It’s funny when people say “you’re lucky you found something that you love doing.”
It reminds me of that thing Picasso supposedly said when some Parisian marveled at his 5-minute napkin drawing: “Sure it took 5 minutes… and forty years.” Quoted very loosely, but hopefully you get the idea. It’s a result of time and effort.
It’s also a strange thing to say (although I do understand what they mean) because it’s not like taking something from a grab-bag and deciding, “Oh yeah this one’s pretty good. I can do this.”
I used to think that way, as a child. I had no idea about the weight of things. There were fun things (like drawing) and horrible, boring things (like math). What depth was there? For a child, why not change your mind weekly: Teacher, Disney Animator, Doctor… What else? Same with subjects in school: all treated basically equally.
It’s only fairly recently that I started to see that maybe all’s not so equal at all. So when someone says “you’re lucky,” I wonder if they really don’t see it. It has nothing to do with luck. It’s just plain wonder. Taking a step back from living for a second, to wonder at it. Isn’t it WEIRD? Isn’t it interesting that you’re this bunch of non-sentient stuff that’s put together with some bits of code and rules and all of it comes together to make this “living” thing? Don’t you want to know more about that?
It’s unlike anything else, to wonder at that. You can say history is important or finances are important, but then it’s arbitrary human stuff. It could go this way or that, and have little effect on nature outside of our silly little planet. (Although we like to pretend otherwise, and superimpose biological feelings generally unique to our species onto the rest of the universe, with phrases like “Love conquers all.”) But there’s something you can learn about that does affect EVERYthing, regardless of planet or size or anything… Is that luck? It’s noticing. Finally noticing.
It’s important that humans have varied communities with members that have different skillsets in order to function, so we can’t possibly all have the same interests. But if you’re really wondering what to do with yourself, why revert to that grab-bag of subjects? Certainly sometimes circumstances dictate how you can proceed, but when you can make a choice, Why not Be Interested? There’s so much more outside of us…
We can’t answer questions about ourselves the same way anymore — by just thinking about it philosophically, looking for some metaphysical reason.
Call it reductionist if you must, but it’s beautiful that even weekly we’re ever-closer to answering our deepest questions by looking into our biological, chemical — and deeper still — physical blueprints.
When wondering why we animals do as we do, we can also inquire about what the particles do, and how those activities travel up and down the chain of magnifications to create a whole, and the epiphenomenon we finally witness.
I was asked this recently.
The intention was good, but those words in that order are entirely wrong. This is the kind of art I’m *least* interested in — a shallow concept with a little Science thrown in to liven things up and make it all seem that much more GENIUS!
But, I remain interested in Art as a means of communication, for one thing. Not design or illustration or painting or anything so specific — these are all forms Art can take, although they are not necessarily Art. Carrots are vegetables but not all vegetables are carrots, right? So aren’t we grocers, and not carrot-men?
By Art, whatever form it takes, I mean the one practice that’s free enough to load with something heavy, the one that can handle ideas about our universe that won’t fit elsewhere. Art as a vehicle for those ideas and experiences that are too extravagant to allow elsewhere.
So, no. In truth, my agenda is closer to something like studying “science” (specifics aside) so that my art may *carry* it.
OS: Never said this.
And what I mean by “never said this” is that I may have said something like it or perhaps even those words exactly, but my meaning when I say these things is loaded —
I don’t approve of the whole “Secret” phenomenon that encourages people to
think believe that they have control over their lives via magical/supernatural/”energy”-related phenomena.
Thought influences action. It influences chemistry. It influences processes, and thus what an individual system notices, what they focus on and carry out and look for.
Thought is definitely powerful, but let’s think about why that happens and how, and find out more about it… not just chalk it up to magic*.
That’s all I’m saying.
*Nor attribute it to wave-particle duality &/or quantum physics.
My reply to a question about whether I speak other languages; I wasn’t sure if the asker wanted his question published, but felt the answer is relevant to what I write about here:
I grew up speaking English and Ukrainian, and then learned French as well. I’ve often thought about the differences in a multilingual brain vs. a single-language speaker’s. Not so much physical differences as the way in which we perceive things. For example, when learning a new language, as with French, I’m able to try to understand what a word means in that language as opposed to trying to directly translate it. This is important; as we all know, a lot of things can’t be translated well, so the only way to understand them is to have a grasp of the culture they belong to and their history. That opens up whole other avenues of of communication that aren’t there when we try to simply learn another language at face value, relating it only to our own language, our own experience.
Having said all that, I wonder if this has contributed to my strong dislike of anthropocentrism in general — of the human tendency to try to comprehend the world on uniquely human terms, instead of making an effort to know nature from outside themselves and in its own languages.