Flying over Milwaukee on my way back to Nashville, 1/3/14.
My idea of Heaven is an airplane window seat. It’s one of the few places that truly puts things into perspective for me. It makes clouds look close enough to touch and transforms looming cities into specs in the distance. From the window seat, I am reminded that the world is bigger and more complex than we often imagine. And isn't that essentially a good lesson? Isn't it a relief in a way, to know that we could search forever and still not find all of the answers we think we’re looking for?
In one of my many methods courses in college, we spent 12 weeks creating art. We drew, we painted, we made cut-and-paste collages out of glossy magazine photos. Each week, I would spend the entire class period planning my masterpiece and spend hours after class trying, usually unsuccessfully, to bring it to life. When my non-education major friends found out what I was doing, they would often exclaim, “You’re so lucky! I’d love to make a sculpture out of macaroni!” or something similar. And I would just nod and toss out a little fake laugh to hide my neuroticism, as if to say, “Yeah, the fact that I spent 10 hours trying to glue dry noodles together only to end up with something resembling a dead sea creature is TOTALLY awesome!” When we shared our finished products in class, our professor would say, “Don’t worry about what it looks like on the outside. It’s the process, not the product.” At the time, I filed those words away for future classroom use, imagining that I’d eventually use them to comfort a student struggling with long division or writing the first draft of a book report. I didn't realize that it was the student inside of me who needed to hear them the most.