Saw the Dian Arbus exhibition at the MET. Now I did go to sleep at 6am the night prior, so I may have been a bit dulled down, but, be that as it may, it felt like something was missing. Something strange about her work leading me to like the exerpts from her diary more than the photography. And then I finally realized – to me, in most of her work, there was missing an element of beauty and humor that I enjoy so much. It was as if she made a documentary – a very skillful and truthful documentary, but one that is at the same time bitter and sometimes painful to watch. Though this might be due to my being part of a consumerist society that has concentrated on refining the art of shocking… but Avedon was from the same time period and his work seems much more poignant and beautiful… Still, perhaps I just lack the ability to perceive her work much like I can’t fully appreciate complex jazz any more than I can sophisticated mathematics…
Something else happened that day. I have had to face yet again my social quirks. Sometimes hanging out is easy, effortless… And sometimes, something that has been happening on a fairly recurring basis: sitting next to someone feeling grossly inadequate unable to say anything to establish rapport. And a few years ago I would say “Well, you are just too different”. But then, while it could have been the case – different cutlures, different books, etc. we didn’t know each other enough – there was some other cause. One possibility is perhaps that I, with my inferiority complex and sex drive humbled myself into a corner. That along with misinterpretations of my actions could have led to distance. Another possibility is that due to not seeing each other for a long time, we both chose roles for ourselves and each other. And when neither one of us played the part, we were as comfortable as cats trying to run in a wheel made for a gerbil.
Though what really burns me is the amount of discomfort this seems to have caused. No matter how different people are, no matter how disappointed – after just meeting someone it really shouldn’t be so frustrating. Yet it was despite us both being mature adults.
Having said that, it was very refreshing to know what she thought even if it wasn’t flattering. What’s more surprising is that after the argument, I felt like rapport was finally established and good will restored… albeit it was as she was leaving, but still.
Morals of the story:
– I have trouble reading people. What I perceive as semi-comfortable may, in fact, be a crossed border
– letting things drag out when there’s no rapport only makes it worse
– fighting reveals common ground
– being truthful, even if it’s not nice, is for the better
Yet, if you are walking with someone who isn’t feeling very good, isn’t smiling, and the communication isn’t happening, how can one establish rapport without being insensitive or disrespectful? Provided it is actually can be established.
And I just realized something – I don’t know what drives her, what she finds interesting… moreover, I feel like I’ve forgotten those things that she has mentioned – perhaps a defensive reaction by my mind?
Feels like pieces of the puzzle are still missing, and with them it might be so simple. If only everyone blogged.