Saturday, September 1, 2012

Vision Board II in Text Part I: The Bread

This Saturday morning I "slept in".  Of course, sleeping in for someone who is usually an early morning runner can mean just not getting up until 6 AM, which I realize for most people would not be considered sleeping in.  After a long week in which I knocked a few important end of summer tasks off my to do list at work and an evening of walking with my wife and our dog to Belvedere Square to listen for a bit to a band that self describes as "alternative country," I needed some extra rest. Besides, tomorrow is the 20 mile race that I have been looking forward to all summer and extra rest the day before is not a bad thing.

As I sit, what have I been pondering.  In less than two weeks (thirteen days, to be exact) I get color added to my first tattoo.  I have, as the summer has gone on, been more willing to share my tattoo with those at work.  Most people seem surprised but I haven't noticed a huge change in anyone's opinion of me or anything.  I look forward to the addition of color and seeing what the final product looks like.  Emily told me that she was going to try to use period specific colors (the period being the 1930's setting of the clothes on St Sebastian and Irene, the lamppost, and the Baltimore City skyline.  

When I originally came up with the new title for this particular blog, I was thinking of "Connecting the Dots" in terms of a constellation in the sky or the type of activity we may have done as young kids.  Having a page with a bunch of dots that are numbered and connecting them to make a coherent picture.  What I didn't think of (but is kind of cool) is that tattooing is also sort of like connecting a bunch of dots--or at least putting a bunch of dots close enough together to form a coherent picture.  The notion of dots is captured well in a web page that describes the tattooing process.  

Sometimes in adult life it feels like we still get the dots on the page but not the numbers.  This makes developing a coherent picture more difficult sometimes.  But I suppose that challenge of figuring out how things fit together rather than simply being told is part of what being an adult rather than a child means.

It's sometimes funny how a blog entry wanders.  I never thought when I started typing that I'd end up with any focus on the issue of what it means to be an adult rather than a child.  With that, it is interesting to ponder how our "vision boards" would change over time.  I'm not sure how easy it would be even to define our interests, aspirations, and hopes enough to create a vision board.  I suppose that I had what I thought of as big dreams as a kid.  But I know that one thing about being where I am now in life (again, another adult-child distinction but this may even be a young adult and early-40's adult)  is that all the ideas about hopes and aspirations are much better defined.  I can think of the answers to this question in sort of a "life course" approach.  Where did they used to be?  Where are they now?  How do my life experiences to date influence where I am now?  And how do I expect anything to continue to evolve over time?    

I can verbalize (and then turn into pictures) what is now a much more stable set of ideas.

So, with that, and taking my existing tattoo as "life course symbolic vision board #1", I will begin a short series of reflections on what might be called life course symbolic vision board #2.  

It would begin with bread.  Wikipedia tells us that the history of bread goes back at least 30,000 years.    That is pretty amazing.  But that is not why I would choose it.  I would choose it for my second vision board as it represents my love of being in the kitchen.  I prepare many things in the kitchen but my specialty is bread.  I make bread more often than anything else.  And this is interpreting bread very broadly.  Bread can be pizza dough.  It can be stromboli dough.  It can be rolls I use for steak sandwiches.  Banana bread.  Bagels.  Pretzels.  Simple whole wheat bread.  Challah.  Easter bread.  Biscuits--with or without sweet addition.  Lion house rolls. Irish soda bread.  I've tried my hand at pita.  I've tried may hand at tortillas.  I've even tried my hand at injera.  The list goes on.  So much diversity (another theme in my life).  Bread is something I choose to make with my hands despite having a bread machine.  It gives me a sense of accomplishment.  Sometimes (particularly kneading dough for yeast breads) it lets me take out my frustrations.  It shows how I learn over time--as I have diversified the breads I make and I have even modified recipes to make them fit into the time that I have or for the specific needs I have in feeding my family.  Thus, bread as part of my life course vision board #2 would appear in multiple forms and represent many important parts of my adult life.   

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