Curiosity cured the cat
I had a little serendipitous experience yesterday. I had just locked Gabe’s chair into the van to bring him over to the gym for his daily workout, when a little boy about 3 or 4 got off the little short pre-school bus behind us all bundled up against the cold. He was half walking, half being pulled along by his mom. But with every step, his face was squarely fixed on Gabe and what he could see of his chair through the side door of the van. He kept his head turned until his body couldn’t hold it anymore, then disappeared behind the side door of Gabe’s building.
This little moment was a moment because over the last few days I’ve been thinking about how curiosity is a necessary ingredient for living a rich life and its absence, may be a source of lots of trouble. Somewhere along the way we lose the little child’s unashamed staring curious eyes. In place of them we have eyes trained to see what we want to see, what we’ve been conditioned to see, what we don’t want to see, not supposed to stare at or what we just don’t see anymore.
I made this little movie with Kluwe in a chair hoping to stir up people’s old childlike curiosity, in the hopes that they might safely stare just a little bit and wonder what it must be like to be confined to a chair. And then, of course listen to our son’s, daughters, friends and brothers who are longing to feel and move what isn’t supposed to work anymore. I’m no filmmaker but I hope it conveys just a little bit of that sight to see.
The night before the little boy’s passing face, I brought Gabe over to an MLK service where he and most of his band-mates performed a righteous rendition of a Tom Waits tune. The service was full of rich expressions of King’s words and prophetic imagination all of which required a measure of curiosity with which to engage. It got me thinking about all the troubles we humans have with each other and how much curiosity could cure our issues over race, class, borders, orientation, guns, fiscal cliffs and then some…like the researchers who keep staring at the puzzles to find the missing pieces. We just might stare at the ‘other’ long enough to see something new instead of assume that we got it all figured out, or that it can’t be fixed.
Maybe curiosity cured the cat.