Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Appreciation vs. True Appreciation

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I was thinking about the bonsai video I posted earlier today, and also about a Medium article I recently published, “Become Aware of What You Don’t See.” When I see an attractive bonsai, I appreciate it, but that is not true appreciation because I am responding only to the tip of the iceberg: what I can see when I look at it.

Watching the video of a bonsai designer at work — like watching dancers rehearse — expands my vision to a degree because I start to understand the work that went into it (bonsai or dance) — how it came to be, what choices were made. So my appreciation is deeper because of my greater understanding.

But true appreciation, I think, requires shared experience. Those who have actually worked on a bonsai both understand the choices made — the result of which we see — and also have have a feeling for the choices rejected. If you’ve had the experience, you understand the range of choices you can make, and you have experienced the process of eliminating some choices and making others.

That is true for dance, for bonsai, for music (composition and performancce), for cooking, for sports, and so on: true appreciation comes from those who have in a sense been there: who have faced a blank page or canvas or stage and have created.

I am glad that I have more appreciation of bonsai, but without bonsai experience of my own, I cannot have true appreciation. Perhaps better: “appreciation vs. deep appreciation.”

Written by Leisureguy

4 June 2021 at 11:55 am

Posted in Art, Daily life

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