Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Letter Eye

Apropos of my post a couple of days ago (here), I was going to post a letter as if written by my Grandmother (my greatest hero) to me. However, in writing it, it became much too personal - not in a revealing secrets way, but in a "this is best kept between you n' me" kind of way. So, I've decided not to share it here. It's not that I fear sharing anything with my reading audience... it's just that... I'm just not comfortable with being that naked. Sometimes it's difficult enough for me to look in the mirror without having an audience.

But. It was a good letter and a good exercise.

It taught me that, like my Grandmother was, I'm a quiet fighter. It's not passivity and it's not apathy. It's a matter of sitting back and watching where the chips are going to fall. Karma. When I think of Shakespeare's line, "Revenge is a dish best served cold," I don't think of someone sitting and plotting for years until the offender is completely unprepared for the moment. Instead, I think of karma coming back around (it always does) and knocking the offender upside the head just when they need it most.

I also learned (in the ersatz letter from my Grandma), that I'm an observer. I've always been an observer. Even as a child, in my reluctance to participate for fear of not fitting in, I sat back and watched. Everyone. Everything. I've been soaking up and storing it all for years. There's an untapped wealth in me, not just of my own stories, but of those I've observed. It's why I was a good student without ever having to study. I simply paid attention. Turns out that outside looking in is the catbird seat for an artist.

Point of view is everything. Looking at our lives with fresh eyes, with someone else's eyes, gives us a perspective that we don't see otherwise. While it sounds like a selfish and pretentious exercise, it really isn't. Quite the opposite, it is extremely humbling, and even a little humiliating.

If we were to sanction ourselves to be all that others see in us, we would truly free ourselves. We would be formidable forces in this world.

Give yourself a break. Put on someone else's glasses today.

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