Friday, August 31, 2012

Questions Concerning a Frisson

Did you ever have the experience of having read a book, watched a movie, or engaged with any piece of art or entertainment, and had a completely mediocre response, and then you encounter the artifact at a different time and the reading or the viewing or the listening is an entirely different encounter than the one you had before?

And that this second (or third, or tenth) engagement with that artifact--an artifact that previously you were suitably nonplussed enough to rate three out of five stars so that the data aggregator would provide you with a more appropriate recommendation next time out--makes you question everything you thought, said or did during the time you engaged with the the artifact, even if that last encounter with the artifact was as recent as six months ago, because this time your experience with the artifact was literally a life changing experience, life changing as in expanding your world, your capacity to understand, your capacity to love? 

And so the elation and excitement you have over having had that expansive life changing experience,the sheer joy in being moved that way-- because sometimes you worry if you can ever be moved by art or entertainment or anything new in that way ever again--that joy is tempered by that back-of-mind worry about the person who saw and dismissed the artifact in the first place? 

What were you thinking?  What were you feeling? 
Were you feeling?

How have you changed? Have you changed? 
Are you changing still? 

Writing these questions, I sense movement at the corner of my eye, but when I turn there is only a bookshelf, some records, some DVDs.

1 comment:

Pam Richards said...

Hi, Daniel

Perhaps the first time we experience the work of art, a seed has been planted; it's possible it needs to grow, until finally it blooms the second or third or fourth time around. True art has a long lifespan which lends to this process. I had a friend who was a songwriter, and because he wrote so well, he could count on this "repeated exposure" effect. I didn't "get" the full impact of some of his songs until ten years after he had passd on--frisson on a completely diferent level!