Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Time to wax a little philosophical

"But it had been seen; it had been taken from her. This man had shared with her something profoundly intimate. And, thanking Mr. Ramsay and Mrs. Ramsay for it and the hour and the place, crediting the world with a power which she had not suspected-that one could walk away down that long gallery not alone any more but arm in arm with somebody-the strangest feeling in the world, and the most exhilarating..."

Today in class we discussed some passages from To the Lighthouse. It's not exactly a book that keeps me on the edge of my seat, but it does give me some things to think about. One of the main characters, Lily Briscoe, is a painter. And yet, she is afraid of painting. She doubts her capabilities. She is afraid to let others see her work. Can she really call herself a painter then? If she doubts herself so much? Can I call myself a writer when I go through the same chain of thought?
But in the end there is this pay off that she speaks of in the passage above. This exhilarating feeling of intimacy that we gain when we share something with other people that we've created. Yes, it's terrifying. But when people see your work, and they understand a little bit more what the world looks like through your eyes, there is nothing better.

That is why I study the humanities; to gain insights into the souls of other people. I want to know what the world looks like through their eyes.

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