Susan Stromberg-Stein who created Osmosis from brass and steel, a sculpture to be found in the grounds of Rideau Hall near the cherry trees, says that by this word she means
a life process that goes on whenever two or more elements inpenetrate [sic]
People, their customs and ideals go through a form of osmosis as they adapt ... to each other.
She's not only thinking of couples like Chris and me who've been adapting to each other for forty years or so, but also of the different elements in Canadian society. It's true that after a while people tend to start taking on the characteristics of the company they share. Teachers often acquire the childishness of their protégés and I'm afraid police or prison wardens risk becoming as aggressive as the criminals they're employed to control. I must confess I catch myself in old-ladyish mannerisms and ways of thinking after spending time with old ladies!
Not only have I just spent a month with a 90 year old; I have also been visiting some octogenarians recently. Chris sang (with me at the piano) to Jack a few times, I sang to Melita and Alec and I showed Claude my photos of my grandson. Of the relatively younger generation, since this time last month I've been associating with Tanya, Peter, Greta (had those three round to supper this week), Elva, Laurie, Carol, Don, Francine, Roger (going to see them all again tonight), John, Jill, Liz, Adele, Darlene, Sandy, Isabel, Pat, Barbara, Carys, and Rosemary, Alan and Sue, not forgetting Vivien, Ray and their daughter Suzie who's a music prof at Harvard. Plenty of different influences to be mixed and merged among that little crowd.
Of course willingness has to be part of it. At the Bytowne Cinema Liz, Mum and I watched a dark comedy, Easy Virtue, (based on a Noel Coward play) about an American girl's absolute refusal to be assimilated by a 1930s upper class English household. They couldn't accept her, either!
osmosis |äzˈmōsis; äs-|
noun Biology & Chemistry
• a process by which molecules of a solvent tend to pass through a semipermeable membrane from a less concentrated solution into a more concentrated one, thus equalizing the concentrations on each side of the membrane.
• the process of gradual or unconscious assimilation of ideas, knowledge, etc. : what she knows of the blue-blood set she learned not through birthright, not even through wealth, but through osmosis.