Unless we are very, very careful, we doom each other by holding onto images of one another based on preconceptions that are in turned based on indifference to what other than ourselves. This indifference can be, in its extreme, a form of murder and seems to me a rather common phenomenon. We claim autonomy for ourselves and forget that in so doing we can fall into the tyranny of defining other people as we would like them to be. By focusing on what we choose to acknowledge in them, we impose an insidious control on them.
I notice that I have to pay careful attention in order to listen to others with an openness that allow them to be as they are, or as they think themselves to be. The shutters of my mind habitually flip open and click shut, and these little snaps form into patterns I arrange for myself. The opposite of this inattention is love, is the honoring of others in a way that grants them the grace of their own autonomy and allows mutual discovery.
(Yaddo, Saratoga Springs, July-August 1974)
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What wonderful observations! I wonder if she was a Buddhist.
Actually I think she defined herself as Christian, but she was a wise and well read woman, it wouldn’t surprise me if she had incorporated quite a lot of Buddhism into her perspective on life.
What a wonderful quote. The edge of art, spirituality (whatever that is) and psychology. The essence of what can be inquiry, and working on yourself in a long term relationship. Never easy.
Strangely it seems to me that Truitt, through her long-lasting, very personal, daybook project, came to gain a insight that is (close to) universal truth.
“When there is self and other, heaven and earth are torn apart”. Soto Zen