Resume or Résumé?
A few days ago, we visited the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, to see their latest exhibit, "Dream Flora" by Patrick Shearn of Poetic Kinetics, alongside Jason Gamrath's oversized blooms. If you are local, take some time to enjoy this fabulous experience.
I had always loved nature and art, separately. When I became a student of landscape architecture, I learned to see how these two can come together in the same space. Sometimes placing a work of art in the landscape, but more often, allowing the landscape to tell us where the art would go. It is called 'site-specific art', and sometimes, when wind is involved, it is called 'Kinetic art', if the art moves in some way. I tried my hand at a site-specific sculpture class, but couldn't afford the materials costs on my meager student-summer-job earnings, and had to quit - but I learned so much.
Works by famous artists like Christo & Jeanne-Claude and Andy Goldsworthy are stunning - because they show us that beauty exists even in the simplest, most ordinary places. This exhibition by Shearn was something like that, forcing us to look up, into the tree canopy, to see wind and movement in a space where we don't normally see it. We can hear it sometimes, when it rustles through the leaves, but don't see it. We look for the flowers, the animals, the birds, the bugs in the trees but we don't see the wind - the very thing that gives us life.
Artists who place art in the midst of nature, or natural surroundings remind us to look up, to notice what we take for granted, to see beauty in all its forms. They remind us, that beauty does not have to be confined to the walls of a museum, or a frame, or a construct. Beauty exists around us, we have to be willing to see it.
And just like that, it got me thinking about other things - about all the important things that go unseen.
How often do WE go unseen?
When we think about ourselves, what do we define ourselves by? A title? A job description? Our name recognition? An accolade? Or more?
Aren't those classical or traditional constructs of who a person can be?
Do the people around us know us for our unique skills? Our abilities to execute complex tasks? Our determination to resolve challenges?
Should we be reliant on validation or should our deeds speak for themselves?
What does it take to be seen?
I challenge you to do something for yourself.
Write a resume about yourself. Not a list of accomplishments or titles you have held, or projects finished - but the skills you gained, or contributed during the execution of something. For brevity, go back just the last 10-15 years.
Type it up.
Print it out.
And read it.
Read it out loud, if you feel braver than me.
Trust me, you will see yourself differently than you did before.
So will others.