Monday, August 31, 2009

Nether Nexus 9/01/09

In order to know what's what you have to read not only between the lines but behind them.

Welcome to my vagabond world.
I know what I said. I think I know what I meant by what I said. But I'm not sure if I know why I said it.

I college I took a geology course. We took field trips, and one day we went into someone's backyard to look at a big rock sticking out of the ground. The teacher explained that it was stratified rock, which meant that at some ancient time it was lying flat on the surface of the earth. But this rock was jutting out at an angle.

Then we went miles away to another place and came upon an outcropping of the same rock which was jutting out in the opposite direction. The teacher explained how the earth had buckled and caused the rock to realign itself into a wave and that weather had eroded the higher parts of that wave. He said that there was probably some place where the rock could be found jutting back down into the earth again.

I was impressed by the fact that a geologist could see the shape and movement of that rock even though most of it had eroded away. But I was also fascinated by realizing that the uneroded part of the rock was under the ground. The movement of the earth had caused it to bend into a huge concave arc and that if we dug down deep enough we would find where the rock was at the turn of that arc.

I once attended a lecture on forestry for the general public. It was a talk about trees. A large part of the lecture was about roots. I knew that trees had roots, but I didn't realize to what extent the roots were important to the tree and that depending on the tree, in terms of bulk, some roots are as big as the tree. While the upper part of the tree is sending out shoots and buds, forming leaves and branches and gradually growing taller, the roots are groping their way through the earth, like a bunch of worms looking for sustenance.

Both of those experiences got me thinking about the hidden meaning of things. I began to wonder what was behind, underneath and responsible for things. I also began to apply it to my job as an actor. A piece of dialogue in a script usually has two levels to it. One is what you say and the other is what you really mean, You say "What time will dinner be served?" What you mean is "I'm very hungry."

But then I began to look deeper into the script. I was doing a two character comedy in New York. At one point the other character drops to the floor and has a tantrum, pounding his fists on the stage. I stood watching him. We were in rehearsal and the director wanted to know what I was doing. I said that I was trying to understand his tactic. The actor said "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar" quoting Freud. I said a cigar is always a cigar but on the stage it means something. I repeated that I was trying to understand the character's tactic at having its fit, but that it did not mean the character knew what it was, It was an eye opener. Can people do something which seems to have no reason, but which in fact does have a reason hidden from the person who's doing it? Of course. It happens all the time. Furthermore, can a person do something for an apparent reason while the real reason is hidden from him? How aware are we of the real reasons we do things?

The birds and squirrels that sit on the branches of the tree are totally unaware of what is going on in the ground underneath that tree. And so are we, in our lives, most of the time.

DB - Vagabond Journeys
Happy September.

This is not a contest.

A young man out west just took home 88 million dollars from the lottery.

Whether you play the lottery or not, if you suddenly had 88 million dollars, or the equivalent of whatever your currency is, what are the first three things you would do with it?

You have all summer to answer if you wish.

20 responses so far.



Beth said...

Hmm...hidden agendas, both in others and in ourselves. Without a doubt. Hugs, Beth

miss alaineus said...

i myself am currently preparing mentally to be working with the hidden agendas of a bunch of 11-12 year olds.

those hidden agendas control so much of the classroom climate it's frightening, and for many of the kids, makes it damn near impossible to reach them.

like what you've done with the place!


Bonnie Bonsai said...

Hmmm meaning behind the lines....

thought provoking ... makes me think that oftentimes i question people's motives.... that is the agenda behind the question.

some doings are done in good faith and with good intentions. some do good things hoping to get something back. that carries a hidden agenda.

great to see you in your usual form DB. And thanks for the visit to Deniz Inan's Chopin1986 blog.

Lisa said...

I'd like to believe most of my reasons for doing what I do are clear without hidden meaning. I remember people in banking who always had an ulterior motive behind what they were doing.

Silver said...

sure, we all do things according to our our own convictions and reasons- often times the motives or reasons may appear obvious- sometimes not. Either way, i really don't care as long as i know why i am doing it. Period.


Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Interesting thought/question, do we have hidden agendas even from ourselves. Something to ponder :o)