Through the Prism

After passing through the prism, each refraction contains some pure essence of the light, but only an incomplete part. We will always experience some aspect of reality, of the Truth, but only from our perspectives as they are colored by who and where we are. Others will know a different color and none will see the whole, complete light. These are my musings from my particular refraction.


Introvert Power

For as long as I can remember, I've been comfortable doing things alone. Sure, I wanted connections with others and would get lonely without periodic socializing, but many of my favorite activities have been solitary ones. Running, hiking, biking, and swimming. Reading. Since I've been able to drive I've been going to movies by myself. Taking books to restaurants for time out by myself. Sometimes I do my best concentrating and internal focusing when in crowded places surrounded by people--I like the noise and energy as atmosphere, but they may as well not even exist as individual entities.

I enjoy this about myself, but it's been a goal of mine to open myself up more to others, be more extroverted, perhaps, and not be so quietly isolated in my head. Sharing thoughts on this forum and FaceBook and the like has been part of it, but I'm sure I'm different in person now than I used to be. While working through this process I've considered different books. Didn't find many explicit ones I liked, but along the way I bumped into some with actual titles like Introvert Power. Yet they all seemed to me to ultimately miss the point. Reading through the tables of contents and such, they were written to help introverts feel less bad about being introverted yet concluded with strategies for being more extroverted. They kind of preached the value of being internal and comfortable with isolation, but they kind of didn't, and they ultimately validated the common perspective that extroversion is more valuable and more likely to lead to success.

This performance poem, however, gets it exactly right:


And on the subject of isolated activities like reading, I love this article. I always look to see what people are reading and check out the bookshelves when I visit someone for the first time.

Judging a Girl by Her Cover
I'll miss a world where books make the first move

. . . Remember when you could tell a lot about a guy by what cassette tapes—Journey or the Smiths?—littered the floor of his used station wagon? No more, because now the music of our lives is stored on MP3 players and iPhones. Our important papers live on hard drives or in the computing cloud, and DVDs are becoming obsolete, as we stream movies on demand. One by one, the meaningful artifacts that we used to scatter about our apartments and cars, disclosing our habits to any visitor, are vanishing from sight.

Nowhere is this problem more apparent, and more serious, than in the imperilment of the Public Book—the book that people identify us by because they can glimpse it on our bookshelves, or on a coffee table, or in our hands. As the Kindle and Nook march on, people's reading choices will increasingly be hidden from view. We'll go into people's houses or squeeze next to them on the subway, and we'll no longer be able to know them, or judge them, or love them, or reject them, based on the books they carry. . . .


At 8/20/2010 10:05 PM, Blogger Hadrian said...

The first thing I always look at when I go to someone's home is the bookshelves. Always. And when I'm out, and people are reading in public, I do take note of what. Especially when they're women. Of course.


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