Friday, December 16, 2011

Deja Vu Double

Okay. I'm cheating. I couldn't pick just one post to re-post, but I did whittle it down to one fiction and one non-fiction. There were several more contenders, but I settled on these two. The Posture of Exploration was the inspiration for this blog, so it seems like an important one to me. I knew I wanted to write about the conference I went to where I decided to create a blog and make its format based on writing about a picture each day. I chose the Cinderella story because it's one of my favorite fictional pieces based on the picture I took.

So here they are - my Deja Vu Doubles. Enjoy!

The Posture of Exploration

I recently attended a conference that began with Story Musgrave (astronaut, farmer, and mechanic on the Hubble telescope) showing us a picture from his childhood in the 1930’s. In it, he was a small boy, crouched down, looking at something in the grass. He called this pose “The Posture of Exploration” and said that creativity stems from a childhood spent crouched in this position.

Later that afternoon, Dayna Baumeister (biologist and biomimicry expert) began her speech. She had a slideshow, too, and was astonished to find that she had a similar slide in her presentation deck. In it, her children are crouched near rocks in a creek, looking down at whatever treasure they’d discovered. She said she’d put that slide in to illustrate the point that we should all take time to observe and study nature for inspiration.

As soon as her slide appeared on the screen, duplicating Story’s earlier slide, I immediately wondered whether I had similar slides of my children. I went home that night and pulled out old photo albums and stacks of snapshots shoved to the back of old drawers. Sure enough, I had pictures of my own children in this same Posture of Exploration pose. Which lead me to believe two things:

First, that this pose is universal among children.  I suppose it’s only natural that children explore the ground beneath them. They often observe things that adults don’t notice, perhaps because they are closer to their subjects, or maybe because they have a more appreciative manner while they’re young. I remember when spying a caterpillar, or ant hill, or shiny quartz rock excited me. The wonder of children captures that old cliché that it’s the little things in life that matter. And as Story and Dayna both pointed out, that curiosity and appreciation of nature can lead to greater results in life.

The second realization I had as I held those two photos of my children in my hands, is that taking pictures of our children in the Posture of Exploration pose is something of a universal truth, too. Why is it that parents grab their cameras and snap a picture of their children crouched in wonder? It’s not because the pictures turn out well. In fact, you can’t tell what the children are looking at in any of the pictures I mention or show here. What we’re capturing instead is the beauty of seeing our children observe the world around them. For a moment, we are as mesmerized with the natural world as our children are, because we are seeing it anew through their eyes.


Cinderella's Stepsister Gets A New Home
Your Homely Sister is a gift shop in Hamilton, Ohio

Cinderella and Prince Charming were on their way home from their honeymoon when the prince told Cinderella that he'd nearly married her stepsister Drizella.

"Yeah, she crammed her foot into your glass slipper and wobbled around on high heels planning the wedding."

"She WHAT?!" Cinderella pulled her royal cell phone out of her purse and made a few calls. "I want her out of the royal palace right now. I don't care where she goes as long as I never have to see her ugly face again!"

The prince tried to calm down his bride, but Cinderella wasn't having it. "I've put up with her crap for years. I've scrubbed up stains that she made on purpose. I've listened to her big, fat snoring mouth every night while I slept on the floor above her. I've stayed home and played with mice while she went to fancy parties and balls. And now you want me to calm down? I don't think so."

"Cindy, Cindy. I'm not saying you have to like her, but we can't just throw her out onto the street. How would that look? She's part of the royal family now, whether we like her or not."

Cinderella considered this. She didn't want to tarnish her new golden reputation. She pulled out her cell phone again and called her fairy godmother.  "Can you make her a place to live? Someplace small. Make sure the floor needs cleaned, and make sure she has plenty of cleaning supplies around. Let her rip up her dresses for rags and let's make her new quarters open to the public so she has to keep up appearances. Put a sign over her door."

She flipped her phone closed and sat back against the plush carriage velvet with a smug smile on her face. "I've found a place for Drizella to live," she gleefully told the prince.

"That's great, Cindy," he said and patted her knee. "I knew you'd come up with something."


  1. Excellent choices! I had forgotten about The Posture of Exploration but I'm so glad that you didn't!!!

  2. I love both these entries! When I see a child observing the world in that way, I immediately want to observe them observing. Something so magical in the way the see things! And I laughed at the Cinderella story. Serves Drizella right! ;)

    Thanks for your sweet comment on My Blog.

  3. On The Posture of Exploration: what great thoughts! Thank you for sharing. I suppose when we snap pictures of our children exploring we are again caught in our own posture of exploration - the posture may change as we grow, but, hopefully, we continue to explore!

  4. Both of your pictures are outstanding, and I love how you tied in the Cinderella story! Glad to meet you thru the blogfest! Julie

  5. Hilarious! Thanks for sharing. I love how you use photos as inspiration for stories.

  6. I love that little squat kids do when they're so absorbed in something.

    Great posts! Thanks so much for joining the Blogfest. :)

  7. I loved the photo. I have photos of my kids exploring too. It makes me wistful to look at that pose--wishing I had the time to slow down and drink in the amazing world around me.

  8. My mom has a framed picture of me in that pose. What does that say about me? Or her?

    Excellent pair of re-posts! :)

  9. Loved it! (sorry for such a short comment, but I'm trying to get to as many Deja Vu posts as I can!) :o