I grew up with Mondrian. Not with Piet himself, but with his visual influence. I'm pretty sure he's the guy who taught me to ride my blue bicycle around the block with four right turns, and to spread out my beach towel on the concrete squares at the swimming pool so it didn't overlap another towel.
If I hadn't grown up with a large Mondrian reproduction on the living room wall, I might not have understood aerial point-of-view, or how to walk from the YWCA after my swim lesson to the public library next door while eating a Tootsie Roll. I might never have navigated from Miller and Paine to Golds department store.
The palette of Mondrian obviously represents the intense primary color celebration when my mom successfully parked the '54 Chevy in downtown Lincoln after what seemed like hours of circling blocks fortified with barricades of dirty gray refrozen snow. Hell is being bundled for all eternity clad in a fuzzy parka, snowpants, boots, scarf, mittens, and knit hat into the backseat of an overheated Chevy next to a carsick sibling with no means of influencing the vehicle, the weather, traffic, or the timid driver at the wheel. Few people are adept at parallel parking, but straight-in was also agony for my mom.
My preschool art students have learner's permits to drive on the linoleum tile squares in the lunchroom. We have already covered these drivers' ed concepts:
- Coming to a complete stop
- Signaling your turn
- Staying in your lane
- Not being piggy in the WalMart by lot taking more than one parking space
- Not parking so close you can't open the car door without dinging the next car
© 2009 Nancy L. Ruder