4 feb. 2008

I like to stretch myself in various ways: reading things I wouldn't normally read, or taking up new hobbies. I feel that the lack of such stretching at previous points in my life led to artificial limits. How many times have you said to yourself: I can't play a musical instrument, learn a foreign language, do math, draw. Things that might seem to be beyond you but really are not in an absolute sense. Even learning to do something badly can be quite instructive, as I learned when I learned to draw just a little bit, and without any real achievement. Now I can picture people's faces after meeting them a few times. Before I learned my very little bit of drawing I couldn't do this.

For example, I am now telling myself-- Well, I could never write anything about music, because I don't have the technical know-how, the ear for harmony, etc... That is a real limit in some sense: I really don't have those capabilities developed to a high degree. What makes it an artificial limit, however, is when the thought of this makes me stop doing something that I might learn something from. I can have "ah-ha" moments even after a middling level of understanding. I could make a serious study of phonology, of harmony, or of Ancient Greek if I really wanted to.

1 comentario:

Thomas Basbøll dijo...

Great connection between the ability to draw and the ability to "picture" faces.

This is also a reason to practice writing descriptive prose: it makes you better able to think about material arrangements.

I think writing prescriptive prose (instructions) makes you better able to feel social arrangements. That's the core of my poetics.

But I may be descending into mysticism.