Sunday, September 20, 2009

Big Picture

Saturday night I went to a wine festival and street dance in a small town. At the dance, a woman in her fifties jumped and jived like a teenager. She was wearing hip-looking shoes and knee socks, a very short ruffled skirt and a skin-tight tank top, all in black. Her dyed red hair was long and curly.

A blonde wearing high-heeled sandals, a filmy black skirt with a rhinestone border, and a form-fitting blouse danced alone, directly under a streetlight. Her dance style was all about the butt. She kept her back to the crowd at all times, bending forward and swinging her extremely long hair and her butt in time to the music. When the band took a break, she turned toward us. Her face reflected an age (60ish, I'd guess) totally at odds with her clothes and attitude.

Pink Boots guy called this afternoon to tell me about a death in his family. An hour later, he pocket called me, and I'm embarrassed to admit I listened to a minute or two of his conversation before I hung up. He was flirting with a woman.

The details he told her were true. The impression they created was not.

It got me thinking about how often we focus on small details rather than big truths. If you look only at your shoes or tank top or cute skirt, dressing like a teenager makes you look like one. It takes a wider angle to see the stark contrast between your perky knee socks and your saggy knees.

The stories we tell ourselves matter far more than the ones we tell others, and true stories illustrate the big picture.


Mercurious said...

Your eye is perceptive as always, and the insights are spot on.

Big picture works in several layers, I think. Saggy knees may be "bigger picture" than perky knee socks, but perhaps there's an even bigger picture in which saggy knees are only a small part of the story, too.

The last line is intriguing. "Reality" is, I think, a story we tell ourselves. Lots of implications there.

Deb Shucka said...

You are always at your very best when you tell your stories through snapshots of the people you see around you. I would add that often our deepest selves can only be seen by those outside of us with a wider angle lens than we can have. That's why it's so important to be in relationship.

Carrie Wilson Link said...

Ditto Deb!

kario said...

This will give me pause as I go throughout my days. Think I'll sleep on this one, thanks, Jerri.

Amber said...

Amen! The stories we tell ourselves is maybe the key to our whole life.

I love these two women, just feeling their mojo!