Sunday, August 30, 2009

Bringing Out the Shine

{A quick preface: One of the things I love about world building in fiction is the use of a phrase unique to that world. "Frak" in Battlestar Galactica. "Damn the void" in my own work (yeah, shameless plug. So sue me.). In Firefly, one of the best shows EVER on television, it was "Shiny," in reference to something good. }

Yesterday, amid the catching up of family doings with my old friend Patti (her kids are BOTH in high school now, her oldest a senior! Yeah, we feel old.) she told me about the enthusiasm her daughter has for a particular teacher's lessons. Her daughter often comes home with a gleam in her eye and begins a conversation with "Today, Mr. Smith talked about..." and goes on to reiterate everything Mr. Smith said about one topic or another.

"Remember when we used to be that excited about everything our professors said?" Patti asked.

"We were young then," I said. "Everything we heard and did was still shiny. Now, most things aren't so new."

There are things in life that we first gaze upon with wonder and enthusiasm. Events or ideas or even objects we fawn over and proudly share with the world, or maybe even keep hidden from view so we alone can bask in its glory. There is a shine that might blind us to everything else, dazzle us with its brilliance, attract the attention of others. It is all good and amazing.

But sometimes, somewhere along the line, the shine is dulled. The brilliant observations of a beloved professor are chipped away by better techniques and different views. Travel is no longer the carefree romp across the country, but a slog between crowded airports on crowded planes. Relationships, always shiny at the beginning, are worn by time and dinged by life.

The challenge is to find the shine. Not just to experience new things that make your heart race and feel like you're nineteen again. Those are wonderful and should be part of your life. Maybe not skydive every day, but even something as simple as trying a new dish at your favorite restaurant, or trying a new restaurant, can set you on a world of discovery.

No, for me, the real challenge is to buff those things that once made my heart race and have lost their glimmer for some reason or another. The return to a hobby I used to devote all free time. Re-reading a book that made an impact on my younger self. Re-igniting the fire we had before the patter of little feet.

If I can make the effort to see these things in a new way, if I can remind myself why I loved them so, and perhaps find a new facet to admire, they will shine for me once again.

What old passion can you think of that you might re-awaken and say, "Shiny!"?

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2 Comments:

At 7:42 AM, Blogger Angryromancegrrl said...

I've decided to take cooking classes. :) Shiny!

 
At 9:26 AM, Blogger Cathy in AK said...

Cooking classes?!? Who are you and what have you done with my friend?!?

Seriously, good for you! : )

 

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