Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I experience life in patterns . . .

Some writers experience life's minutiae. They say things like, "The writer in me made me learn every detail about her illness, to put names and descriptions to the experience." I don't care about the minutiae, especially when it comes to hospitals and illness. Even if I'm hospitalized for years, I won't retain its vocabulary.

* * *

The room is small where my class workshops; we usually run two sessions simultaneously, each group gathered around a separate table. Because of the tightness of the room, it's not feasible for me--without a lot of careful planning--to actually have a seat at one of the tables, so today, I stood and walked between each session.

I was surprised by the amount of "purple" shirts at the table the furthest from me. I counted four shirts, three of which were magenta and one of which was lavender.

Two of the magenta shirts were knit and had shorter sleeves. They were also worn by women with short dark brown (almost black) hair.

The third magenta shirt was a light-weight sweater with long sleeves. It's wearer, like the other magenta wearers, also had dark brown hair, but her hair--like her sleeves--was long.

The fourth "purple" shirt was also a light-weight sweater with long leaves; it's wearer, too, had long hair. But the "purple" was a paler variety--lavender--and her hair was a light blonde.

I searched the rest of the group for patterns: the three men in the group all had at least two straight lines on their shirts: lines in a striped shirt, lines separating text on a print T, lines incorporated in a graphic design.

The rest of the group wore scoop-necked, non-purple solids: black, brown, blue.

The group closest to me wore duller colors, mostly solids--there were three whites, a deep gray-green, a black, and a navy. Only the two bright blues stood out, one of which was polka-dotted. And those polka-dots tied into another group member's headband.

Part of the way through class, I looked down and realized that I was wearing a lavender shirt. If I had sat at the far table, I would have disrupted the pattern.

My lavender shirt is a woven, button-up, long-sleeved, Oxford-style shirt. It should have been a thin sweater. But even if I ignore the fabric and type of shirt, the long sleeves dictate that I should have long hair; the color dictates that I should be blonde. Instead, I have short, dark hair, dyed several shades darker than my natural color.

I don't know what the purpose of noticing such patterns is, but it's part of how I experience life.

6 comments:

Betty Edit said...

"I experience life in patterns..."

I don't. But I find it intriguing that you do.

I sometimes see things that aren't there, but that's not really a pattern, it's more of a hallucination.

Is this cheating?: good night (that's 3).

Olive Kite said...

What is cheating but a rule that hasn't yet been formed?

Alicia said...

Is it possible that you fit into a different pattern that you didn't see? You were looking for the purple shirt pattern, but was there another one that you didn't notice at first?

Olive Kite said...

Yes. That's more than possible, it's probable.

Sheila said...

You dyed your hair darker? How dark? Are you turning emo on me?

Olive Kite said...

Well, it's darker. Not black though.