Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happiness Project Day 73: Unexpected Conversation

On day 30 of this challenge, my happy thing was "interesting conversations" - particularly in my art studio. But today I realized that there is something about art that opens lines of communication. It opens minds.

I teach classes - mini Painting Soirees - through the Fresh City Life program of Denver Public Library. (I highly recommend you check out that program if you're in Denver.) People who attend  my mini Soirees are usually women, and they're usually, oh… I say in their late 40s to late 60s. Today I got in and set up early, and several women filtered in early, and we started chatting about all sorts of things. I'm not sure where, but somewhere the conversation turned to feminism. We didn't label it as such but that's what it was. 

We were talking about body image in the media and it turned to how we've all been screwed by fairy tales. You know the story the woman must wait to be saved by her prince (or whatever man) who rides a white horse. But in reality, of course, we have to save ourselves - which is really fine as long as you're not waiting for that prince. (Which, unfortunately many women do. And by the way, why haven't boys been sold on this idea too?)

Then the conversation turned to the Little Mermaid, and how Ariel gave up so much for her man; her family, her life as she knew it, and even her voice. And then it hit me just how profound that was. She gave up her voice. For a man. How many of is have done THAT? 

Anyway, there was so much more to that amazing and unexpected conversation. And that's where a bunch of my happiness came from today: unexpected conversation. And even more unexpected because I wouldn't have anticipated such strong feminist views from a little group of library ladies. I underestimated them, and perhaps I should have known better, considering the fact that they were, in fact, at the library. They're readers, after all. 

It was pretty fabulous. 

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