Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Turmoil and the Pretense

This is my second visit to my sister-in-law on this my consulting leadership journey. I like to talk to her for two main reasons among others. First, she has substance and understands professionalism, second, she will tell me the truth without sugar-coating anything because I am not her ‘friend’ so I chose her earlier on in my journey as a resource… call it “sounding board resource”. So we have our second meeting scheduled for today and because I came with my kids (one toddler and a 10 year old), we had to ‘move’ our discussion to another part of the living room area.
Although I have been to this home several times on social visits and family stuff, I have never really sat in this part of the house and have never noticed the painting on the wall staring at me today or maybe I am starring at the picture. My sister in-law was on the phone as we got in and the conversation was a fairly long one so I had time to look around. This picture is the portrait of a woman seemingly serene and at peace with herself… (sort of resigned but not with hopelessness). There was a richness and a fullness around her. On a closer look you get to see four cracks, all joining together to make a complete picture. It immediately appealed to me as if to say “this is your picture…” A lot of effort to appear serene or at peace but with a lot of turmoil and cracks. Although I have not checked out my ‘cracks’ to know how many pieces make the whole, but I am sure it must at least four like in the painting.
Maybe turmoil is a strong word I said to myself but what better word depicts the war or rather wars within… relationship cracks, spiritual cracks, career cracks, motherhood cracks, sisterhood cracks, personal journey cracks, discovery cracks… just mention it… there are crack.
As my sister in-law finished her conversation and came around to sit and discuss, I pointed to the painting and she said “yes it is a good piece, isn’t it…?” “The woman depicting serenity…I promptly cut her off with a loud laugh and this my sister in-law is prim and proper (Buckingham palace kind of prim and proper… no loud laughs kind of a person… you have to laugh with dignity and poise). So she was a little taken aback and I said no “I am relating more to the four cracks (which she called parts) that make the whole and appear serene. I told her that it kind of depicts my life right now… different wars within yet one has to appear to be all together… serene and at peace. We both laughed and got on with the meeting. That image stayed with me…

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