Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Your Monday Photo Shoot: Find an interesting pattern or texture somewhere in your home. Take a picture of it.

I'm sure I've showed you these curtains before. They're part of the ongoing exhibit of vintage modern decor here at the Museum of the Weird. We brought at extra panel of this to the furniture store a few months ago, and ended up buying a green couch to replace our worn out red-orange one. The green one is still under plastic in the front room, waiting for us to get some other work done to make room for it. Anyway, these 50-year-old curtains have a 1950s palette and sensibility, but not quintessentially so. They aren't turquoise and pink, and they don't have atomic or boomerang shapes on them.

This is a bit of wall in my office. I think this is hand-plastering over brick, inexpertly done. I like it, though.

And now I'm gonna get all metaphorical, with a little help from Paul Simon:

Impaled on my wall
My eyes can dimly see
The pattern of my life
And the puzzle that is me.

--from the Simon & Garfunkel song Patterns, written by Paul Simon

I've had this song in my head ever since reading about this Monday Photo Shoot this afternoon. In the song, Simon draws a parallel between a pattern on a wall and patterns of a person's life. So okay, yeah, it may be a bit obvious, but I'm going to mess around with the concept for a moment.

Our kitchen has two different wallpaper patterns, separated by molding. They're in the same colors, but otherwise they don't go together very well. Still, there they are, and we make do, just as I try to fit together the disparate parts of my life: work, writing, blogging, husband, church, friends. They don't always fit together well, but they're all part of the Karen-colored puzzle.

From the moment of my birth
To the instant of my death,
There are patterns I must follow
Just as I must breathe each breath.

Okay, now that's getting a little too deterministic. Yes, we all fit into certain general patterns: growing up, aging (unless we die young) and death; physical characteristics and biological processes. Some parts of our lives have patterns as predictable and as varied as Tucson weather.

early evening rain, Tucson in June
Yes, it rained today, bringing us one step closer to the summer weather pattern called the monsoon.

Like the color of my skin,
Or the day that I grow old,
My life is made of patterns
That can scarcely be controlled.

That's the last part of the song, and the lyric that's been stuck in my head tonight. After the depressing fatalism expressed earlier, Simon leave us with one grudging word of hope: "scarcely." I'm in a pattern of eating too much and sleeping too little. Changing that pattern isn't easy - but it can be done.

This is a pattern in the floor I see at church, whenever I have crucifer duties. This indentation in the lacquered stone is a little to my left as I sit in the sanctuary. I think it looks like Superman from the waist up, flying. I don't have to be Superman to control my patterns, do I? Maybe I can get some help from the Person whose image I carry into the church most weeks.


P.S. I got back out of bed and did my installment of The Jace Letters. Enjoy!

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Bea said...

I enjoyed your metaphorical musings as you considered the patterns you had selected for this entry. There's always a reason for everything we do, the choices we make, aren't there? We may or may not be aware of the reason, but it still exists, sometimes baffling us, other times assuring us of the rightness of actions taken. I wasn't familiar with the Paul Simon song... it's not on my paul simon CD's or record albums, so which one did it come from? I chuckled at the superman image you saw in church... I see it too! This was a reflective entry, Karen, that made me reconsider the patterns in my life. And I want to buy that PS CD. I've always liked his song lyrics. Bea

Carly said...

Yep...I see Superman. COOL!

Becky said...

You got a new sofa?!? I can't believe the red/orange one is leaving! So hurry up and get the room done. I wanna see a pic of the new sofa! I love getting new furniture.