Friday, August 16, 2013

Making a few changes around here...

A few weeks ago. I wrote a blog post where I mentioned this painting.


 
I called it a metaphor for my life.
 
 
That bird on the left...the little one with her beak open?
 
That's me.  Talking all the time.  As a job, where I talk to teenagers all day long (they do not listen, except on a random Thursday when we talk about the literary equivalents of sex, which is the only thing that captures their attention) and to the cats (who occasionally listen politely, their heads cocked to the side...and on other occasions ignore me and haughtily stalk out of the room), and barring those two options, to myself (either aloud, or, more likely, as a running narrative in my head).
 
That's me...always with the words.  Even if no one listens.
 
The owl on the right?  I love that owl. 
 
When I first saw this painting, I wanted to cry.  Because I knew I was that bird....talking away and just having everyone look sideways at me like I'm a nuisance.  They are all thinking "Why won't she just shut up?  We all think she's crazy.  Maybe if we ignore her, she'll go away." I thought that owl was mean.
 
And then I looked again.  Yes, the owl is standing perpendicular to the bird.  Yes, the owl is giving the bird a sideways glance.
But that owl is LEANING IN.
 
That owl, despite appearances to the contrary, is LISTENING.  Maybe not with rapt attention, maybe not even wholeheartedly...but that owl knows one of two things: that the bird needs someone to talk to, and that if he listens long enough, the bird will say something important.

I will be the first person to admit that very few of my words are actually important.  The older I get, the less I feel I have to add to the conversation.  'Who wants to hear anything a middle-aged woman has to say?' I hear in my inner monologue.  My kids are gone and the educational arena has been taken over by a bunch of whippersnappers who feel anyone over 40 is antiquated and out-of-touch.  Who wants to listen?

The owl.  I call him "DL."
In the spirit of keeping things real, I am adding DL's perspective to this blog.  Some days he will comment on my shenanigans, some days I will comment on his.  Some days, he will ignore me because he's busy, and some days I will ignore him because he is out of town.

Will you be listening?


25 comments:

Mel@Mellywood's Mansion said...

Oh Kirby this is a beautiful post. I think any of us with an owl are lucky. I too am the talker and I worry since I left work, that when I stopped working I lost my identity. I have nothing but toddlers and teenagers to talk about...and that scares me.

Jessica Kielman said...

You know it sister!!!

Laura @ Top This Top That said...

Leaning in as i listen!! :) Happy Weekend you little bird you!

Leslie Sciandra said...

Very well put Kirby. Don't forget your friends--we listen! What in the world would all of us middle-aged women do without other middle-aged women to be our owls?

Atta Girl Amy said...

I can't wait to hear what you both have to say.

Suzan Sweatman said...

I'm with Laura - I'm leaning in - and always will be Kirby!!!
You is kind
You is smart
You is important
XOXO

Suzy Handgraaf said...

I'm that owl too, Kirby. Always ready to listen and loving what you have to say. :)

Annheidel said...

Very insightful, Kirby. I've been both the bird or the owl at one time or another. Keep on talking. Every voice is important. :)

Janet said...

As I look at this painting I see you as the wise owl and the bird representing your students... Perhaps the bird is recalling what you've taught (them) to the wise owl (you) and the owl is leaning in to ensure she hears every peep, just to be sure they got it right. :)

xo

LittleMyoo said...

What? Did you say something?

Hehehe...just kidding. :P

The painting is awesome, as are you.

-andi

Art and Sand said...

I agree with Janet that you are the wise owl or at least a wise a _ _.

NanaDiana said...

WHOOOOO isn't listening? Shame on them! Love the owl and I think he IS listening to add to his own vast knowledge! You just keep pegging along and putting in your two peeps worth because what you say IS important. Blessings and I hope you have a wonderful Friday- xo Diana

Marianne said...

I will be listening! And I love your new style. I loved you when you were all crafty & sh*t (despite being a non-crafty person), but I feel like this is so much more you! Keep talking, girl. KEEP TALKING.

Marianne said...

That's funny. "WHOOOO." LOL.

1914house said...

Ha! This is perfect. No one listens to me, either. But then again, I'm not much of a conversationalist. Maybe that's why I occasionally write a blog post in the random category. Then people have a choice to "listen" to my nuttiness.

Tina@WhatWeKeep said...

Ha! I thought you were the wise ass owl and we were the yappers!
I'm still listening, always have been. I'm a really good listener.
Keep yapping oh great leader!

Bliss said...

Well if DL is half the hoot you are, I will be paying close attention.

Danni Baird @ Silo Hill Farm said...

I've been leaning in for a long time Kirby. I'm not going anywhere.

Heidi @ Decor & More said...

You betcha!!
xo Heidi

Lynn@FernAvenueBlog said...

I am leaning in... I enjoy listening to you. You are smart, wise, funny and bring it... You are a contributor with some pretty funny content and I love that.

fiona anderson said...

You're definitely chatty but you're also wise and funny and let's face it we're mostly middle-aged here anyway, and listening (although sometimes the smoke signals get lost over the pond !!). Looking forward to DL's contribution !

Jean @ www.thebackyardbungalow.com said...

Hey! I'm listening. You have lots of add to conversations....never doubt that!

karen@somewhatquirky said...

I'll be listening. And trying to get a word in edgewise... :)

stoneleafandcompany.com said...

I'm leaning in! I don't always comment, but I do keep up with your blog post pretty regularly...and as a woman of a certain age I know what you mean about the young whippersnappers. Someday they will be our age and then they'll appreciate us again :) And the one's who are wise. They appreciate us now. A few will even dare tell you so. I have a few former students who are now adults, a couple even teachers, and they have been gracious to throw a few kind words of appreciation my way. They have made the journey worthwhile and I am learning that they too have things to say. Keep talking - I'll be back.

Collar City Brownstone said...

Oh no Kirby, I am not going to let you get away with saying that very few of your words are actually important. They are all important and more people than you are willing to give credit for are listening to you.

As you get older you actually have plenty to add to any conversation. I turned 56 on August 9th and I have so much wisdom to share at this time. Deep down I know this and so I have to honor that. If people do not want to listen and learn, that is their choice. But I will still share what I have learned and know from the inner core of my being. You have plenty of wisdom too. If you didn't you would not have anyone reading your blog. Be proud and don't make small of your contributions to life. Never be in denial of your gifts or else they will cease to serve you. Acknowledge your gifts and they will become more. :-)

01 09 10