Split Personality

24 03 2010

Last fall I visited the library in the aftermath of the semi-annual used book sale, when the remaining books were free for the taking.  I lost all sense of decorum and came home with 68 books and 19 record albums.  Never mind that I have no way to actually play any of the albums.

At the recent spring book sale, my husband and I went on the final day of the event when the books were $5 per grocery-sized paper bag.  Between the two of us, we filled one bag with 25 books which works out to $.20 per book.  I felt much more in control, unlike before when I wondered if I should look for a nearby chapter of  Book Hoarders Anonymous.

When I had free time later I chose a couple of the books to peruse. From the stack I selected  the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip collection and a book called Free Style that’s specifically about creating artsy scrapbook pages.

The reason I brought Calvin and Hobbes home wasn’t so much to read the comics, though I do think they’re kind of cute.  But I loved the drawings and when I looked at them, I thought to myself, “Gee, how great would it be to get out my colored pencils and fill these in?  A coloring book for me!  Hooray!”

The second book interests me not so much for whole scrapbooking thing (which I don’t do), but rather for the artsy way to make generic collages.  There seems to me to be a fine line between a layering of “stuff” that looks just wonderful and one that looks like crap.  And I’m trying to get a handle on what that distinction is.

As I sat there coloring neatly between the lines with my rainbow of colored pencils, thinking about the collage-style greeting cards I could make, I realized that my book choice revealed a right brain/left brain struggle.  The color inside the lines mentality is all about order, logic, facts, and details  (left brain.)  The glue a bunch of unrelated stuff on a piece of paper mentality is about imagination, symbolism, fantasy, and risk-taking (right brain).

Which took me to another of the books we had brought home, The Natural Superiority of the Left-Hander.  My husband and I both write and eat left-handed.  We use scissors, play the guitar, bat, and hold a tennis racket right-handed (to the extent that we do those things at all.)  Our kids are completely right-handed, except that one son bats left-handed. What a confusing jumble!  No wonder we’re so mixed up.



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