Friday, May 13, 2011
Last year I was walking around New York City with James, taking pictures and soaking in all of the sites. When I got home and reviewed all of the images I captured, I realized I took a lot of shots of awnings. I love them for some reason, especially the older or more elaborate ones. This semester I took a Material Culture class and everyone in the class had to choose one item over which we would write our final paper, so I chose an awning in my neighborhood that I thought was the most beautiful.
I loved this class. Mainly I love the teaching style of my professor. I think I'd probably love any class he taught because he's so patient and encouraging. In fact, right now, I should be finishing my paper and really it should have been turned in a couple of days ago but he's continuing the theme of patience because he wants me to take my time and to write with quality. I do too! But I've hit a block so I thought that writing about it would help loosen up my mind a little.
When I first chose the awning that I wanted to write about, I thought that my paper would focus on the theme of protection, because that's what an awning does while you're waiting to enter or leaving a house. It protects you from the weather. But after thinking and thinking (and some great suggestions from my professor and classmates) I realized that it's really more about an "in between" space. It's a liminal state where you're not really inside and you're not really out.
So I decided to do some research and found some wonderful ideas, writings, theories, etc. based on liminality and it's had me thinking about my own life quite a bit. Aren't we all consistently in a liminal space? We aren't who we were and we aren't who we will be. I'm not where I used to be, but I'm also not where I will be a year from now emotionally, spiritually, intellectually and maybe even physically. Who knows? And that's a good thing. I want to continue to learn and grow the rest of my life and that requires being open to change.
It seems that with every new step or every new experience I have, I am fortunate enough to make new friends and I'm very grateful. I think I'm one of the luckiest people in the world for all of the friends I have. But because we all can get so caught up in our own lives and move at such a fast pace it's easy for us to lose track of each other sometimes. I begin to feel like I fit everywhere and nowhere all at the same time. It's as if I'm in a place where I'm not an insider or an outsider. I'm sure that I'm pondering these things because I'm on the verge of a new phase and I can't even imagine the new experiences I'm going to have or the friends I will make after we open sixtwelve.
I'm just grateful that I have the consistency of my good friend and partner James and some really great friends and family who have been understanding of my crazy life.
Who knew an awning could bring all of that to mind??? :)