As some of you who have followed these emails may have observed, I tend to learn my lessons in life, from the observation of the unexpected events that occur. I grew up without any mentors that I implicitly trusted. In fact it was more like the opposite, I completely distrusted the social norms and the institutions that are the cornerstones of our community.
As a young fulla with an immature overview of history, it seemed to me that the church and state had little to offer other than slavery and hypocrisy.
So I stubbornly accepted nothing and attempted to work it out for myself. This is akin to reinventing the wheel, a slow and laborious path, filled with dead ends and flights of fancy.
But the looking has been amazing. Digging into all types of subjects (art, philosophy, religion, music, psychology etc) fearlessly looking for tasty morsels to add to the mosaic.
Back in fifth form (year 11 for you younglings) I had to learn Hamlet for english. This was my introduction to Shakespeare and I had zero interest in some 500 year old way of speaking.
My only interest was how to get through english with the least possible work and get onto my new favourite subject I had just discovered, girls :)
I got the Cliff Notes out of the library and foolishly plagiarised the plot, lazily hardly changing a word. The result was to be expected and it wasn’t good. The teacher dressed me down in front of the class and gave me a C.
Still I surmounted that hurdle and came out with a few pats on the back from friends. All in all not too bad a result and with no internal assessment, no lasting damage done. 10 or so years later after constantly seeing amazing Shakespeare quotes dropped here and there through life, I bit the bullet and went to see Kenneth Branagh's four our epic of Hamlet on the big screen. Fair to say blew my little mind and have been a convert ever since.
Just because something doesn’t gel with you in the moment doesn’t mean that it is useless or irrelevant. Staying open to the new, without any dogmatic reflex to constantly label and categorise is a great practice for life. Every time I step on the mat I try to remain open and inquisitive, to see through my preconceived notions of the body and what it is capable of.
Every moment is new and filled with possibility and inspiration.
As Ophelia says
“we know what we are, but know not what we may be”