150 We are all lame

I was walking in downtown Salt Lake City one cold evening when hunger ambushed me and I realized I could use nourishment. I remembered a deli ahead and walked with renewed determination toward what I knew would be a warm and satisfying meal. It was a slow night at the deli and there was only me and a solitary attendant behind the counter. I surveyed the menu and chose a large Italian sandwich. The attendant, a young man of about twenty or so, asked me if I was ready to order. I nodded yes and told him what I wanted. He repeated back what he thought was my order. But he got it wrong and I corrected him. A shadow of frustration must have crossed my face because he blurted out, “I’m sorry I’m lame, I can’t hear very well.”

In the dim light I noticed behind his ears two large hearing aids. Ashamed at the possibility he had detected my impatience I said, “No, please! Not at all. I’m a mumbler” (which is often true). I made myself understood, the attendant prepared my sandwich, and I left the restaurant. I enjoyed the warmth of the sandwich as much as the sandwich itself as I walked back to the studio.

The cold but pleasant evening gave me time to reflect on my interaction with the young man who had labeled himself lame. I imagined the difficult moments he would have faced in his short life, especially at a time of life when it is important to be like one’s peers. I thought of how my impatience had been detected and how unimportant it was that I had been misunderstood for the briefest of moments.

I have since reflected on that young man’s humility and how he helped me see my weakness of impatience. We are all lame, maimed by one experience or another. Some of our disabilities are visible. Others are not and because they are not seen are perhaps even more debilitating.

I have added subtitles to several of my videos (links below). If you know of a student of painting who is hearing impaired I hope you will forward these videos. I have started with what I think are the most important topics but in time hope to add subtitles to all of them. It may take some time but I hope it will be of some use.

I hope you enjoy a beautiful Christmas Season!

Brad Teare December 2013

Getting greens right
Rediscovering Black and White
Exploring composition
Painting a small landscape
Another acrylic 1 of 3

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Updated: 13th July 2024
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