Friday, February 10, 2012

adventures in disillusionment

perhaps i should have titled this you are never too old to be disillusioned. years ago, my friend jeff said, 'you always overrate people.' at the time i rather took it as a compliment. after all, i'd been giving people the benefit of the doubt. alas, when it came to love affairs, this a disaster. once i loved an actress and idealized her for a century before i slept with her and encountered the real body. having not learned my lesson, i idolized a blond dancer for a millennium, not aware until her last visit how manipulative she was. 

or to use examples not my own, before the election of our last president, a friend said, 'he will bring us peace.' in reality he reveled in creating two wars and plunging the world economy into the toilet. her husband said, 'he won't raise taxes.' this is called a one-issue voter, or 'me, me, me.' in reality the national debt sky-rocketed during the eight years and the rich got richer and the poor poorer. and maybe this the answer to the blight of tunnel vision.

yes, i tend to pick one aspect of a talented person i like, a politician, a teacher, and i ignore everything else, perhaps to learn more from them. when we worship a guru, we listen a lot more closely, we copy their movements, we put them on a pedestal as we did our parents, then reaching a certain intellectual puberty which can happen at any age, we smash the statue. this can be a painful process, losing our guiding light, our mentor, our beatrice pulling us up from hell. 

so, last night i found out the larger truth about someone i honored, his really terrible faults (from my perspective) and it plunged me into intense self-doubt, about my judgements, my maturity, my ability to distinguish between true and false. again, the end of a love-affair. luckily, for a little while this morning i could laugh at myself. it didn't last. at the moment i feel chagrined. life will humble us, especially through love. 

a few more holograms, or 'believing is seeing,' the title of a recent book on photography: