Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sinuosity

I admire but am amazed that some people decided when they are children on their future career. Or start a job immediately after finishing university and remain in that position until they retire. That is far too linear for me. I like to pursue side roads, to explore new ideas. I’ve lived in France and four different provinces. I’ve been a researcher and a writer and a bookkeeper. I’ve worked for non-profit organizations, municipalities, a university and a small business.

What I’ve discovered is that knowledge is never wasted, that I apply my knowledge of bookkeeping when I write software documentation, my knowledge of French when I work for the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation. My life has been enriched by being able to explore so many different ways of life and ways of work.

In an essay entitled Introduction to Patriarchal Existentialism, Jeffner Allen attempts to define the essence of women’s lives, focusing on their resilience and perseverance as they weave together multiple roles. She introduces the concept of sinuosity: “Sinuosity is constituted not from the outside, as an attempt to impress a fixed mold on life events, but by a gathering of memories and projects. There emerges in this gathering the curving, winding, folding of women’s lives. . . . The sinuous undulates, ripples in the breeze. It slithers silvery on moonlit nights. The sinuous billows in the waving fields of corn, the flowing of a mane, the rolling in laughter of joyous celebration. At the same time, the sinuous names the sinew, the tendon tough and strong. Here anger and revolt are embedded in women’s muscles, giving us the endurance to shape a world of our priorities and delights.” Female existence is “neither that of the straight line, which proceeds in an upright, orderly sequence, nor like that of the perfect circle, which repeats itself without variation.”

Sinuosity represents strength because it bends but doesn’t break. Like a river flowing through a valley, there is continuity and direction. There is beauty in the curve of a wave or in the flowing shapes of Gaudi’s architecture. And there is wholeness and beauty in the sinuous path of my life.

Photos courtesy of: http://www.geo.uu.nl/ and commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gaudi_b1.jpg

1 comment:

Stephanie V said...

I love the word and I have always admired Gaudi's work. They go together very nicely.