Melinama does Illustration Friday: "Pretend."
Once again, there isn't enough time in an afternoon to cut a woodblock! So I whittled away at it some more this morning (getting tiny wood chips all over my bathrobe) and then scanned the block itself.
I was thinking of one of the most mind-changing things anybody ever said to me: my "first love," a philosophy major, used to quote Wittgenstein at me constantly, and one of his favorite Wittgenstein quotes was: "We are what we pretend to be."
This was huge, because my self-confidence was low and I was always afraid my mother's curse ("nobody will ever love you because you don't love anybody but yourself") was going to ruin my life. I realized that if I pretended to be a kind, loving person, and I pretended hard, all the time, then the fact that I might in fact be what my mother thought me to be wouldn't matter. I could be what I pretended to be.
It's part of what attracted me to Judaism, in fact: Judaism doesn't emphasis the need for your heart to BE pure, it emphasizes the need for you to DO good and correct things. I have my suspicious about my heart: how would I know if it were pure? But I'm action oriented, and understand doing.
When I looked up the quote, I was surprised to see it attributed to Kurt Vonnegut. Looking some more, however, I found it attributed to Socrates, and since he came first of the three, he gets the honors.
I was plentifully criticized for this woodcut by my son Ezra. He thought it made no sense at all. My idea: an ordinary (though androgynous) being is dressing up like Mighty Mouse and trying to be like him/her, although it doesn't come naturally. Evidently it was a complete failure. Unlike a drawing, though, it can't be fixed with an eraser. Some other time, maybe.