Today I learned (or re-learned) the value of being connected with people. I was missing some of my own hobbies (like making friendship bracelets with this string) so I started one. It got me thinking of all the bracelets I’ve made for people over the years and of the person who made me the first one I ever received.
I’m a creative person, so when I need to relax I often pick up a pen to write, a pencil to draw, some ingredients to cook, or, in this case, some string to weave. I always sing. My life and studies revolves around relationships and they’re always on my mind. I thought, today, while I was choosing the colors to put into the bracelet, about what draws people together. The colors in the bracelet being threaded together right now on my desk look great in combination because I chose them to be that way. Not all personality traits within a relationship always mesh so nicely. Some colors in the bracelet don’t look great when they’re paired up individually but they look nice when they’re put together as a whole. Within each pair and for each knot, one color always covers the other one up to make a knot. It’s easy to say, “hey, that analogy doesn’t work. If personality traits are building blocks for the knots that make a relationship, then one shouldn’t cover the other. Then you get dominant personalities, codependence, power struggles, etc.!” Well, true. It can’t be universal. If one color always covered the other the whole bracelet would be one color and that would be boring. In the right bracelets (and relationships) with lots of colors involved, the other color is necessary in order to support the knot. Later on down the line the supporting color will come to the surface to bring new life into the pattern. The combination and trade-off of this support is what makes the overall product something more than just knots or combinations of people’s personalities.
My Alma Mater’s bad press this summer brought a fundamental belief of mine to light. When considering the students with whom I attended HWS and built many wonderful relationships, I found it important to remember that a few bad experiences don’t represent the whole picture. My fundamental belief is that, in anything, the sum of the parts doesn’t yield the whole. HWS as I experienced it isn’t created by just combinations of buildings, classes, or even individual people. It’s created because those people built a community together that stands strong and refuses to be broken down even when people try to pick it apart. The magic is intangible, irrevocable, and inimitable.
- Food without love is just chemistry,
- Music without soul is just math,
- Speech without passion is just syntax,
- And art, without inspiration and perception, could just be random.
You can agree or disagree with any of these statements. That’s fine. Conversation without mutual interest, a little conflict, and drive toward discussion is just wind through the lungs.
Back to my original point: no matter whether or not every personality trait a person brings into a relationship meshes well with the other person’s traits , their meeting creates a bond. Those bonds come together to produce something greater than the sum of its parts. It’s only when we become careless with our knots and allow them to loosen over time that we run into trouble. It’s also easy to lose one’s place or get confused with the process of tying so many knots, often repetitively. That’s ok. Mistakes can be undone and confusion can be sorted out.
This is pretty cliché and probably a little over the top. But it’s what I’ve been thinking about today and it’s been pretty fun. Relationships take time to build and hone, and sometimes, even after a long time and lots of effort, the product isn’t as beautiful as its creators had hoped. Sometimes you just tied a lot of sloppy knots and the bracelet looks sloppy; no one wants to wear that around on their wrist. On the other hand, no relationship and no bracelet is perfect. Often it’s the mistakes and how they were rectified that makes the product beautiful. I’m endeavoring to make all of my relationships into things of which I can be proud. I want to look back at each relationship I’ve built and be proud of the process.
On a different, less sappy note, I had some delicious food tonight made my my lovely housemate, Ashley:
I forget what it’s called but she learned to make it while she was in Nicaragua. It’s simple: just rice, black beans, seasoning, and sausage. They eat it with practically everything there, apparently, even pancakes (as a side). It can also be a main dish like how we’re eating it here or even part of breakfast if you mix it into eggs. My belly and I are pretty happy. It’s not Master Chef, but yet again I’m more than pleased with the simplicity of our meals here. They aren’t trying too hard and simply for that fact they’re doing the best job.
(Secret to life??)
Contemplation Station to the max. I need to go to bed. Ashley convinced me to accompany her to 6am Yoga tomorrow morning and I will be a grump if I don’t get some sleep.
#100LearnedDays continues, and I promise I won’t get so deep tomorrow. It’s been a long day.