My experiences in the city have taught me to never discount, dismiss, discard or diminish the possibilities bound up in people--ordinary people, "troubled" people, strange people, different people, unusual people, gifted people--you just can't afford to make assumptions about people based on the details of how they process life!
The surest way to take the wrong turn, to waste your time or to fail miserably in the inner city is to make assumptions about anyone you meet. You just cannot come to the city "knowing" stuff. You must wait, observe, accept and expect.
I love the two quotes below. I found them in the latest on-line edition of Heron Dance. (check it out at www.herondance.org and subscribe at firstname.lastname@example.org).
I SAW MIKE [Seeger] play without the Ramblers. He played all the instruments, whatever the song called for -- the banjo, the fiddle, mandolin, autoharp, and the guitar; even harmonica in the rack. Mike was skin-stinging. He was tense, poker-faced and radiated telepathy, wore a snowy white shirt and silver sleeve bands. Being there and seeing him up close, something hit me. It's not as if he just played everything well, he played these songs as good as it was possible to play them. I was so absorbed in listening to him that I wasn't even aware of myself. What I had to work at, Mike already had in his genes, in his genetic makeup. Before he was even born, this music had to be in his blood. Nobody could just learn this stuff, and it dawned on me that I might have to change my inner thought patterns that I would have to start believing possibilities that I wouldn't have allowed before, that I had been closing creativity down to a very narrow, controllable scale that things had become too familiar and I might have to disorient myself.
Bob Dylan, from Chronicles
HEGEL SAID "BEHIND the facade of the familiar, strange things await us. Familiarity enables us to tame, control and ultimately forget the mystery.
John O'Donohue, from Anam Cara