Thursday, October 28, 2010
“…you hear a feel,…and you really absorb it somehow.”
Keeping a sense of humor in good stead is very wise for mental health. For example, if someone won’t talk about their alienation from me (e.g., someone’s teen self sense resurrected by my presence), I keep a sense of humor about it (or try my best). If their alienation is innocuous (let me call it good faith alienation), they’ll see that teasing them about it is innocent; I just want to understand. If the alienation is in bad faith (e.g., projecting bad feeling into me that isn’t actually mine), then they’ll likely have no tolerance for being teased about their alienation.
If (As) I have good feeling toward someone else, I’d laugh when I’m told I always leave the room when they enter it. That’s ridiculous. It’s funny. We might recall the series of coincidences that caused the departures. We might laugh about the way that coincidences fall into patterns. Maybe I just have such high esteem for their presence that I assume they need me to stop my prattle with someone and move on. Maybe they’re so affecting that I lose my thought in what I was saying to others and leave—too much light, but I’ll never confess it to them.
Having no humor about odd patterns is symptomatic of a problem. In such a case, it’s good practice to want to get beyond the problem.
Suppose I have a friend whose blog I respond to regularly via another blog of mine (one blog writing in part to another one, as well as doing other things). I presume that he’s aware of what I’m doing. (He does know about my blog “to” him) and seems to post as if he knows I read him). Suppose I have an awfully-alienated actual scene with him, thereby concluding that he’s not aware of my ongoing praise of his work. This could be a quite-dramatic occasion for realizing a difference between reality and actuality. An impish side of me, feeling that the situation is daimonically delicious (a haunting of the Halloween aura?), could revel in the difference—except that his ignorance is painful.
So, just tell him the reality?
He doesn’t [now removing myself—or just a first-person voice—from the narrative], and he wonders why.
I wonder how narrators ever know such things (presuming he isn’t an author’s alter ego doubly displaced through a narrator’s entertainment of the other).
I’ll let the little drama remain a treasure of the difference, trekking a dependence on the other’s curiosity—i.e., lack of it, thus his living against a darkness of what’s lacking, a little tragedy of lost time.
But I’m just prospecting. Stories emerge from somewhere.
“If you don’t care enough about your discomfort to want to address it, thus find out the degree of my good feeling toward you,” the story might go, “then that’s a problem—ours? yours? not mine.” All he can do is be open, good humored, and cordial (though he would wonder deeply about his fidelity to the reality/actuality difference: his requiring the other’s curiosity). Someday, the other might have a great laugh, when the other discovers how dearly he regarded the other’s stances, views, wit, self deprecations, little obsessions, what all.
Anyway, genuine rapport is a wonderful experience. When it comes naturally with someone else, but later ceases, it’s good to want to restore it. If the other doesn’t want to, that deserves respect. But also deserving of respect is wanting to restore the rapport (disregarding weird motives of self withholding). Relating to the other as if there is rapport when there’s not can get surreal, but it’s healthy to be open and rapportous, even when the other is not. This is an important part of living well: always being open to gaining rapport, repairing lost rapport, and being ready to do what one can to have it or regain it. If the other persistently doesn’t want good relations, so be it. But it’s saddening to see, for example, someone say they’re not uncomfortable with someone else when the actuality is clearly otherwise, but the first person would sacrifice a friendship rather than try to find out and repair misunderstanding.
Caring about endearing fools is another feature of living well. Being saddened by their presumptuousness is no good reason for pretending that rapport isn’t valuable and possible, though it gets surreal to act rapportously with someone who acts as if I’m severely missing something by not acting coldly (as if I have some weird need for their attention).
A posting on good stances toward others (and fictional prospecting) looks like an abrupt departure from praising a venture to study Obama’s thinking, which looks like an abrupt departure from a fascination with childhood curiosity, discussed over a week ago, as if I’ve departed from that interest altogether—no way valid.
That’s the way points occur in a landscape—like improvisational music. As Esperanza Spalding says today in an interview: “And when it comes time to write a balanced piece…, all you’re listening for is what sounds right in that moment. It doesn’t matter what genre or idiom or anything that it comes from. It’s just, what’s going to make this piece work?”
Intrinsic appeals indeed, Esperanza.
Curiosity, imagination, empathy, caring widely and deeply, aspiration, audacity, improvisational courage—yet prudence: ambitious and patient. Singular lives, singular times, and so on.
-- gary e. davis --- 8:32 PM