You may think I would be disappointed with today’s weigh in. I’m not. The scale may not show it, but my hard work is showing – I had to buy new pants again because the pair I bought recently were already too big. I bought a lovely pair of size 16 slacks last night. When I graduated from college, I wore a size 12. Five years later, size 20. I breezed past 16 somewhere in there, early-to-mid 80’s. So, today, I’m feeling pretty darn good!
This is one in a series of posed shots my father took when we were young – Jeff, Chris and I, happily avoiding evil in the classic “Three Wise Monkeys” proverb. We thought it was funny, and clearly fun from the looks on our faces. I had no idea at the time of the meaning, but was interested to see this description on Wikipedia:
The Three Wise Monkeys (Japanese: 三猿, san’en or sanzaru, or 三匹の猿, sanbiki no saru, literally “three monkeys”), sometimes called the Three Mystic Apes, are a pictorial maxim. Together they embody the proverbial principle to “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”. The three monkeys are Mizaru, covering his eyes, who sees no evil; Kikazaru, covering his ears, who hears no evil; and Iwazaru, covering his mouth, who speaks no evil. Sometimes there is a fourth monkey depicted with the three others; the last one, Shizaru, symbolizes the principle of “do no evil”. He may be shown crossing his arms.
There are various meanings ascribed to the monkeys and the proverb including associations with being of good mind, speech and action.
In a departure from everything I’ve ever done on this blog, I am bowing to pressure from my friend, Layne, to write a post about her. (I made the mistake of expressing to her that I wasn’t sure what I would write about this week.) She has given me no instructions or parameters, no topics to include or avoid. Normally, I would be concerned about alienating my other friends, but many of you know Layne and will, therefore, be kind about my decision to cave. Those who don’t know her, really should meet her!
Layne came for an interview three years ago in December, shortly after my entire staff resigned within a couple weeks of one another. I was stressed. Ok, slightly panicked. My most significant impression of her during the interview can be summed up in one word: genuine. She didn’t have that “I’m on an interview” false persona. She was friendly without being overbearing, thoughtful but enthusiastic. I didn’t know if she was ready for the job, but I was desperate.
In the intervening years, I have come to see just how truly genuine Layne is. Every individual is unique, but Layne is more so. The word that comes to mind most readily now, in regard to her, is magical. That may seem like a strange word to describe a person who is not really very Sabrina-like. After all, Sabrina was a practical wife and mother (or a “normal” teenager in the more recent television show) who happened to do magic, while Layne embodies magic. She bewitches people, and here’s why:
- She’s an avatar (definition: a physical representation of an abstract concept). A few years ago, there was a big splash made about “indigo children”. In describing the concept, one site states, “Descriptions of indigo children include the belief that they are empathetic, curious, strong-willed, independent, and often perceived by friends and family as being strange; possess a clear sense of self-definition and purpose”. This description may or may not accurately describe a group of “special children”, but it is a perfect description of Layne. She had a tough time in school and has often been perceived as strange, its true. I maintain that this is due, in large part, to the fact that her perceptual abilities (intuition, empathy, emotional capacity to take in stimuli from the world around her) are more keen than those of her peers.
- She’s not an old soul, she’s a new soul with mad skills. She can make anything out of paper. She can interpret the language of dogs. She wants to, and eventually will, start a social revolution on twitter (she’s just waiting for the right cause to present itself). She can send 84 texts in rapid succession – when she does this, the notification chimes on my phone sound like a slot machine ringing a jackpot. Winning!
- Layne can meet with roommates who say they hate each other, and before they leave her office they are professing their undying friendship. She can spend three minutes with me and accurately put her finger on whatever is troubling me, even when I am not talking about it. When I do talk about it, she can finish my sentence for me and always picks the exact word I was going to use. It can be uncanny, and would be frightening if it weren’t for the fact that Layne is inherently trustworthy. Remember that description of indigo kids? It says they have a clear sense of self-definition and purpose. Layne has told me her life’s purpose, and it is, believe me, uniquely hers!
- Last but not least, Layne twinkles. Even when she’s depressed. Even when she has been dumped by her boyfriend. Even when she is so sad she has to throw herself to the floor in front of me. (Yes, it’s true, she can be a little drama, as well!)
Lest you get the impression that I see her as something other than human, allow me to explain one last thing about Layne. She is young and open to experience, she rushes into things she should take her time with, and she drags her feet when she should be running. In other words, she has room for growth. That may be one of the reasons I am enchanted by her extraordinary nature: there isn’t only room for improvement, she expresses an active daily desire for it. She is committed to growing into her best possible self, and she can feel a future ahead in which that is exactly what happens. So can I.
If Layne were an animal, she would be a giraffe – her long, graceful neck holding her head above the crowd and seeing far, far into the future. Where another magical creature looks back at her, with her own eyes.
Although I didn’t publish a weigh-in last week, I did (in fact) weigh myself. I have been bouncing up and down between 205 and 210 for weeks now, and on Thanksgiving the scale read 210. I didn’t publish it, because I was so disappointed in my uneven effort. Well, I am happy to report that I am back on track this week, and plan to enter one-derland sometime before the new year dawns. Tough stuff heading into the big holiday season, but the goal is within reach and I am ready to reach it!