Friday, November 24, 2006

Ancora Imparo

Ancora Imparo
Supposedly Michaelangelo, when he was 87, said, "Ancora Imparo" which means "I am still learning." Whether he said this or not, his works left behind show us that he, indeed, was able to create new things, learning as he went, even up until the end. It is an inspiring story and a nice phrase to adopt no matter how old we are.

My husband often says that he has the mind of the beginner. I would like to think that I have the mind of a beginner, but boy, howdy, it is awful frustrating sometimes to start all over again. Mostly, in our culture, we see this as something to be frowned upon or to be "stupid." But I like seeing new things and I do like hearing about something new and interesting. I have learned new things with each thing I write, so hopefully, I am always learning with joy.

When someone points me to a new link or tells of a new way to do something, or I discover a new book that keeps me up all night to read "one more page," these are things I receive with glee. I am not always good at having this attitude. But I am learning that it makes life better. If you can live one more day, finding something new to attempt, or something to learn, it is worth it. I don't know your circumstances or if you struggle at this time of year with thoughts of being worthless. (I sometimes do.) Since having read these words of Michaelangelo, I have thought that to see the world with the "mind of a beginner" may be just the thing to grasp and hold on to--to humbly learn and accept the new information. To not see "starting over" as some sort of awful disaster. I think of what Albert Einstein said, "If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn't be called Research." And we all know that scientists,explorers, and artists, writers and the great composers--all of them didn't always know what they were doing, but they sought to continue and explore.

I have an email group of friends who have long shared writerly things, but also their humor, sadnesses, family events, failures and triumphs. This week was a flurry of emails with prayer requests for difficult things, funny(humor--argh,argh) insights in spite of some tough situations, and happy events to celebrate. I learned even more about these friends whom I thought I already knew well. I'm glad we keep in touch and share these things. I learn more and appreciate more.

So, onward with my 1000 Gifts!

76. moisturizing lotions! for my dry skin
77. prayers of friends
78. boys who help me move furniture (and are big enough to do it!)
79. boys who didn't complain even though their friends kept calling and told them to ditch me and my requests for help
80. peaceful evenings
81. a clean rug and a good attitude (thanks to my oldest)
82. yummy banana bread (thanks to my youngest)
83. kisses on the top of my head (thanks to my 2nd oldest)
84. laughing (thanks to my 3rd child's dry humor)
85. a husband who cares about my state of mind!
86. a dog which thinks I'm the greatest thing to ever walk the earth (thank goodness dogs don't know better)
87. friends who share knowledge of things like gmail and PDFs (and always seems to have time to explain)
88. Acceptance to the university in the mail today (Yay, Bryce!)
89. When rearranging books, furniture, finding my Norwegian family book of customs, photos and recipes that I haven't seen in quite awhile!
90. Melba's cranberry salad leftover from yesterday in a dish in my fridge
91. hairclips when I don't feel like fixing my hair
92. lipsticks in a variety of colors and moisturous smoothness (current favorites: raisinberry and cantaloupe)
93. good music (thanks to my husband and sons who were practicing)
94. a dishwasher! (nuff said)
95. a working washing machine and dryer
96. clean boys' rooms!
97. a sparkling clean front window! (Thanks, Max)
98. ice from the icemaker
99. Faith in a God bigger than anything I'm worried about
100. holidays to show us the things that are important

Only 900 to go!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of having a beginner's mind. I love learning new things. But I'm like you, sometimes it's frustrating to have to start over again.

And I like you list.

Happy late Thanksgiving!