Friday, August 22, 2014

"Why is there a nun in this picture?!"

My husband and I don't always see eye to eye.  It may just be that men and women are wired so differently, but this story taught me just how differently he sees things.

I recently purchased a new painting for our living room.  It was a bit brave of me because I didn't get my husband's opinion on it first.  But I loved it and knew it would go well with the furniture and colors in the room.

The picture is of an empty birdcage.  A singing bird sits on a nearby blossoming branch.  In the background there is a dragonfly and a butterfly.  It really spoke to my heart about freedom and empty nests and being joyful.


The trouble was, it had a small flaw in it, so if I took it home to try it out, I couldn't take it back.  It was sold "as is" and not returnable.  My interior design consultant (daughter Andrea) was with me and agreed it was a good find on clearance.  Better yet, the flaw garnered an extra discount on it!

So we bravely took it home and hung it up before hubby got home.  Let's just say he wasn't thrilled with it and asked, "Why birds?  Who likes birds?"  Andrea answered, "Mom does!"  He looked at me as if for the first time, so I pointed to the living room window... to the bird bath and feeder in our front yard.  "Yes, that's why I feed them," I answered him.

I think he might have continued the "discussion," but Andrea piped up, "And I like it, too."  He must have felt out-numbered because he dropped the subject and left the room.

But not for long.  He walked back in a few minutes later and looked at the painting again from across the room.  He stood there with a bewildered look on his face and asked, "But why is there a nun in this picture?!"  Andrea and I looked at him, then at each other.  Then we looked at the painting and back at him.  "Where?" we asked, perplexed.

He walked over and pointed to the blue and black and white butterfly.  As Andrea and I gazed at it we could slowly see the butterfly morph into a thin nun holding her skirt out slightly and her shadow stretching out behind her.  "Oh!  There!" we said in amazement.


Can you see the nun now?  It's as if she is far below the cage and branch.


It still amazes me that he saw an obscure figure before seeing the obvious butterfly.  But somehow it helps me understand our times of miscommunication.  That painting serves as a daily reminder that even though we may seldom see eye to eye, it truly helps to at least try to see the other person's viewpoint.

Post-script:
In my living room redecorating I also moved my grandmother's picture of Jesus of Nazareth (see "The Praying Savior" poem about it and photo that I posted on July 29, 2012). I still have it and may find a different place for it someday.  But I needed a change of scenery, so I put a simple floral wall sculpture in its place.  Tom complained that now we don't have enough religious art in that room.  I had to refrain from pointing out that at least we have the "nun picture."  :)

(See also "Summer Day" poem and photo posted on July 27, 2012 about the picture that I removed to hang this new one.)