24th February 2020

Some of the roles we choose or are obliged to perform in the ongoing performance that is life are utterly alien to our true nature. The truths portrayed in such manifestations have no particular personal significance, indeed the more bizarre the characteristics and costume the easier it sometimes seems to merge with the role. Surprisingly hiding reality in a large well-lit arena proves considerably easier than successfully doing so in a dark, small and sparsely occupied theater. Expressing emotions on the large stage takes less acumen than intimating in the smaller, grand gestures are simpler than subtle suggestion. The big lie is less transparent than the small, pantomime less disturbing than pernickety Shakespearean rendition. Good comedy is certainly harder to perform than simple drama, but the cruelty universally secreted in human fiber provides easy collective laughter, often accompanied by less than attractive sneers from the audience.

I am aware of my own performances, their strengths and inherent weaknesses at every moment of my treading the boards. That stage being anywhere within the view of another, whether person, animal, tree, inanimate object, god or a fleeting glimpse of my reflected self in glass or mirror. Self-critique is ever ongoing.

Everything we do is generally scripted, follows direction, repetitively seeks a perfection totally beyond human accomplishment. We all are driven to pursue the ideal in look, movement, activity, skill, yet are inherently obliged to recognize such a concepts impossibility. Our goals from beginning to end are doomed to failure, simply through the unavoidably honest perspective of our internalized camera obscura. We aim, we miss, we strive, we fail, such is the foundation of our motivation for constant improvement, whatever scale we choose to use for measurement.

Perhaps the rule is the only true choice, the real measure of human accomplishment, financial, intellectual, physical, spiritual, yet that tape is in itself utterly transient, changeable, can be moved, overwritten, downgraded, improved, all at the whim of the viewer, ourselves.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, satisfaction in the control of the partaker, but we ourselves are both the audience to and the recipient of our performances. Alone amongst creatures we judge ourselves as dispassionately, genuinely as we adjudicate others. Our performances are inwardly dissected, nuances microscopically studied and considered. Naturally we lie about the quality of our work to ourselves and to others on a daily basis, but truth rings loud even in a vacuum.

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