty years ago I received the gift of an additional point of view. I was in my late teens, and, unsurprisingly, I wasn't really interested in the opinions of my parents. I had temporarily shed my concern about the opinions of peers and my teachers with the move to NC. So I was as free as I've been in my entire life, with no one's views to consult but my own. I ran a little wild for a few months, driving too fast, laughing out loud, spending my small wages with gleeful abandon.

And then I deliberately connected myself with the wits and heart of another. She saw the potential in the union first, an early sign that things were clearer from where she stands. She had to chase me some, but I wasn't hard to catch. I had been free, but feeling incomplete since I was about eight or nine years old, and in my teens I had figured out enough to know what I needed. I was looking for the rest of me. I had one point of view, and one heart; I was looking for that binocular vision that provides depth and perspective. I needed another head and another heart next to mine. I was looking for the right thing, but in the wrong places; she knew what she was doing and gave me a hand. That's what it's been like for thirty years. I'm generally close, but she's closer and I'm better off if I give her a chance to think it through and then I listen.

And while it has taken years to understand that her point of view is generally better than mine - closer to the truth, up above more clouds than mine is - I now know I'm usually happiest looking over her shoulder like this.

For instance, this day was her idea - we went to Roan Mountain State Park on the NC/TN boundary. Along with Grayson Highlands in Virginia, the Shining Rock Wilderness and the Black Mountains of North Carolina, this ranks as one of the most breathtaking and magical places I've been. The views, the light, the colors, the smells, the wind, the clouds roaring past, everything heightened the senses and sped the pulse. Crows flew over and my envy was a sharp painful pleasure, wishing I, too, could float over this incredible landscape and play in this living wind.

5 comments:

DCup said...

I think you should hire yourself out as a Cyrano de Bergerac and ghost write love letters.

I know, I know, this comes from your heart and could never been done without the muse that is MLight.

Still.....

linda said...

thank you for sharing this very sweet valentine to your wife. I wish my husband would just once, write me something that told me how he truly felt, like you have done here.

DebD said...

"Two hearts are better than one". I think you are both very blessed.

Lovely photos, makes me long for Dolly Sods.

Steve Emery said...

DCup - Thank you for the potent compliment. Cyrano was a hero of my teen years, and a character I still relate to in some ways. It's probably my favorite play.

And you're right - I can only write like that from the heart. Of course Cyrano did, as well...

Linda - I understand what you mean - the words can mean so much. But I had already gotten a strong impression, from your photos of various projects, and your husband's hard work on them, that he is telling you how he feels. The gardens, the house, your studio... I see messages. I heard a speaker once tell us how her Finnish husband had never once used the words, "I love you," and this bothered her. And then she looked at her house, full of hand-made furniture he had created over many years, all for her, always something else, always in secret, often in response to the simplest little things she'd said would please her... and she realized she lived surrounded by her quiet man's statement of his love for her.

Debd - Dolly Sods! I love that place, too! We were there just once, after a few days hiking near Seneca Rocks and Smoke Hole Caverns. I wish I'd had a lot more time to explore them. It has something to do with being able to see such distances, I think. Distances filled with nothing but quiet natural beauty.

DebD said...

Steve - I've only done a small amount of exploring at Smoke Hole because we've always just headed straight into Dolly Sods. I think its main lure for me is that you can go for hours without seeing another person. Of course, this can work against you when a child gets lost (long story that I should tell one day).