Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

hummingwolf: (two)
On March 29, I wrote in this journal:
On Sunday afternoon, I added a new interest to my list on LJ: "listening to shadows." The shadows have been telling me things I never expected from them, but I suppose that's the way shadows usually are. Last night's shadows were particularly noisy. I think they belonged to a raccoon. There's a Procyon lotor hanging out in the neighbor's chimney who's been taking advantage of the springtime weather, draping himself across the top of the chimney and basking in the sun. Sometimes he wakes up and looks around himself with the kind of adorable innocence you'll only ever find on the face of a fuzzy predator.

Thinking of a predator's innocence reminds me of the way people are constantly confusing innocence and naïveté. It's such a common mistake, but it's so easily avoided. We've all known (or been) children who would willingly have done great damage if they'd only believed they could. The most naïve person may be incredibly spiteful. When you see it, you know you are not seeing the face of innocence. The naïve person is the one who doesn't know what people are capable of. The innocent person knows the things they are capable of, and does not do them.

It's a lot like the difference between harmlessness and defenselessness, attributes which overlap rarely if at all. It's easy to see the difference when you give someone a sword. An utterly unskilled person, unable to defend themselves, can do a lot of damage through their lack of skill. It's so easy to lose control of a weapon you don't understand, injuring someone you never meant to touch. And a person who is too weak to hold a good sword is also a danger, again because control is difficult for those of little strength. The most harmless people will be experts, people who know how to teach you their art without ever cutting you. Becoming truly harmless requires strength and skill of a level few of us will ever approach.

The fuzzy beast has his head hanging on the other side of the chimney, derrière pointed in my direction. When's the last time you were mooned by a raccoon?

Sometimes themes like this just need to be revisited, or expanded on, or something. Okay, this specific theme is popping up again, particularly the ways in which innocence and harmlessness are related, and the ways in which ignorance can make both much more difficult.

What actually got me started on this today? Bad results from medication (somebody else's, not mine) which could possibly have been prevented if patient and doctor had communicated instead of keeping each other in the dark. But of course there's enough ignorance to go around and that's not the only reason I felt a need to revisit a post from six months ago.

(For the record, my interests list was changed to include conversation with shadows, 'cos lately I've been feeling the need to talk back.)

Re: House

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006 01:35 pm
hummingwolf: Drawing of a creature that is part-wolf, part-hummingbird. (Hummingwolf by Dandelion)
Though Gregory House is canonically a TV junkie, he was probably talking about Gray's Anatomy the book, not the show.

Is it just me, or does Hugh Laurie do a great job of channeling the spirit of Humphrey Bogart without actually being very much like him at all?

It's been way too long since I last watched a Bogart movie.


hummingwolf: squiggly symbol floating over rippling water (Default)

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