Monday, February 28, 2011

Seeing what I want to see

The entry I did this morning got me thinking about the way I read books and see entirely different themes than the author intended.  For instance, in the book "Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret", what I saw was a little girl's search for God.  The story actually deals with all the things girls of that age worry about:  a bra not filled out, when and how to kiss a boy, and what it might be like when she gets her period.  What my eyes saw was a story about somebody searching for God.  It isn't a religious book, by any means.  If I remember correctly, after trying different religions, Margaret decides to keep on dealing with God one on one like she's always done, and not worry about churches or synagogues.  I guess I should read the book again, just to see.    
I recently mentioned here that I'd read "Just Kids"; I said it was about Patti Smith (a rock singer I honestly hadn't heard of before) and the hippie lifestyle; Patti was the author of the book.  
Well, all that is in the book, and that's what grabbed me.  That's what I saw.  However, the book is actually about a photographer I had never heard of, Robert Mapplethorpe.  It starts with him on his deathbed, tells his story, and ends with him dying from AIDS.  When I blogged about the book, I didn't even mention him.  It seems he's quite famous and even has a foundation named after him.  
Those drugs he took must have done something for him.   
This business of seeing and hearing what I want (or need) happens with sermons, too:  The preacher's words will sink right into my soul and I know exactly what he's getting at; he's stepping on my toes.  Then I compare notes with someone else who was present at church that day, and when they tell me what they got out of the sermon, it might as well have been a totally different sermon AND preacher.   
Selective hearing and selective reading.  I guess I'm guilty of both.   

1 comment:

patsy said...

I think we hear what we want and see what we want. I hope you are having some good weather.