Thursday, August 2, 2007

Open your Eyes, my Friend

(Please start story on July 18)

“Let’s watch television,” Dusty said.

“A splendid idea,” responded Augusta, “where is the controller?”

“Over there, on the floor, in the corner,” replied Dusty

Augusta started to get up, until Dusty put her hands on his shoulders and pushed him back down.

“Don’t think for a minute you are going to move that controller. It has been in the corner collecting dirt for a few years now, and I’m sure the batteries are dead as well. As well, the bunnies that surround it would be disturbed if you move it.”

“Hey, wait a minute. How are we going to watch TV if there is no power? Do you have a battery operated TV or something?”

“Augusta, you have so much to learn. You unfortunately understand your responsibility to uphold the law, and that is about it.”

Augusta was thinking that this woman was really far gone, but he decided to keep listening. He learned this strategy in a workshop he took about dealing with the mentally ill.

“What do you see in the picture tube, Augusta?”

“I just see a few reflections,” Augusta replied.

“Ok. Now I’m going to light a candle and I want you to see all the subtle changes. Look at the flickering in the reflection. Oh, I can now see you in the reflection. Let’s just watch it a while and you’ll see the magic of minimalism.”

Dusty felt that her education was not wasted when she used big words. She remembered one thing from each class she had taken. In Art Appreciation she had a quirky teacher who not only spouted “less is more” in every class, but showed the class on the last day a film by the Canadian film maker, Michael Snow, called Wavelength.

The film teaches one to increase the sensitivity of their senses almost as if they were trying to meditate but couldn’t get rid of the “chatter.” It shows a day in a NY city loft, where nothing too much happens for 30 minutes except the light and the street noises change (like a symphony of light and sound), and the camera moves toward the window.

Dusty was smart enough not to tell Augusta about Wavelength, at least for now.

“Augusta, why don’t you sit on the couch and I’ll sit on the chair. Move to the couch in slow motion and we’ll watch it on the television. Then I’ll sit in the chair. See how my refection moves in the glass.”

“This is silly, lady.” Augusta said. “There is a ball game on tonight, and we are watching these dumb reflections on a piece of glass. Do you think you could pull this off in the neighborhood bar? The guys would start chanting ‘turn on the game, turn on the game.’”

“Be still and open your eyes, my friend.”