Tuesday, December 22, 2015
hiding behind devotion
And what a sticky wicket. Everyone needs to immerse themselves in whatever profession or discipline they choose. How else would anyone learn? But at some point (and I can't pretend to know that point), that immersion and devotion becomes as much a hindrance and a defense mechanism as it does a possibility for the good it may claim to do.
To the extent that any of this is true, I think that in the search for an instructor or leader, it is a good idea to find someone who is a bit older and a bit more seasoned in the given profession. Age and experience do not guarantee a willingness to put discipline and self-importance on a back burner, but the possibility exists in ways that it did not when the professional first set out.
Today, for example, I have a doctor's appointment with a podiatrist. I looked him up on the Internet, partly because I wanted to find out where his office is but also because I wanted to look at a face and guesstimate the likelihood that his experience would be tailored to my needs rather than his credentials or status. His face suggested I had a 50/50 chance, but since I have to go to the appointment anyway, it hardly matters what I guesstimate. I wanted some reassurance ... and naturally, the foolishness of my quest became apparent when I looked at the mug shot.
Still, the habit interests me since I too have indulged in its come-hither wiles ... getting so savvy and adroit and well-protected by expertise that the wide-open nourishment that expertise is capable of granting is lost to view.
Maybe it's all a bit like gathering firewood. It can take long hours and sore muscles to gather and split and stack. It requires a blinkered attentiveness and devotion. But in the end, what's important is the warming and unpredictable ash to which it is all reduced.