In one of my classes today, the professor made a rather striking comment:
Don’t fill up on sweets.
This is the history of American popular culture. He’s using food as an analogy for art. Most of the advice is straightforward: Try new dishes. Vary ingredients. Chew well. Learn to cook. But filling up on sweets? How does that translate into consuming art and entertainment?
In simple words, it means, Don’t always go for something easy.Thai food wonderfully combines the sweet and the tangy, the savory and the textured, but many of their dishes are complex. It takes time to appreciate and absorb, but the result is amazing. The nourishment is so much more than from sweets. And you discover that you really do like sweet and tangy, and food comes in lots of amazing textures.
More than ever, I’ve begun to realize that this principle applies to life as well. I’m so glad that I went out on a limb and attended vespers with Timothy. And I’m also glad that I sat with members of the Occupy movement for an hour or two this past fall.
The professor made a point that attending one ballet is a risk, but it’s not that big of a risk. It’s only a few hours out of one day, not a commitment to watch a ballet every Tuesday night at 7 pm for the rest of your life. Who knows? You could discover that you like ballet (or costume design or people watching or gardens.)
The question is: Do you know what you like or do you like what you know? None of us know everything. Let’s not be afraid to learn more.