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Separating the Creator from the Creation

One of the funniest episodes that sort of parallels what makes it almost like second nature for me to see the creation apart from the creator, is a scene I remember on the Jefferson's; the old 80's sitcom, and please do forgive me if the date is not right. You'll see why in a sec.

Gladys Knight was a guest in that episode. She, and the hilarious maid, Florence, were at a spa enjoying one of them spazzy body massages. In this scene both had cucumbers covering their eyes, so Florence didn't realize who she was talking to. Their chat ended up with Gladys singing a verse (I believe) from one of her own songs, to which Florence tells the Gladys Knight to "keep trying...eventually she'll get it!"

I loved that scene because it reminded me of something I'd do...telling someone...let's say...of the Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison rendition..., albeit without the cucumbers covering my eyes and 20/20 vision, "to keep trying. Soon you'll get it."

Now, of course, if it were Toni or Maya, I believe I'd recognize them. But then there are other established artists, of varied sects, who I don't know by either name or face, yet may be familiar with their work but then have his or her work all mixed up. I can't count the times when I was describing a movie, or song, or book, and would have the title of the movie, the song, or book all jacked up wrong. And forget getting names right. Sometimes I don't even have the contents of what so inspired me right. Consequently this leaves me feeling unsorted when I end up being corrected, and then filled in on the creator's details, as if I don't really appreciate the creation. It amazes me to hear fans lather on about, not only the creation, but the minute details of the creator as well. Many times I wish I could do this too, but have since come to realize why this isn't easy for me.

I'm going to step back again, to a Jackson 5 concert my mother took me and my sister to see. Don't get me wrong. My sister and I had done our homework. Michael, who was the closet to our age, only a few years older, was who we had our sights on. A large Jackson 5 poster hanging over our bed we had already drawn a circle around his face. Yet at the concert the most I remembered was wanting to hear a certain song, while my mother almost had to drag my sister out of the stadium, promising her she'd see the Jackson 5 again.

This isn't to suggest that one way is superior to the other. I now appreciate both visages. But it is to draw home my deep passion solely appreciating the creation. It's how when an artist is caught in a spotlight for not having minded his or her manners, I find myself at a void trying to see why this is news. In other words, I draw off the extraordinary, rather than the ordinary.

I know I'm about to lay on a twisty piece of logic here, but I think I need to get more visual. I'm just not so sure there's much extraordinary in ordinary, though (again) respect why admirers taken by amazing talent have an innate desire to know all about what's inside its container. It's almost like coming across a volleyball that functions like every other volleyball, except this one volleyball we soon learn has been found to inspire people to...let's supersonic jets if touched. Naturally we go from A to Z setting expectations for this volleyball that in all other aspects functions and looks like every other volleyball on the court. Some, like me, just choose to draw on whatever inspiration we can get from its extraordinary container, while others, perhaps like my sister, idolizes its ordinary container.

...and oh, think I should point out. I've thrown out some very large names when the fact is many, many of us contain phenomenal bits of this inspiration. It's just easier (for me) to conceptualize placing emphasis on the creation as opposed to the creator.

Please let me know if I need to be any more graphic.


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