This week, I witnessed the making of a short promo film. The interviewer asked the interviewee several questions, as they often do. The interviewee, let’s call him Sam Feldman, attempted to place his jumbled thoughts into the “right” words. The interviewer, let’s call him Sam Feldmanstein was trying to find the right questions that would bring out Feldman’s unexpressed answers.
The camera was rolling and Feldmanstein waited with sweat and anticipation to hear what Feldman would say. In turn, Feldman seemed nervous, speaking scattered words and run on sentences. Yet the more he spoke, the more the hazy visions in his mind began to relay into a clear and sound explanation. Feldmanstein smiled and called it a day.
G-d, blessed be he, created the world from his “thoughts.” He had something in mind and talked it out. He spoke and it came to be.
We also have to go through the same process. Communicating “ideas” and “concepts” into an conveyable format. But the whole purpose is really that another should receive it. If something is said, and the other doesn’t get it i.e it doesn’t penetrate them in any way, it’s more or less useless.
Or is it?
Though much of modern art, music and literature is built on the idea of the abstract, it also creates more room for the artist to “retract,” to hide away from his true intention. And we the viewer are left guessing or even ridiculing.
At this time. we live in the greatest piece of abstract art ever conceived. G-d is hidden behind his own art, the world. Our task is to look for him. Like a Pollock, the message isn’t clear, and often it seems that the message was lost long ago. Some even may argue, it was never actually there, G-d forbid. This indicates that communication involves a second layer, the listener.
Though someone, is speaking, and it could very well be unclear, the job of the listener is to figure it out. He or she should question, think, ask the conveyer of information, like our friend Sam Feldman, to explain in clearer terms, what exactly it is he is saying.
What does this do? It creates a connection. The two separate bodies of communication now become merged into one. But this only occurs if both parties are working together.
As my father once remarked, “they have so many classes in public speaking, what about listening?”