Wednesday, December 13, 2006
I love my job
For lots of reasons. I meet wonderful young people from all over the world, I play with language, I have the satisfaction of knowing I do work that useful and good. And I get to have really cool experiences like tonight's: my Somali student offered to decorate my hands. She gave me the simple one-color treatment and I think it was hair dye rather than henna but is this lovely or what? This is a young woman of 20 who is quite shy, quite unsure of her English, still trying to make sense of her new life in Oregon. A Muslim, she is covered from head to toe in modest fashion which highlights her smiling face and bright eyes. I was astounded at the carefree way in which she painted my hands--no templates, drawings, or guides. She applied the color with sure, confident movements covering my hands with the kind of simple floral patterns characteristic of so many styles of folk art. I envied her easy way with the dye and her instinctive sense of design. I can't stop looking at my hands--my own personal, portable works of art.