Wednesday, July 29, 2009

New Painting and Trip Musings

Finished another painting! This was almost done before our trip, I just needed to add some of the darker areas of the flower and the shadows. I've realized that a painting is never finished, you just have to declare "Done" and move on. Hmmmm... maybe that's a lesson in life for us perfectionist types!

Our trip to Amsterdam, the Rhine River Valley and Germany was interesting! You can read all of the details on Patrick's blog. An interesting thought, since I don't scrapbook anymore the online albums I post plus Patrick's blog are our new scrapbook. I'll get to pictures eventually but since I took somewhere around 2000 of them it will take me a while. And I need to start a new painting now so that will of course take some of my time away from picture sorting. :)

A few musings on the trip...

- It was so much easier to travel within Europe than I expected! I'm sure part of it is the travel time is short and we didn't have to deal with jet lag, but I think another part is that by living in a foreign country we've learned how to adapt, learn the ways of doing things, etc. A "Europe trip" used to seem like such a big deal but it was as easy as any other vacation.

- You can't really get an idea of culture from a visit to a place. I think living here and experiencing the culture of Italy in a day-to-day way has shown me how little you really learn of a culture by going on vacation and visiting. You get the tourist version of the culture, where you pick and choose the pieces you want to experience and can distance yourself from the parts you don't want. Or the place you visit does it for you, by catering to what a tourist wants. That's not to say that you don't learn something about a place, a culture, a way of life by visiting; that you don't expand your horizons my travelling; that you can't have a different experience by getting off the beaten path - it's just doesn't have the depth of learning that you get by living in a place. I would never have thought that if we weren't living here now.

- My high school German still exists in my brain! I was able to use it quite a bit and more came the longer we were there. Of course, I came back here and for the first day couldn't say a thing in Italian because the German kept coming, but hopefully eventually my brain will get more comfortable switching between the two. It does make it easier to know some things. I'm going to be a mess when we travel to France or Spain... :)

- I am just getting an appreciation for so much more about how culture and geography and history shape all of us in ways we don't even realize. I thought of myself as an individual before, but I'm clearly an American individual. Shaped so much more than I thought by what surrounded me for my whole life. We have such a short history in America compared to other places. A relatively safe and sanitized life. Our whole outlook and psyche and approach to life is shaped by that in ways that I didn't even realize, until I started to see and understand more of other places. Not for good or for bad - it just is. But I think without understanding that we can't have a deeper understanding of the world we live in, the conflicts that exist and how to resolve them. We can't have a deeper understanding of our selves.

Enough musings for today, I hope everyone has a great day!

1 comment:

What's your view of the world? I love to hear yours too!

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