2.24.2010

The Picture.

In George MacDonald's book, The Wise Woman, there is a scene in which a girl stands in front of a picture. The picture is what she wishes for. A girl, much like her, standing on a stream, unassuming, good. She wants to be that little girl, and as soon as she wants it, she is allowed into the picture. She steps in, and realizes that the idealization of the situation of the little girl was a misstep, for the other little girl's life was not at all free of problem or pain.

In my C.S. Lewis and friends class, my professor asked us to write a description of our picture--the ideal situation--the one that we convince ourselves to believe would be better, our "if only" picture. We read them to each other after ten minutes of writing. Here is what I wrote. It is not very well written, after all, it was more of a stream of consciousness, 10-minute endeavor. But, there is a beauty in the rawness of an admittance of our ideals as they come to us.

The little girl was quite puzzled by the first picture that she came upon. It was much like an infinite regress of pictures. A picture, of a picture, of a picture, of a picture, of a picture, of a picture of a, well, picture. And she supposed it would go on forever. When she finally got past the confusing nature of the picture itself, her eyes rested on the "initial picture," the first layer, and she realized that it was a girl, much like herself, at least in station, staring at a picture, eerily like herself, and then, of course, she realized that just as she (the onlooker) was looking at a picture of a picture of a picture of a picture, etc, so was the little girl in the picture. There was one primary difference, however, and that was that the girl in the picture was not half as confused by the picture as the little girl outside of the picture. She was, it seemed, quite a bit more satisfied with her understanding of the picture. The little girl was immediately envious of the girl once removed. Upon further reflection, the little girl was almost angry at the little girl for her wise and simple looking face and posture in the midst of what seemed to be such an overwhelmingly complex visual conundrum. Her anger at once turned to conceit. I deserve such wisdom and understanding, thought the little girl. That should be me. Things would be infinitely better if I could understand things like infinity, as this girl in the picture seems to. And suddenly, she found herself in the picture. It looked different, but the same...

4 comments:

Josiah said...

Sometimes I look at a picture and find myself wishing I had your brain.

Good blog.

annie.marie.dimond. said...

Oh Josiah, don't be silly. Obviously my brain doesn't communicate what it means well, or else you might not be wishing that. :)

Also, are you a MAHE student next year? Do we get to hangout next year when I am a part time student?

Josiah said...

I am, indeed, a MAHE student next year. Giddyup.

annie.marie.dimond. said...

yes. this is magnificent.