“How odd I can have all this inside me and to you it’s just words.” —David Foster Wallace, The Pale King
“There is almost a sensual longing for communion with others who have a large vision. The immense fulfillment of the friendship between those engaged in furthering the evolution of consciousness has a quality impossible to describe.” -Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
I must admit I have not yet read anything by David Foster Wallace but that is apparently an oversight I will have to rectify as soon as possible because, damn, that is a great quote.
It is, indeed, odd, but there’s the rub. We live in this world, this society of human individuals; animals elevated above the animal world by several millennia of invention, and language, and art, but still only a minority, a small minority, are capable of plumbing the depths of others’ minds and souls; of venturing into the world of ideas, and thoughts, and visions. The vast majority walk the city streets or country roads, and smile and say hello when they meet, but the interior of the other person is no more meaningful to them than a building or a tree; something to be interacted with, but beyond hope of truly being understood, much less felt.
Maybe that’s a bit harsh, maybe it sounds like a bit of a negative rant about the human race, and I don’t really mean it that way. When you need somebody to unblock your toilet, you call a plumber and you don’t worry about it to much if he (or she) is interested in philosophy.
And I can’t claim that I’m very adept, myself, at understanding what’s going on inside other people’s heads, or in getting them to understand what’s going on in mine. Still, I try. That’s what I’m looking for. I want to communicate with those individuals who are members of that minority.
The artist seeks an audience. The audience seeks an artist.