Blog: In the Hands

In the Hands
In the Hands
Date: 2018-Aug-11 15:33:49 EST

A memory:

My father and I had done karate together for awhile at this studio - we were not in a hurry to get particularly good, but it was a way to spend time with him, and it was fun. Eventually the studio closed (I think they were not making enough money to stay open) and the guy running it, who looked kinda like a middle-aged kinda muscular hippy, offered to sell my dad the training materials he had. I got around to asking him about certain things he did with his fingers when displaying moves, and he said that he did that because it looked cool.

I don't think I reacted much at the time, but it left an impression. Sometimes things really are pretty simple and not that meaningful.

I still believe that a good metric to understanding life is to try to pull a lot of meaning out of things people say and do, but I'm also wary of pulling meaning out that wasn't there to begin with. Although later in life I layered on "death of the author" in the sense that one can get life lessons from people that they did not intend to teach, and this generalises easily to cultural products as well. If someone reads a lot into a story or artwork that the author did not intend, that may not be great communication but it is great personal journeying.