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Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Curious Thing

At the hair salon this morning, a woman who looked to be in her 80s was having highlights administered by pro-colorist Rosie. The client's struggle to hear did not restrict her enthusiasm for conversation, and she seemed to be wondering a lot. What did Rosie do on her trip? How old were so-and-so's children now? (They are 12 and 10, in case you're wondering.) And what specifically would you call the hair-coloring process Rosie was using?

As Rosie painted bleach on the woman's hair and folded locks up in foil, making her look (as we all do in this position) like something trucked in from another planet, the woman posed all these questions good-naturedly. It wasn't interrogation; it was curiosity.

My friend Julie and I have talked over the decades about how rare a trait curiosity seems to be. I was struck by that thought when I was looking at the photo reference I used for this drawing, which is (sort of) a drawing of my grandfathers on a day that, as I understand it, was one of the rare times they spent together. What I know about these men -- upon whose existence my existence depended -- you could write on your dog's dewclaw. In all the years my parents were around, it never occurred to me to ask much about my grandparents. Heck, I didn't ask enough of my parents, either.

Don't mistaken this for self-flagellation. I'm slightly more curious than the average bear, though I can become a bit overly captivated by my own voice. But if my grandfathers were around today I'd have plenty to ask. For instance, were they drunk on that day when they were smoking cigars?

Most of the people around us have stories to tell, recipes to share, ideas to impart. Never forget to bring your bag of questions, that's what I say.

1 comment:

Rosa said...

I love this blog entry more than I can say! Thanks for the reminder to be more curious.