I learned something about myself

Getting to know people is tricky. It’s even tricky to get to know yourself. That’s why I find it interesting when I figure myself out a bit. So now, I’ll share that with all of you.

I hear you yawning back there!

A couple weeks ago, I twittered about my general dislike for singing in parts. The conversations that resulted helped me put words to my reasons.

From where I sit, emotion is communicated through means that are loud or intense. If you say something and you’re not being loud or intense, then you obviously don’t mean it. Certainly, that’s true for me. So this applies to the arts. Art that isn’t “loud” or “intense” doesn’t usually connect to me, nor do I feel that I communicate effectively in those forms.

Problem is, I’ve just described most of the high art forms that are commonly employed in our culture. Rather, these forms tend to express emotion through constraint. Ballet, I’m looking at you. As I interact with these forms, while they can be intellectually interesting, they rarely engage my emotions.

As a fun example, here’s Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major. It’s pretty, right? But this version speaks to me a lot more. (And, honestly, this post became an excuse to listen to this version yet again. Like I need an excuse, right?)

So, loud or intense.

Of course, not everyone is like me, which is the tricky part. Because, on the one hand, if I’m trying to reach out to someone else, I need to remember that his emotional expression is going to be different, and I need to learn how to understand that expression. Sometimes, what I perceive as a lack of emotional expression could simply be my failure to see the real expression that is going on.

At the same time, I’m not persuaded that people are always good at emotional expression. Sometimes, the apparent lack of expression is actually a failure by that person to express his emotions.

Yeah, getting to know people is tricky.

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