I've had a love-hate relationship with Steinbeck's writing over the years. I loved Of Mice and Men but struggled through The Red Pony. I read Tortilla Flat in high school but can't recall a thing about it, only that I though it was 'boring.' I've never read The Grapes of Wrath but started it about 20 times. The Winter of our Discontent has always intrigued me but not enough, I guess, to buy it.
Seeing the following quote by Steinbeck, however, makes me want to go out and gather up all his writing and have at it. This quote is from The Winter of our Discontent, so I suppose the Universe speaks again.
When I see that quote, immediately of course I think of the people I may have passed on the street or sat beside on a train, people I never paid attention to. However, I think Steinbeck is writing here about seeing people not in the literal sense but in a more personal, multi-dimensional sense. I think this quote speaks to when we see someone every day, a spouse or a child or a neighbor, and we see them through our own lens, missing so much of who they are behind closed doors, when the lights go out or, even, right in front of our faces.
It makes me think about how I 'see' people and wonder if I take the time to stop thinking long enough to see them at all.
It makes me think of my children. It's nearly impossible to see them without somehow filtering that view through the lens of motherhood, which is obviously so intertwined with my own person. But how lovely would it be to see one's children not as one's children but just as people in their own right?
It also makes me wonder how many serial killers, bank robbers and drug lords I've stood next to in line at the grocery store check-out. Seriously. Do you ever turn your head (ever so slightly) and think: have you committed a crime?
It's a lovely Saturday in these parts. The sun is out and I can literally hear birdsong as I write this. I'm off to drop one child at ballet and get another ready for an afternoon of soccer.
Thank goodness for coffee.