Saturday, January 11, 2014

A measure of place

A remark by film star Cate Blanchett in the January 2014 Vogue stays with me like credits on the screen after the movie is over. It comes out of the interview in which we learn the Australian actress is half American.

Her father was a Texan. A parent with roots elsewhere widens your heritage.

Through her dad Blanchett had access to another continent, another way of life. She alludes to this. She says when you have a parent who is from a different place you think of the world as bigger than where you are.

My head bobbed yes at that part. She's right I said. She hits the nail on the head. Later I wondered why the comment struck a chord. Siding with Blanchett so swiftly wasn't a thought-out process. It lined up with something instinctive within me.

It caused me to review my childhood. My dad was from the Mid South. My mom was from the Midwest. As kids we saw, and figured out for ourselves, that our parents, who loved each other dearly, were still at times as on opposite shores of a vast gulf.

The gulf in their case was the dividing waters of the truths that embodied their expectations of life. Their truths were theirs because of where they were born and where they grew up. Places instruct you. The bunch of us understood this without being able to say how we knew.

With our parents it wasn't a matter of one perspective being right and the other wrong. It was that sometimes the two viewpoints were separated by the information put into them, or taken in by them, deep from their starts.

I think that's how it is for many of us. Our world begins with the size that fit our parents. Our original world is the size of those we first know and love.

Watching and absorbing we compare and contrast. We begin the path of making the decisions we make, and the viewpoints and insights we carry and continue to evolve.

Ro Giencke
January 11, 2014

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