jane: a conversation julia and i had about this book sticks in my mind. julia told me that the main character had only one outfit for all the years he lived in refugee camps in africa. when he was going to come to america, he was given a few more clothes for the cold weather he would encounter. he was shocked that he was supposed to wear so many pieces at once: not only the shirt and shorts he was used to, but also shoes and socks, long sleeved shirt and coat. he was told that when he arrived in america, he would be given more clothes (a few more pants and shirts, i'm guessing). he wondered why he would need to wear all of those clothes at once. it makes me smile to think of the picture he must have imagined. he'd be wearing something like 4 shirts, 2 pairs of pants, 5 pairs of socks, shoes, and a coat all at once. at the same time, i am intrigued by this idea of a totally different perspective from mine. this boy/man had lived just fine with his one pair of shorts and t-shirt. he was not going to become smarter or better when he had more clothing. he was just going to be more accepted in a different culture. it may be easier to function with 2 shirts and 2 pairs of pants, so that you can wear something while washing one set...and we may need a few layering pieces for surviving the climate. i just find it so interesting to think about the fact that our perspective of needing so many pieces of clothing and having nothing to wear as we gaze into our stocked closets…this perspective is foreign to so many…and the perspective that one outfit is plenty is foreign to us. i don't want to just swallow the perspective my culture hands me. i want to think for myself. this boy from sudan has so many things to teach me! i want to learn to see differently.
a good lie is also about this topic and is quite good.
what are you reading?
julia + jane