He who would search for pearls must dive below.
People are strange. They spend a lot of time and effort underestimating other people. I suppose it's the nasty habit of making comparisons that prompts people to do it. "He can't be as smart as I am. Can he?"
I was coming out of a performance at the Metropolitan Opera House one evening and saw a guy I knew somewhat. He said he was surprised to see me there. He didn't know I was an opera goer. I thought to myself, what would make him think I wasn't? What image did I project of myself which would convince anyone that I wouldn't enjoy the opera" He knew I was in the arts, why not an opera lover?
Another time I was working on an original play and after rehearsal I was having a beer with the author and discussing the play. I said that I thought the character was going through an obscure night of the soul. He said he was surprised that I would know that. Again I wondered what would make him think that about me. After all, one cannot live with going through an obscure night of the soul every now and then, those times when one is confused, things don't make sense and everything seems dark.
If you underestimate people you are in danger of patronizing and condescending. I try never to do it.
I was having a discussion recently with someone who said she never realized that a work of art was actually supposed to have a meaning. She referred to a particular painting of mine and asked if it was allegorical. She was seeing something in it that caused a personal response in her. I replied that all art is allegorical. But then I thought about it and revised my remark to say that all art is allegory.
I could have gone on to say that everything is. All is allegory, metaphor, parable. One doesn't need to go through live analyzing everything to get it to reveal its secrets. That would be an exhausting thing to do. It is enough to know that the secrets are there to be found if one wants to dive deeply.
Another play I was working on had a scene where the other character threw a fit on the stage. The director wanted to know what I was thinking about during it. I said I was trying to figure out the tactic. The other actor said there was no tactic and quoted "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar." I said a cigar is always a cigar but on the stage it has a meaning and I want to know what it is even of your character doesn't know. He was surprised to think there was a meaning behind something that his character wasn't aware of.
One who is content to go through life with a smile and not much on their mind is in for a surprise, hopefully not a shock, when all of a sudden, like a flash of light, something opens up and reveals its mysteries. That is the first big step into wisdom. Pearls to be found.
(This is not a contest.)
In your opinion what is the most amazing thing that could happen during this decade? Make it as outrageous as you want but keep it within the realm of what you consider a possibility.
15 responses so far.
Answers will be published the first day of Summer.
DB - The Vagabond