Wednesday, March 15, 2006

vinegarette de smart mama

One of my favorite things to eat is "good salad" no not the kind with tomatoes, cucumbers and shreds of carrots- the kind with good greens, fruit, sugared nuts, and a tasty vinegarette served at ladies luncheons. I make these often at home-- and the hardest part is getting the dressing to stay mixed- the oil and the vinegar are constantly seperating-fighting that perfect emulsified state.
I am that vinegarette-
I am made up of all these clashing sides- i'll explain...

Pioneer vs. blue-blood (the genes)-
Dad- raised in small idaho farm community- his parents were good pioneering stock, ran a fabric store, eastern idaho state fair, thrifty to the dime, and resourceful- you know the use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without type!
Mom- raised in NY and Philadelphia- Well if you know my grandmother- has a penchant for buying whatever strikes her fancy from the latest nordstroms catalogue- despite the fact that she is in her 90's, likes a good cocktail party, loves jewelry, is the antithesis of thrift, the great stories on that side of the family are about bad behavior and eating dinner with the maid in the kitchen (my mother is a charitable saint very different from her mother- but i fear those blue blooded recessives are in there waiting to express themselves)

Then lets move on to the Left brain-Right brain-thing-- they like to admister those tests-- trouble is what about those of us who fall smack in the middle- like the logic and math- like the touchy feely chaos- you'd think hey being equal is the perfect balance but its not (you can't have both)-- instead it sets you up for the perfect battle- equally matched no side can win.

Artistic vs. Orderly- yes you may think these are not mutually exclusive-- but they can't live in perfect harmony either-- i know many artists who are very creative, but organized and structured-- but it is often evidenced in their style-- they are tighter more controlled-- us free wheeling artists- need happy accidents- we need STUFF to inspire us, our minds are constantly drifting off distracting us from the task at hand while in the back of our minds we are constantly trying to work out the scheme of some new piece. If it all gets too structured, it loses its inspiration. (case in point the balance painting-- i had just had a serious conversation with a woman that morning - and so i whipped out the painting instead of unloading the dishwasher and folding clothes)

Simple vs. Living fully- I like things simple- i think our pace of life is way to frenetic- i love nothing more than a day when i don't have to leave the house-- i try to be the type that protects my kids from the crazed competitive treadmill around us-- when we slow it down- but then again- i have my blog, my online gallery, my stuff in IRL galleries, the charities i volunteer with, my church responsiblities, school volunteer stuff, shuttle to preschool and classes, helping friends, being the fun mom, keeping my house clean. It's Mark Rothko vs. Gustav Klimt - both are beautiful but they can never be the same.

Change vs. Consistency-- if you spend much time in my house-- you see change- paintings come and go, the move through various rooms in the house- colors change, Just the time a room is almost done, i do something to to change it (i guess it shows i am about process not product)--maybe it was my air force child lifestyle of living somewhere 2 years and then you move--I can't stand stagnation. Bu then on the flip-side I am a creature of habit in many ways- i like the exact same smoothie every day, I put up every Christmas decoration out of sentimentality, I like to go back to the same vacation spots and do the exact same things-- i can be highly ritualistic. (see one of my original entires flavor of the week)

Introvert vs. Extrovert-- i spent a good part of my life being very shy, but then decided i wanted to be outgoing- so i changed-- but still in many situations i am reserved (like with the other preschool moms) but at other times life of the party (and if you ask my college roommates- a big flirt- which i still deny)

Procrastinator vs. Speed Demon- I am one of the fast person-- i can get dressed in nothing flat, make choc chip cookies in 2.5 minutes, and i graduated from college at age 19. I like getting it done and moving on. But then agaain i like to let laundry pile up until the baskets are totally full,I hate making phone calls, i always have about 10 things on my to do list that have been copied over for a month and still not done-- so which am I?

"To thine own self be true" ... a tall order to fill when you are 2 things-- equally two things. which is true?which is me? I find myself sometimes paralyzed with indecisiveness-

For a few brief moments I am the perfect blend, vinegarette de smart mama, but the rest of the time-- bites of oil or vinegar.


Lei said...

I can relate in so many ways, Les... artistic AND orderly here as well. Love the Rothko vs. Klimt analogy. And I change things around often, yet love routine. Also made the conscientious choice to be outgoing one day. I can remember it vividly!

Oh, that's my favorite kind of salad, too. Have you tried Brianna's Blush Wine Vinaigrette? Mmmm... will be looking out for mail!:)

bon said...

you got it in a nutshell... or are you just nuts? Too much juxtaposition in one life... then again there is that constant flux that is so much the food of the artist.

maybe you understand what I'm saying here, maybe I'M just the one who is nuts.

emlouisa said...

Interesting take! Hmm...