Dec 26, 2010
If you’re new to Banjo52, today’s comments will make more sense if you can at least skim the previous two to four posts.
I still hope someone can explain why the words and the idea of one's Way of Being in the World have such purchase with me--and others maybe not so much. The grasp didn't go away with Santa, if that's what you were hoping.
I think maybe "way," "being," and "world" have more heft than other axioms of this nature--the meaning of life business, the "be kind to strangers" and "do unto others" business. They're not invalid, but they've grown flat with time.
When it comes to writing and other art, here's a thought that's less flattering to those engaged in artistic pursuits: we write and paint and sculpt out of fear of death (the art objects are our children, of course, and therefore our immortality) and out of our supreme egotism and narcissism. "Hey, world, look what I saw, felt, thought, and wrought, ingeniously phrased! What a hot ticket am I!"
Maybe artistic endeavor has very little to do with the artist's understanding of or caring for the world and The Other -- the human, the tree, the salamander, human and natural history, and such grand items -- and everything to do with his love of self. Others' ways of being in the world interest him little or not at all, except for making him sound deep to those who seem to matter in the art world.
Other bloggers and I have expressed a weakness for The Great Gatsby. But I've often wondered--without the best words to express it--how much Fitzgerald wondered about the way of being in the world in the nineteen-teens and -twenties for Jews and African-Americans. Oh, yes, and women of all stripes. Of course, not many Caucasians fretted about that, but some did, and they weren't trying to be a great novelist who, presumably, was trying to shed important light on his world.
So in these pictures and Hopkins’ poem, “Pied Beauty," there might be some additional ways of being in the world. Do you respond to/like/respect/admire/identify with one more than the other? Would you care to make a statement, or several, about ways of being in the world presented and implied in these examples or your own? Will I go away after this? In adulthood, my first pet was a bulldog . . . .
Pied Beauty by Gerard Manley Hopkins : The Poetry Foundation [poem] : Find Poems and Poets. Discover Poetry.