Keeping My Nose to the Grindstone

Keeping My Nose to the Grindstone

The difference between the black and white rhino is not their actual color but the shape of their lips. The black rhino has a pointed lip to pluck fruits off branches and to sort leaves from twigs. The white rhino grazes, and so has a flat, wide lip suitable for grasses.

Both the black and white rhino have poor eyesight. He is more frightened than he is aggressive. Although, when he is spooked, he appears to possess a bad temper and be easily provoked. This is why the rhino comes to mind just as my family memoir, Myopia, a memoir, reaches the press. Nathan Mitnick, the star of this memoir, is somewhat of a rhino himself. Prone to charge when faced head on, Nathan (as well as the rest of us) all suffered from extreme myopia. And we were taught, from the earliest age, to keep our noses to the grindstone. Discipline. Perseverance. Move steadily along the somewhat dubious path, eyes front and center, or off to the side, as the case may be.

Now, the rhino has a pretty thick skin, but like any healthy narcissist, he is sensitive and emotionally vulnerable. On the face of things, the skin is thick, but in metaphor, the skin is papery thin. In other words, he can dish out a great deal more than he can take.

Screen Shot 2017-06-06 at 11.10.56 PMWhen coming in close contact with a rhino, one can instantly pick up on his primitive and prehistoric nature. And although my sister was exceptionally skilled at detecting these  traits, I remained oblivious and thus subject to Nathan’s predictable unpredictability. My sister had the gift of “rhino whisperer,” while I was blindsided every time!

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