Gossip - 18” x 35 ½ Sometimes when settling down with paper and pencil to create a new design, I can begin with one idea and end up with a totally different outcome. Initially I had planned to draw a couple of hen chair pads but the first bird’s beak looked like it was talking and the idea was born to have a brood all clucking away, gossiping in the henhouse. This design was one of those cases where the name of it adds to the content so I positioned the word "Gossip" along with other hen speak around the outer border. At first glance anyone would know the story this rug tells because the hens really do look like they are tossing a bit of gossip about. They look excited and jubulent as they walk around the barnyard. Perhaps they're squawking about an unwanted rooster in the hen house. Or perhaps one scarlet Red Hen has been caught crossing the field to a neighbouring farm for bit of cock-a-doodle-do. Perhaps the rooster is showing a little too much attention to a new chick, getting a few feathers riled from his regular brood.
Coincidentally, I had a discussion about gossip the other day with Shane. He’s still young, and appalled that people that like or love you can talk behind your back. He's been raised in a home where gossip is second place to conversations about our own lives and the world beyond mostly due to my no nonsense second husband. Not that we are perfect, we gossip too, to a lessor degree, but I always found our lives busy enough without having the time to bother about anyone elses. And I've been grist for the gossip mill, having a previous, volitile marriage that provided more than its share of dirty laundry fodder that was bantered about like a ball on a ping pong table from one end of town to another. Being on the wrong side I learned how much it can hurt. Not that I don't share the occasional tidbit with friends to make conversation interesting, after all talking about myself can only hold an audience captive for so long....
Anyway, Shane has been disillusioned when he found out someone he liked and respected said something about him and it hurt. He thinks friends and family should be loyal. The poor, deluded boy..... Me, the wise old hen, knows the scoop. I’ve been on this planet long enough to know that everyone does it. Idle gossip is everywhere, mostly innocent stuff but sometimes it’s hurtful and condemning. But still, it’s only talk, only words, conversations, not like sticks and stones that can break blood vessels and bones. Gossip can only hurt if you let it.
Realistically, after discussing the weather and what we've had for breakfast and what extraordinary thing our kids did that day, what’s left? World news is depressing, so it boils down to local tattle to entertain. There isn’t a person alive that doesn’t share the odd juicy tidbit, who’s doing what to whom. As long as others are screwing up, it makes us look better right? Until of course it’s our turn on the rack and then it’s another matter.
My interpretation of gossip is “If you won’t say it to a person’s face and don’t want them to know you’ve said it, it’s gossip”. Sometimes it comes down to opinions, we all have them like that common sphincter that's part of our anatomy. Mostly it's mild stuff, but some take gossip to higher levels, making an occupation of it, living viacariously though others, excelling until they should be awarded a PHD for burying their nose where it shouldn't be sniffing. I’ve been around a long time and I can’t name one person, myself included, who hasn’t said something behind someone’s back at one time or another. Ah come on folks, own up to it. “I heard Ben and Veronia broke up.” No matter how sympathetic you are, it’s gossip especially when we begin to surmise why it happend. Gossip in a dictionary is defined as typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true, no matter how we think we might know best, until you've walked in another person's shoes it's only conjecture, but the tongues continue to wag filing in the gaps to embellish the tale.
I'm not preaching or apologzing, I'm tarring myself with the same busybody brush but I take comfort in knowing that the majority of us aren’t mean, just maybe a bit bored and need a little titilation. It’s conversation. We can’t take it personally, and besides, what we don’t know won’t hurt us most of the time. I know that same person that said something hurtful about Shane would jump up to defend him with their life, so we need to get over it, only sweat the stuff that’s life threatening or immoral.
My dear mother’s philosophy was best, she would say, “When they talk about me they leave someone else alone”. How wise she was. And then there’s, “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones” and “He who is without sin can cast the first stone”.....well, if we all took a good look at ourselves, there would never be any broken glass.....
Gossip - Designed by Christine Little
Hooked by Jen McAdams