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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Simple beauty and thoughts on manners

This was just too pretty to pass up. Gerry gave me this bowl in 1999 and I use it almost every day. It was made by Danny Marley down in Seagrove at Hickory Hill Pottery. When Gerry worked for the Greensboro News and Record he did a story on Danny and he bought two mugs for me while he was there. I liked them so much that I started asking for pottery from Danny for birthdays and other gift giving holidays. This bowl had a sister, but Wes broke it when she was little and she cried and cried, knowing how much I loved them. This is a really simple bowl, it's just brown glaze with a hint of blue, thrown sort of thin, nothing fancy but it feels so great to hold and food looks beautiful in it. Just a simple country bowl that I love.
Another simple beauty there! This child wears no makeup, barely brushes her hair, loves clothes from the thrift store and hardly knows what a mirror is, but look at that face!
So anyway, my thought on manners. This has been happening more and more frequently and I have been thinking a lot about it today. I'll begin with this: my cousin had a friend named Sarah. She was beautiful and when you talked to her she absolutely listened to every word coming out of your mouth like it was important to her. And when you saw her the next time, she remembered your conversation and asked about you. She never talked about herself unless you asked her and she was so great to be around. I think about her every now and then, I don't think I have ever met another person like her. Which brings me to my point. Recently, I have noticed when I talk to people they seem to be multi tasking or looking at a computer screen, or texting on the phone, or if you are on a phone call with them, you can hear that they are preoccupied with something else, like walking around with the cordless phone and doing things while you talk, or I am walking around on the cordless phone doing things while I talk.
Now my mom is just waiting for me to finish my sentence so she can say what she wants to before she forgets what it was. Gerry wanders from room to room while I talk and I either have to shout at him or follow him around, both are annoying. So I am beginning to think that what I have to say has no value to anyone. And then I realized I do this too. Many times when I am checking email or blogging Wes comes in to say something and I mildly listen while I continue with the computer screen in my face. So today I apologized to her for doing that and I told her that from now on I will listen completely when she has something to say, no multi tasking. What she has to say has value and she deserves my attention. I'm going to try this with everyone else too and show them the respect they deserve when they are trying to express a thought to me. After all I do live in the South where we are supposed to have manners!
I'm heading down to Seagrove on Tuesday to meet Ron and the Brits, should be lots of fun, I'll bring back pictures so stay tuned!

11 comments:

Kelly Kessler said...

There's a world of wisdom in your idea of simply listening. Really consistent with the choice of being a potter, too; that state that comes in the studio of being fully engaged always makes for the best work.

Michele said...

I was reading this and my husband started telling me about what was happening on Desparate Housewives which I don't watch so I looked at him as if it was important and just listened. I, too, feel manners are important and sadly lacking (along with good grammar) but, do I really want to encourage the unwanted synopsis-telling?

DirtKicker Pottery said...

I'm guilty of that multi-tasking lack of full attention when I'm on the phone. For me no phone call needs to last over 5 minutes. My Mom and my oldest Daughter are phone people and I'm not. I get bored and it helps to do a few chores while they talk. As long as I say uh-huh every minute or so, they are cool. LOL. Sorry, I really did get your point and I agree, it's rude.

Judy Shreve said...

Wesley is such a beautiful & talented girl :-) oh and I like the bowl too!

I had this same conversation with someone a few years ago -- and listening became very important for me -- I'm glad! If I'm busy on the computer, with my clay or reading I now ask someone to wait a minute until I can fully listen. Since I've been doing this, I find the world a much more interesting place! I get tired of living in my own head and enjoy what others are doing and saying!

Good post & important subject!

Tracey Broome said...

Hi Kelly,I agree being fully engaged in the studio makes for the best work, I love when I have a day to myself there with nothing else to do. Michele, first of all you have a husband that watches Desperate Housewives?! I love that!!And I think you can be excused when someone takes advantage of a conversation and tells you way more than you have time to listen to! Cindy, I am not a phone person either and I am VERY guilty of even putting the phone down for a minute when my mom is on there,when she calls I say hello and that's about it for the next hour! Judy, I like your idea of finishing up on the computer and asking the person to wait a second so you can pay attention.

Dennis Allen said...

This started out great, then I got a call , now what was it you were saying anyway? P.S. Had the Doug and Hannah experience this weekend , great fun.

Tracey Broome said...

:) :)

Linda Starr said...

I'm guilty of the same thing too; Gary also walks away when I am talking to him; I asked him and he said he is thinking of something and doesn't want to forget his train of thought, it's a complicated world we live in nowadays and try as I may I don't seem to be able to simplify as much as I would like to.

Patricia Griffin said...

Truly listening is such an art... I need to "practice" it more! Thanks for the reminder.

Michèle Hastings said...

i am guilty of that way too often and it is usually the computer that is the root of my rudeness. something i definitely have to work on.
Wesley is sooo beautiful and sweet looking!

jimgottuso said...

hi tracey, what an excellent post and an excellent sentiment. i hate the phone (still don't have a cel), i don't like talking on the phone and when i see people at a table in a restaurant and they are both holding their phones in front of them texting other people and not talking, i truly believe that we're goin' to hell in a handbasket, as the saying goes. they've done studies and multitasking is simply another way of saying that instead of doing one thing well, that you're gonna do 2 or more not well at all. listening is a difficult thing to be good at but it is worth the effort. every once in a while i meet someone and i think, i really liked that person and then days later i realize it was because when they asked me something, they actually listened to the answer.