Flash Memoir: Learning To See

We had dark-colored linoleum in our kitchen at 902 East 9th Street where I grew up. The pattern had squares and rectangles of different sizes with gray jagged mortar lines in-between. The color was a variation of reds and oranges, and my parents had that linoleum installed after we’d lived in the house for a while. It was part of a minimum kitchen redo, along with painting the cabinets and replacing the old wallpaper with sheet rock.

I liked that linoleum. It made the room look a little more rustic than it should have for a Dutch Colonial, but I didn’t care. The color had a richness that made me happy. I didn’t know then what I know now: that color and texture and pattern are important to me. At that time, I just knew that I liked it.

Flash forward fifty years.

I live in a color-rich home surrounded by shapes and textures and patterns that make me feel happy. The more saturated the color, the better I like it. Now I know that what I see has a real impact on how I experience life. I feel enriched by my visual experience.

I see now that I knew intuitively as a child what suited me. No one said, “Look how nice that dark floor looks in contrast to the light baseboard.” Or, “Isn’t that color combination lovely.” No, I noted those things without having the words. That awareness was just part of my basic nature.

It is not a surprise that I married a man whose whole life is about the visual experience.

Now I have the words to describe how I see.

I’m so glad.

brick linoleum

3 Comments Add yours

  1. judyalter says:

    An aunt and uncle who lived two doors from us had the same tile. I spent a lot of time in that kitchen, so it is very familiar to me. Nostalgia trip!

    1. Thanks, Judy. Yes, I loved that linoleum!

    2. Glad to take you back to your aunt and uncle’s house, my dear. Makes me smile.

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