You know the scene: the wife is trying to get netflix on the television screen from her i pad and the connection is slow. She wants to watch Frankie and Grace. She mentions her frustration and kind husband intervenes, telling her “change it over to chromecast.” and “push the little screen in the corner.”. He itemizes what she has already done but has not worked because of the poor connection to the server.
He looks over her shoulder and points and pokes at the screen.
She waves him away. He persists doggedly in the helping and she finally yells “stop telling me how to do it, already!”
Scene change. she is backing the F350 into a small camping space. Husband is turning his face to the right, to the left, and to the right again. “You need to pull up again!”. he yells. “stop helping me!”. she says. BOOM! BIG Sequoia tree. Hard to miss.
I knew it wasn’t just me when they started bringing chocolate treats to all of the clinic staff when they were doing a computer program changeover. EVERYONE got to be stupid then. I, more than most of course. It cost many of the nurses and front desk staff AND doctors about ten pounds from stress relieving chocolates to learn that program.
I simply cannot remember or follow directions. Until this week I had attributed it to attention issues.
Tami helped me get my writing unstuck this week. She loaned me a well used white paperback with water damage and mysterious purple underlinings. I was heartened by Natalie Goldberg’s chapter in “Wild Mind” about the dreamer and the tracker. You may be too. It allows for a person like me to have a go at writing.
The concept came to her through a friend via Mexican mystic Carlos Castaneda whose writing I was famililar wtih.
Goldberg’s friend’s interperetion centered on how her first son learned to ride a bike by being told step by step. “use a curb to get up, this is how the pedals work, this is how you hold the handles and steer”. He did as he was told and found success.
Her husband tried the same technique with their second son and from the time he suggested his son swap out his thongs for tennies, all was lost. He could not listen. he wanted to do it his way. He was found some time later stomping on the blue bike in the middle of the road. He did learn to ride, his own way, eventually and it was a lifechanging experience for him.
Like the first kid, the tracker: that’s my husband.
I would bet money you know who the dreamer is.
Goldberg had another hysterical image of someone learning the breaststroke and flopping around in the lap pool a while before seeking counsel, then “OOOHHH, you have to be face DOWN in the water!”
We listened to an amazing grammy award winning girl band someone shared on facebook this morning: Mariachi Flore de Toloache. Dressed in black with white whip stitched seams, giant red blooms in their dark hair, matching their matt red lipstick and bearing instruments of the Marachi tradition, they blended it with swing, jazz and who knows what else. I was in love. Beautiful soaring voices, guitarra, violin not flaunting but engaging with traditional style, handclap rhythms, mourning heartfelt lovelost ballad, then breaking it down to a sad happy salsa.
Rons’ face was a stone. I said “you don’t LIKE it?” and asked him why. “What genre are they playing? The audience wants to know what to expect! They might as well have kazoos!” The tracker mind at work. Structured progression is imperative.
We stopped going to improv comedy. I was curious and asked him what it was about it that he didn’t like. I delighted in the intelligence and supple minds of the four actors under the stagelights.
“It makes me nervous, he says. There is too much tension, waiting for them to invent their lines, what if they can’t do it?”
The tracker runs as deep in this man as the dreamer does in me.
I will never be found studying directions to different household appliances in the middle of the night. It is anathema to my soul.
Odd thing is, we don’t fight. Early on, we recognized the other was completely untrainable. It would have been like trying to teach a dog to be a cat and a bird to be a frog! We do, however lean on each other for the strength the other has. We are one dimensional characters on our own, understanding only one language. This is exactly what Don Juan says those two types must do to achieve their best lives. Borrow from the ways of the other.
You will have to excuse me now, I have to find Ron. He left his computer up here on the sunny deck playing scratchy loud spanish music that keeps starting and stopping and no matter where I poke at the big screen, I can’t turn it off. I will take a steadying breath, and ask him to show me how. Again.