GUEST BLOGGER: JESSIE HAWKES

Jessie grew up on an island off the coast of Maine that didn’t have a grocery store. Now she takes advantage of living in a buzzing metropolis with a grocery store (Provo, UT) by trying her hand at new stuff to cook, especially ethnic vegetarian dishes. An avid rock climber, she has climbed all over the western U.S. and New England. Jessie is working on her undergrad degree majoring in English and minoring in German, and just finished a study abroad in Vienna. She has four brothers, two cool parents, a couple of fish, crazy awesome hair, and a beautiful voice with which she likes to sing in the shower.

Recently in Sunday School I heard an interesting idea. The teacher of the class (which happened to be about love and communication within relationships) told a story about his friends, recently married and living in San Francisco. For their wedding, they received a traditional Korean gift (they’re Korean—so the present wasn’t as random as it sounds). The gift was two miniature ducks, carved from wood. The couple would place the ducks on a mantle or shelf, and used them as a weather vane for their relationship.

Ducks facing each other: all was well. No misunderstandings, no hurt feelings. He was using enough dishsoap in the washer, she was folding the towels the right way, the dog was being fed—things were going smoothly.

However, a duck facing away: trouble. Someone’s hurt, upset, a little confused, feeling uncommunicated with. Maybe her back is sore today, maybe the radio was on too loud last night, maybe there were unkind words said in the car, maybe there was just a little problem with the tax receipts—but now, we’re all aware of it, thanks to the unassuming, unbiased ducks, and now, it can be solved.

Strange? Maybe a little. Visual representations of personal conflicts are always a bit uncomfortable. Think of the upside though: if I had my feelings hurt, but knew my (theoretical) husband was too busy to talk at the moment, how simple to sneak to the table and do a quick rearrangement of the Duck Creche, knowing that resolution would come quickly, at a better time for both of us. Also, ducks can’t gaze in spite; no hurtful words would need to be said to initiate the issue, it could just be a simple conversation. (“Sooo, the ducks are fortelling a little conflict, hmmm?” “You look happy tonight sweetheart, but the ducks tell another story…” Heh.) But seriously, no emotional elephants lurking in the corners of the living room. And maybe, just looking at the two, unassuming animals gazing in opposite directions would be enough to soften my perspective. Interesting, how when I am forced to take physical (and not just verbal) action on my inner feelings, I tend to adjust them. Are the dishes left in the sink really worthy of a duck adjustment? Probably not.

So, I haven’t scampered out to buy duck effigies yet, but I’m thinking about it! Meanwhile, I’ll just try to keep my duck facing in.

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