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Friday, May 5, 2017

Not Normal

Work in Progress

We're all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them, and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness—and call it love—true love.”
Robert Fulghrum (True Love)

My friend, Rebecca, is fond of saying, “She's just not normal.” Whenever she says that, there is great fondness in her voice. Anyone can tell that being “not normal” carries a mixture of love and pride. I haven't yet discovered what “normal” is, but I have a feeling we don't see it very often. We are all somewhere on a spectrum of weirdness.

I was at an art opening for a local artist named Bob Carr just last night. He uses mixed media, lots of cut paper and even old dress pattern pieces in his collages. They are quite interesting. At some point, he became fascinated with New York socialite and fashion icon, Iris Barrel Apfel, who is now in her 90's and still going strong. Lots of his canvases featured drawings of Iris in her big glasses, and mounds of jewelry, with lots of colorful paper strips and such around her. Now, how weird is that for a middle-aged Alabama man to be so inspired by a nonagenarian New York socialite that he would devote six or seven canvasses to her? It certainly worked for him; she got his creative juices flowing.

I know another local clay artist, who made nothing but dragons for an entire year—big ones, small ones, blue ones, friendly- and unfriendly-looking dragons. I have another artist friend, who drips paint down broom handles—layers and layers of paint, running down...Like I say, spectrum.

I guess there is a “normal” person, but one wonders exactly what they do. Maybe accountants, bankers, engineers and financial analysts qualify as typical. They have to be accurate and accountable for every number, bolt, bid and ledger, or people's lives are affected. But you have to admit that it takes a certain amount of “not normal” to be willing to run into a burning building to save a stranger, or volunteer to march onto a battlefield in a foreign country, or to run toward, rather than away from, the sound of shots being fired. You have to be a bit weird, I think, to walk into a hospital and staunch the flow of blood from a stab victim, or cut into someone's brain to remove a tumor. Regular people don't do such things—assuming there is such a thing as “regular people.”

Here's my theory—we're all slightly weird for a reason. We have a particular slot to fill in the great scheme of things that only we can fill. Our singular color and texture is needed in the great tapestry of life. And, we're all a work in progress.

                                                            In the Spirit,


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