Saturday, September 8, 2007
BALANCING THE STRETCH
One of my favourite Indian sayings is this one: "when the pupil is ready, the master will appear". I like the idea that the guru won't just drop in, but will appear. In biblical contexts, the notion of appearance has to do with seeing at a distance; it is mystical and it has the flavour of a secret about to be revealed. From afar, one is bound to see unclearly. But one sees, nonetheless. So the anticipation of what comes while seeing it coming is great. The combination of non-materialized feeling with the visual contributes to a state which allows both for guessing, and also for theorizing. Taken apart, in theory, guessing is redundant and not taken seriously. In guessing, there is no need for theory. It occurs to me that if we want the two to converge we have to be ready to balance the stretch between readiness and its consequences. Perhaps it is the convergence of readiness with appearance that made particularly masterful playwrights make statements such as Eugene Ionesco's: "You can only predict things after they have happened." My guess is that what the master will say when he will appear is that the conflation of unusual things - unusual only at first (unclear) sight - brings about a decision to relax. So theoretically speaking Antonin Artaud is right in advising: "Don't tire yourself more than need be, even at the price of founding a culture on the fatigue of your bones." It's certainly good to know that we can leave it to the stage to play a role.