People want to identify and label you so they can place you somewhere they already have set in their mind. …
We have these labels in little piles in our mind and we take them out and stick them on things. That’s our habit. We like to be able to say, “This is an American. That is a Dutch person. This is a Mexican person.” We put the label on as if we know what we mean by Mexican, American, or Dutch. This is a Communist, this is a Republican, this is a capitalist. In fact, the label has no meaning. “This is a person I love, this is a person I hate.” When we put a label on, we can’t see the person. If someone labels you as a “terrorist,” he may shoot you. But if he sees that you are a human being who has his own suffering, who has children and a wife to look after, he won’t be able to shoot you. It’s only when he gives you a label that he can say, “You’re a terrorist; your presence isn’t needed in this world; if you weren’t in the world, it would be a more beautiful place.” It’s all a matter of putting a label on a person. And when you see the real human being, you can’t assign a label anymore. We give labels only in order to praise or to destroy. We have a great bagful of labels–we don’t even know where they came from. And when we stick them onto people, we cut ourselves off from those people, and we can no longer know who they really are.
A raindrop resting upon the fragile lace of goats beard, a pesky weed, an amazing umbrella for Thumbelina. It has been told that an old widowed woman planted a seed given to her from a good witch and within the flower that grew from that seed was a little girl no bigger than the old woman’s thumb. Fairy tales can be somewhat dark, but not the story of Thumbelina.
You can learn about the pine only from the pine, or about the bamboo only from bamboo. When you see an object, you must leave your subjective pre-occupation with yourself; otherwise you impose yourself on the object, and do not learn. The object and yourself must become one, and from that feeling of oneness issues your poetry. However well phrased it may be, if your feeling is not natural—if the object and our self are separate—then your poetry is not true poetry but merely your subjective counterfeit.
Keith Kenniff is an American composer, multi-instrumentalist, and electronic music producer. He composes ambient/electronic music under the moniker Helios and post-classical piano music under Goldmund.