Monday, May 03, 2004
On the other hand, I'm told I have the retinas of a 20 year old which is enormously good to hear for a middle-aged designer and graphic artist. I've had frequent nightmares during my life about going blind or becoming crippled in my hands, or both. Even though to a lesser extent than a dancer, singer or actor, by body is my instrument or, in my case, my primary tool. I think about that a lot, which is why I've tried not to beat my body to pulp the way so many in my family did through heavy smoking and drinking. I saw first-hand the damage that can be done and, while raising my daughters, I had to become involved in supporting and caring for some in the generation previous to mine who had developed severe physical problems way too early in life.
I've always stood somewhat "outside" my family. I needed them in more than a financial support way but I was always afraid to get too close emotionally and be sucked into the family's lifestyle and addiction problems. We were very isolated when I was growing up. The end of the day was like circling the wagons to keep out the world. From inside that sequestered home life, they would pass judgement--and it was a very harsh judgement--on anything and everything of which they disapproved. Total conformity was demanded as well. There were certain foods we ate and there was never any variety or experimantation. If I suggested that the one approved mustard might not be the only type worth getting I was told, "Your problem is you don't know what's GOOD!" And that pretty much ended the conversation right there.
I think that's why my tastes are so eclectic and wide-ranging now. When I got to college, I found there was a whole world out there
that was fun and filled with wonderful new and exciting people, things and experiences. I've never looked back.