On U-Turns

Last weekend, I made a vision board using cut-out images and words from a pile of old magazines. I chose photos, phrases, and colors that caught my eye, drew my attention in. Stripped of their context, these cutouts took on new meaning. Once pasted on my board, the 2006 National Geographic’s photo of Yellowstone bubbling mud pots transformed into a symbol of steadiness and calm once. The quote “Same Kid / New Tricks”–snipped from an article in Parenting Magazine–seemed like a good motto for a new year full of learning and changes. I liked the colors in a full page photo of a bright yellow cargo ship alone in a wide expanse of empty ocean. The photo, taken from above, had a lonely, surreal quality to it. In the vast ocean, the massive boat looked small. Next to the ship, in the middle of the water I pasted the cut-out word “U-turn.” I liked the contrast between the ship’s straight path through the water and the nimble curve of “U-Turn.” I imagined the boat’s captain spewing cuss words as he realized mid-way across the Atlantic that he had forgotten his passport, then turning the ship around in a slow wide arc, doubling back.

U-turn. The written word perfectly describes the action. A reversal, a return, an abrupt change of direction. At stop lights, U-turns are harried and panicked, a car whipping itself around a median to avoid oncoming traffic. U-turns are urgent, necessary, sometimes dangerous. With word “U-turn” plastered next to the image of the ship plowing mindlessly towards its port, I wanted to remind myself that sometimes dramatic, whip-lash inducing change is necessary. As necessary as plowing straight ahead, maintaining momentum to reach the destination. Continue reading “On U-Turns”