A person so disconnected from the natural world senses and feels and responds to a traces of it in a disconnected way. There's been a cottage industry of extreme sports and the like directed at these people to give them larger doses of whatever the natural world would offer.
Not just 5 foot waves with your friends. 40 foot monsters you get towed into with a jet ski. BASE jumpers. Mountain bike races. Tris. some of them at least.
People who make film set up scenes involving real human beings, who end up putting a real part of their lives into something. Then, like Plato would say - they'd make a 'copy of the perfect chair' and place that representation in mimesis - compared against a chair made by a carpenter. Or say. A carpenter's son.
So it can be said that these representations use that kind of connection just because they are shadows. The actors are real. They're playing real memory games.
My son sort of edged over my desk and interrupted me for breakfast. Its easy to break away. I sat down and explained to him just how bad of a dad I was going to be today (I wanted to get some things done). While we talked he was fiddling with a triangle of aluminum foil, weaving it around a straw. I said wow. That looks like the sail of a boat. He said it was.
Then, I explained to him, that I'm just going to dump him right now. On the side of the street. And he's going to get breakfast all by himself. I told him to pretend as if he doesn't have a father at all - that when someone asks him, he is to say that his father and mother abandoned him. And that he has to make his way to the kitchen to make himself a bowl of cereal. I explained that I wouldn't even join him, and skipped the story about this over the top de-tox that I'm currently doing but of course bitched a little bit about having to have eaten nothing but fruits and uncooked vegetables for the last three days. I said first, before you do that. Brush your teeth. I told him he's going to fix his breakfast by himself! And I told him what time I would be a good dad. For which, for my son - I had better be there at that time or else. So. I will be a good dad at a certain time. I smiled while I said that. He was fiddling with the aluminum foil sail. While we talked.
My children have been learning to work for their allowance, and pick up after themselves, and other nice things + I am fairly happy with what they are up to (except the brushing habits. those will change)(and we will do a little summer math). So I didn't take it farther than this. I offered that maybe my son's favorite organic milk carton , if we cut it - would make a great hull for the sail he's making. If you cut out a side - have a great shape. The front can be something called the prow. Then the middle can be a hull. The back will be called a bow. I got slightly annoyed at myself for making it rhyme, but I sort of do that naturally. So I added. Or stern. Damnit.
Of course, being a kid -or in this case, any discerning reader. He still looked up at me. He knew I was being serious about being a bad dad this morning. So I told him a story. I said. Pretend you are like a baby bunny that we found last march. In your grandmas backyard. Do you remember those? The dogs ate your mother. They ate your brother. And they ate your sister. You have to find food on your own. You have to eat grandma's flowers. Grandma will try to chase you away because you have broken her rules. But you will be on your own. And you need to do things for yourself.
Then maybe one day you'll hop out into the front yard. And you'll see a little boy. And that little boy will call his Dad and his grandma and they'll all come out into the lawn together to see him.
He looked me in the eye and smiled.
Plato in this Republic book 10 riff about how art is sort of a copy of life, and since its once removed from the real form of -say - a chair, stops short of saying this kind of thing is wrong. If the soul is composed of elements, then that part of the soul that can deal - might be connected to the element itself. (the chair)
When the soul inclines in more than one direction, that conflict represents the work of more than one faculty or part of the soul (436b). So being taken in by an optical or artistic illusion must be the activity of some part of the soul that is not identical with reason.
A carpenters son might work on real things, real forms. The writer works from an image they have in their head. The writing is an image of an image, perhaps. Disconnected from the real thing.
Methods of art have always been crude and simple mirrors of the real art unfolding in life and earth. The actual moment isn't stylized. We were there when the gazelles bounded past us. We felt the rush of air as they ran faster than anything we'd ever seen. We wanted then with every part of our selves to be able to run that fast.
And so we drew them. This was done on the sides of cave walls, instead of out there in the world. We disconnected from the natural world, to create ways we could bring part of the other things we see in it - into ourselves.
An ideal chair. Maybe even. A comfy chair...
All three of us in our family - last night - dreamt vivid dreams. Probably a coincidence. But still. I dreamt of skydiving. My daughter, hunting for something. And my son, that a friend had returned.
His friend had to leave town because his mother was deemed unfit - she had a serious drug problem. He was very close to him. I asked my son what his dream was about. He dreamed that he came back, and they went to a concert together. What song played? He said - he didn't know.. then he added.. a christmas song. I said which one. Like, the Bob Hope version? or the regular version. He said the Bob Hope version.
I dreamed I went skydiving. I dreamed I folded my own parachute. I dreamed my parachute was made of white silk. Not a parafoil, but white. In the shape of a big piece of paper. I dreamed I pulled the cord and it spiralled closed, the cords twisting the chute closed. In the air I turned around. And that as the wind rushed past I separated the bundle of parachute cord that had twisted in on itself. I worked with all the cords that hand tangled upon themselves. And separated them. And then the parachute opened.
My daughter dreamed she found her iPod. She's down there looking for it right now. She's humming the theme from "The Addams Family" to herself. I won't post here if she finds it. She said maybe her mind is playing games with her because she wanted to find it yesterday.
She is looking for the thing that she lost.
Which is the greater connection, a mother to her child. Or a man to a woman?