image courtesy of robin.elaine (via Flickr Creative Commons)
Jackson Pollock always reminds me of college. I never studied him, but I heard about him constantly. At first, I didn’t understand the appeal of his paintings; unlike a landscape or portrait, they’re really just a hodge-podge of dots and lines. Upon further inspection, however, I have to admit that their grandeur and color is a never-ending intrigue. You can get lost just trying to follow his hundreds of brush strokes. Give me the same paint and canvas, but I certainly won’t create those same masterpieces.
Some of my other college memories include the one of my friend who decided to start studying Italian our junior year. I admire her for it. I’m not exactly sure why, but I think at some point during that year, I just threw in the towel and chalked up my college career to the efforts that I had put into the entire thing thus far. Senior year won’t matter anyways. So, I admired her for the tenacity, the willingness to pick up something new when we were already so far under.
In high school, I chose to study french. Everyone else was taking spanish so I thought ‘why should I be just another number??!’ Boy, do I regret that now. Whether I’m in the grocery store, the salon, at work, among peers, there is freaking spanish everywhere and I don’t understand one bit of it. Ok, maybe I lied. Como estas? Don’t even expect me to answer that though… unless bueno works?
My greater concern, however, is of the excuse that I gave myself all those years ago: ‘why should I be just another number?’ Another one of my flawed theories. Even good ole Pollock can remind us of that. I wonder how many times he questioned himself for being just another ole Joe playing with dots and lines.
If everyone chose to study, work and compete at different things then we wouldn’t have anyone looking at the same thing differently. Before traveling phones, we were tied to land lines. It is estimated that 100,000 different patents created the modern automobile. The Mayan calendar didn’t include leap years.
We’re not all going to be the greatest inventors of our time. We might not even make it to Pollock status. But if we can each look at the same things and choose a small number of them to make into our own masterpieces, we will be far greater than ‘just another number’.
*This post was inspired by a Write on Edge prompt. To view all of the stories, click here.