The sky through the pines

If your friend told you he was recording an album called “The sky through the pines,” what would you imagine?

When my former dulcimer teacher Tim Seaman told me he was thinking of using such a title for one of his CDs, I could picture a tranquil cover photo of the sky through the pines from the eyes of someone lying on the forest floor, and how the music would be relaxing, peaceful, replenishing.

He was somewhat exasperated to hear that yet another person didn’t hear or see what he meant by the title — to him it conveyed Exhilaration! Excitement! Thrill! Very different image.

And so my little experiment with venting frustration about social cue interpretation (while allowing for — NOT demanding — actual anonymous answering) also has provoked some widely disparate responses.

There have been some voters in the poll (which I appreciate), at least two, perhaps more. One has no human children. One doesn’t think they have things Amy would enjoy playing with. There were two votes for just being busy and please keep inviting us, and three who don’t invite anyone for playdates.

Among those who didn’t vote in the poll but responded to me personally, one found it an amusing curiosity; three didn’t bat an eyelash; one thought it rude, insulting, obsessive, and like wearing a loud “I’m insecure!” sign; and one was worried any answers might hurl me into another depressive episode and was concerned about how much anguish I might be feeling.

Widely, widely different perceptions.

My own reactions to these varying responses have likewise been pretty varied. It’s long been another concern (reason for thought, reflection, prayer, wonderment — not debilitating angst) of mine that I seem to rely more heavily than I should on other people’s opinions and perceptions of me.

Especially interesting to me was the perception that my post is rude, insulting, and obsessive. This person does tend to get irritated with me when I get upset about anything, so I suppose their response makes sense for the way they think. I wonder though, to what extent other people would share that perception. It was most definitely not my intent to send any of those messages, and to me it seems that anyone who actually reads the post (rather than just glancing at it) would understand that. But maybe this person is right and I’m wrong. Interesting.

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4 thoughts on “The sky through the pines

  1. While I can see where your friend is coming from, my first impression of the album title is like yours. “The Wind Through the Pines” might work better, with a less static image conveying more of that energy he wants.

    On your poll question post, I liked Giovanna’s analysis of the whole thing. As for “rude, insulting, and obsessive,” while none of those adjectives were the ones I would have used, because that wasn’t the light in which I saw the post, I suppose I can understand where all of them are coming from: “rude” because it’s not the kind of subject that right-thinking people bring up (never mind that this is a blog and not polite conversation), “insulting” because by asking the question you are implying a criticism of certain people for not reciprocating, and “obsessive” because, well gosh, you’ve clearly spent a lot of time thinking about this, and what is obsession but thinking about something more than most people do?

  2. He ended up calling this album Sycamore Rapids — exactly the idea of more movement.

    The rude / insulting / obsessive interpretation belonged to someone who does tend to feel insulted by insecurity, so that makes sense. I was thinking last night about the difference between uncertainty and insecurity. I think in some ways I’ve largely moved past insecurity and am just uncertain about my interpretations and perceptions of things. From my perspective, asking the question opens the possibility of understanding the nonreciprocity instead of criticizing it.

    Obsessive to me implies that it’s the top of my list or the only thing I’m thinking about, which isn’t true. I think about a LOT of things more than most people do, it seems. What got me feeling obsessive was when I was plotting out the quilt design and couldn’t sleep over it.

  3. It seems like you got a lot of varied responses and yet spent the most time thinking about, or at least writing about, the most strongly negative one. You responded to my earlier comment by saying that you are all about the details, and that knowing is better than not knowing. But from your writing about the results, I am not convinced that this is so.

    A practical element to consider: My children were small in the pre mom/child playdate era. We either invited another child (not the parent) over to play, so the other mom could go shop or do whatever, or we watched another child when the mom had a doctor’s appointment and requested the help. Sometimes we alternated so that each mom got a little free time. That allowed us to choose a playmate that THE CHILD got along with (and preferred), not one whose mother was a good fit with the other mother. Or some moms took in a child as a part-time daycare arrangement (maybe a few hours/day or a day or two/week)to earn a little extra money and/or provide a friend for the child. Or we invited a child for dinner/evening/bed so the parents could go out – maybe to celebrate a birthday, anniversary, or something similar. Also, most of us had another child – which provided a playmate for the older child (eventually) and also made us busy enough to preclude being available for that type of visiting. I know this isn’t necessarily an option (having another child) but I just wanted to add it to the mix. Moms of several children will be less able and less interested in the mom/child playdate concept because of having multiple children at home.

    I think the older that a child gets, the less likely it will be that two moms will connect well and the two kids will also. It seems a fairly rare occurrence to me actually. And it also seems most healthy for children to be able to pick who they like and want to spend time with and for us to facilitate those relationships.

  4. Huh — I just figured that was the most surprising response and required the most processing. How much can someone say about a “didn’t bat an eyelash” response? Also, what I didn’t reveal is who said what — the nature of some of the relationships affected how I dealt with their responses.

    Painful? Somewhat, for a time. Useful? Interesting? Very. I’d rather have specific pain than vague pain. Specific pain is easier to metabolize and work through — at least for me.

    I appreciate your points about the practicality of playdates, too.

    And I’m enjoying seeing Amy take more interest in her peers — I do try to facilitate relationships she is especially interested in.

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