It is one thing to meet someone you admire. It can be something else altogether to meet such a person, find out that you can relate on various levels and end up chatting about whatever for nearly an hour. The other night I went to a public presentation held in a nearby “hamlet”. The presenter was a local artist/cartoonist known for his Alaska specific witticisms. He had recently returned from a year long adventure in Maine. I have some ties to that area and was curious to see how his particular form of humor would interpret the region. This was Wednesday night. Then, this morning I ran into him in my building; we ended up talking about Maine and music, hiking in Hatcher Pass and Denali State Park and Gates of the Arctic, about museums and history and the value of learning from the locals. Crazy.
By way of introduction, this is one of my favorites of his cartoons…
The experience made me revisit a number of ideas that I was just yesterday discussing with a friend and fellow blogger; ideas relating to the search for identity and belonging, of finding and appreciating familiarity amidst the seeming chaos of life while at the same time admiring the chaos in and of itself. Not really the whole “man’s search for meaning” business but rather the admiration for the ability of the natural world (of which we are of course an integral part) to…for want of a better word –present?, manifest?, create?- order among chaos; fractals and the Fibonacci Sequence, or the poor humble beaver striving to manage the world around him.
I hope she will forgive me unabashedly quoting her here, but I thought this was a particularly astute observation from our chat yesterday:
“I think people are genuinely happy when they unexpectedly find people who are actually like them. It validates our egos a bit. Maybe that’s on a less superficial level though. If everyone ‘acted’ exactly like me but was not, in fact, like me – I might be weirded out a bit.”
…and just for fairness sake, my response (despite the weird-self-servingness of quoting one’s self):
“You make a very good point in that we do all in fact strive for familiarity. But yes, I too would certainly be wary of imitation. That idea of being genuinely happy when finding someone like you is a real and profound emotional response I think. That idea is embedded in the title of my guessing game blog post. It came from a friend of mine when we were discussing the idea of how we genuinely appreciate the event that someone else gets our random references.”
I guess I am just trying to validate –for some reason- my elation at first meeting said artist, but then also finding comfortable, common ground. You should all go check out his blog… http://inksnow.blogspot.com/
Ultimately, I am just marveling at the way sometimes, things seem to fall together. Sometimes things just feel right. You know, sometimes you go shopping for new clothes, or music, or dinner and nothing seems right. You are left wanting, but knowing not what. Other times the perfect thing, or moment, or experience, or person just seems to appear. My new “career” happened that way. I took a class just because it sounded interesting. Literally overnight I changed my major and never looked back. Sometimes you find friends in the most unlikely places…like minded friends that have been right in front of your face but for some reason you never really got to know…until that moment when something just clicks. Sometimes you meet someone new but amazingly when getting to know them it is like looking in a mirror…like you already know them. I know this probably sounds a bit trite, but there you have it.
I love it when a plan comes together.