Thursday, July 15, 2010

An enlightened day

Have you ever had a space problem that was subtle but unsolvable? Years ago when Rebecca was in grade school, I took piano lessons from Mrs. Scotchler – a wonderful gnome-like woman whom I adored. Cycling to her house in the country was one of the joyous events of my week, and at that time, there seemed to be many. I had my music lesson, tea, usually some freshly baked bread, and a roam through her abundant garden. All this was punctuated by her wise and witty chatter. I have never forgotten her prized white asparagus, which, she explained, was white because it grew up buried under straw and became etiolated from lack of light. (Why else would one become etiolated?) Once when I came for my lesson, she was exuberant about a problem newly solved. She has some piece of furniture, which just didn’t seem to go into the space where she wanted it to be. The fact that it didn’t quite fit had been a sort of annoyance to her for ages. Suddenly, she realized that if she reoriented it, and traded its place with another item, it would all fit perfectly. It is funny about these irritating little problems that manage to lightly torment one for years, and the suddenly the solution, which had been there all along, pops into the light. When I returned home, I looked critically at a quilt I had made from the scraps of Rebecca’s little dresses and Dennis’s shirts that I had sewn. I thought the quilt was beautiful, and loved it for its memories, but it never quite fit on the bed. I had sewn it "stream of consciousness" style, and hadn’t really planned out its final dimensions. As I stood looking at it, yet again sad that it was such an awkward size, I realized that if I turned it sideways, it would be just right. How could this never occurred to me before? I had made the bed and put on the quilt hundreds of times! What I dodo I felt, but also how glad that my nice quilt now fit my bed!

Pictured here is my plastic container drawer. The things I use most frequently were always a little difficult to get out, and caused an inward grumble every time I needed them to prepare my work lunch. We are talking about years of lunch fixing and grumbling here. Maybe even a decade. Suddenly, as I was struggling yet again to get my lunch containers out, I realized that if I switched the places of the ones I seldom and my favorites which I always use, the problem would be solved. What a happy moment this was. And why didn’t this moment come years ago?


Janet said...

Hmm, here I am in the big B - i.e. Ballard and wondering how to distribute all the items scattered around on the various floors. Maybe you could come over and be my consultant.

Laura said...

I love those Aha moments and like you have been amazed that something so obvious isn't seen for years!