Tag Archives: perception


“And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles, no matter how long, but only by a spiritual journey, a journey of one inch, very arduous and humbling and joyful, by which we arrive at the ground at our own feet, and learn to be at home.”

Wendell Berry

How to Educate Common Sense?

“It is the obvious which is so difficult to see most of the time. People say ‘It’s as plain as the nose on your face.’ But how much of the nose on your face can you see, unless someone holds a mirror up to you?”

Isaac Asimov

It’s fairly humiliating to find that your intelligence will not protect you from stupidity.

This past Sunday, after a nice and relaxing glass of wine (OK, it was a tall glass – but it really was only one), I determined it was high time to take the SUV to the car wash.

Quarters safely entrusted to the machine, high powered wash correctly chosen, I set upon the task with my mind free to wander as my body took over.

Then a stubborn little spot on the rear window caught my attention and I reached out to help it along with my fingers…

Let me tell you – any who have not thought about it – skin in the direct path of a high pressure water wand will lose the battle!  Instantaneously!  Painfully!  Memorably!

My husband’s reaction when I showed him the angry wound and asked if he knew a car wash wand could do that was “No, I’ve never known anyone who did that.  It’s pretty much common sense that 2000 lbs of pressure will hurt you.”

Really?  It had not once occurred to me.

I’m befuddled.

I can pick up the nuances of any software I’ve encountered in a VERY short period of time.  I can decipher instructions, read complicated writings, calculate on the fly, plan and organize, and a few other odds and ends.  Why do simple things elude?

I cannot decide if it’s a brain disconnect when faced with everyday situations, or if it’s an intelligence fault.  Is there a particular area of the brain that handles common sense?  If so, is it an area that can be intentionally developed, or are some people prone to learning only by the ‘school of hard knocks’?


Memories of Sibling Rivalry: Change is Good

I remember well when my rusty old swing in the back was traded in and in its place, a fancy and shiny blue swing-set with bold white stripes candy-caned around the legs of the set, with a few real swings, and a little swinging carriage for two.

It was an awesome sight, but an unwelcome acknowledgement that it was not mine.  It was ours, purchased to share with my siblings.  This translated in my ears to ‘no longer important’.  It was really them who had gained importance, them for whom the swing was bought.

I can’t explain sibling resentment.  Where did it ferment, and how and why?  I only know that it did.  I know that swing-set was a turning point, an awareness of competition for a shared outdoor space that I had previously manned alone.

Looking at a set of photos snapped during a christmas-present-opening affair, I see the resentment.

I wear it in my posture, ooze it from my expression, project it from my eyes, as I hold my Fisher Price schoolhouse, with magnet letters and little peoples; likely comparing it to the shiny twin tricycles that my siblings are excitedly mounting alongside me.

The irony is that there is another picture of Sis and Bro on their trikes, with me alongside them, all dressed in winter gear, and I’m mounted on a lovely blue bike with lovely long chrome handlebars and a beautiful white banana seat.

Did I acquire that just after the first picture, or was it acquired during the year, likely for a birthday and posed months later?  I couldn’t resist, I went back and looked at that picture and notice that my hairstyle is drastically different and I look a bit older.  I would say that it was the next fall/winter when the picture was taken, meaning that the bicycle was likely a birthday present from late summer.

sibling rivalry

It truly does not matter.  The fact is, I did not like sharing.  My time.  My space.  My toys.  My parents.  My yard, my house, mine, mine,  mine.  I did not like them, can’t make me, I don’t!

I’m really just guessing that’s how it was, I really don’t recall.  That’s what the picture tells me – the one with the Fisher Price schoolhouse.

Honestly?  I do not remember the occasion at all.  What I recall from the picture is the cardboard fireplace, propped against the wall to hang socks from, to resemble an apparatus an expected jolly fat man might come through.

The humor in that does not escape me.

Progress At Much Cost

tomato and herb still

“When we traded homemaking for careers, we were implicitly promised economic independence and worldly influence. But a devil of a bargain it has turned out to be in terms of daily life. We gave up the aroma of warm bread rising, the measured pace of nurturing routines, the creative task of molding our families’ tastes and zest for life; we received in exchange the minivan and the Lunchable.”

Barbara Kingsolver

About Love…

have a heart

“Love is a decision, it is a judgment, it is a promise. If love were only a feeling, there would be no basis for the promise to love each other forever. A feeling comes and it may go. How can I judge that it will stay forever, when my act does not involve judgment and decision.”

Erich Fromm