Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Please for a serving of 'simple'

I like to think that I can handle complexity but these days..................

If there is a more complex situation than the one in which I find myself now, I cannot think of it, though I'm sure it exists.

Here's what I'm dealing with: my mother, tall and straight, straitlaced and firm, some might say hard or cold. She was deeply loved by her parents, but feared by her children. She was devotedly loving to her parents, but not so much to her children. She is/was a woman, quite frankly, with dark spots that I don't think even she knew or acknowledged fully. These aspects of her character are probably part of who she is and when she was born and the era in which she grew up. Add to that, her own life's disappointments and viola-la-la as my niece would say.

This woman, who was one of the first female Principals of a two shift school in Trinidad, who shepherded a staff of 60 professionals and assorted administrative personnel and had charge of 1920 students between the ages of 12 and 15, this woman now wanders around the house blank-eyed. Well, she's blank-eyed until you piss her off and then she gets that, "Who the expletive deleted are you?" look in her eye. It's a look I know all too well from my childhood. It's the look that says, "I will knock you down" in that harsh whisper that lets you know she means it.

Complex, is having to wash this person's feet. Complex, is having to help her dress all the while not screaming because she insists that she doesn't like what you've chosen or that the clothes aren't hers. Complex is having to do all those things while trying not to remember the visual of her hitting your sister in her back with a closed fist for some teenage infraction (I don't know if that's an actual memory or just something I know she would do). Talk about 'complexity'? Complexity is not becoming her.

I have a mind for complexity and I thank you for it Lord. But Lord, simple is good too you know and I can do simple. Not only can I do simple, I promise I'll do it real, real good. Please for a little 'simple'?

The picture above, Ascending and Descending, is a work by M C Escher. This quite well known piece, features a staircase that ascends and descends. When first you look at the work, you think perhaps it's possible, but on closer observation your realize how complex (and mathematically impossible) his work actually is. He created, as one website puts it, "mathematically challenging art". To my mind, this is the definition of complex! It goes several steps beyond where I am at the moment. :-)

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