Dickinson College Humanities Program in Norwich

Self Improvement

September 11, 2009 · 3 Comments

In the play Pitmen Painters, two of the most profound lines, for me, were “stop being scared of the world” and “the mystery of being alive”. Now as a I reflect on the play as a whole, I’m unable to remember the context in which they were said however, for some reason they have remained in my thoughts through out this entire day.

yesterday in a nutshell
– wake up
– breakfast
– lunch
– The Globe Theater
– cook dinner (burn chicken)
– email banter, fight, crap
– Pitmen Painters
– watch this space rehearsal

today in a nutshell
-wake up
– research
– lunch
– walking tour
– research

I compared these past two days, and all I can think about was, when we first arrived in London. We spent every day exploring. We stumbled upon museums, buildings, and cafes all of which seemed to be waiting for us. Now, are we allowed to say we are familiar with the city, and just stop?

Why are we here? How will this experience benefit our lives? What will we take from living in this strange city? What is the purpose?

After I saw the play Pitmen Painters, I was undoubtedly blown away by the creative and emotional connection I experienced, through the performers. Not only did I enjoy the acting and the humor, but I felt the message was incredible. Past the drama, and past the humor, I felt as though their was a consistent theme of self-improvement. I thought it was beautiful how they depicted the closed and simple life of a miner, and how easily a life can be influenced with simple encouragement. These men lived a hard and terrible life, but because of the sharing of knowledge, they were able to observe creativity, and let it improve their mental state of being.

These men stopped being afraid of the world. Do I have the ability to do this? I want to, but can I? Do you need to live in a time of oppression or discomfort in order to realize your due for self improvement?

Categories: Patsy · Uncategorized
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3 responses so far ↓

  •   Karl // Sep 11th 2009 at 17:47

    What do you think you are doing now? Isn’t this self-improvement?

  •   patsy // Sep 11th 2009 at 18:04

    Well do I need collateral, like the paintings, to prove something?

  •   russella // Sep 13th 2009 at 05:24

    I would argue no: our very existence is a painting, in itself. We are the collection strokes and dabs.
    I do worry though, like you said, about falling into a pattern. As a lot of people have been saying, I know where I like to eat, drink and rest. I fear that I haven’t gone outside my comfort zone at all, but rather simply created a new one.

    In a way this was definitely a honey-moon. We are allowed to make innocent mistakes, take for granted the beauties that are around us and eat lots of pasties. I think a lot of that will change in Norwich though. Norwich (and Norfolk in general) is beautiful no doubt, but this is really our last few days to take in the astonishing culture of an English city. I would argue, however optimistically, that by writing a post like this you aren’t taking anything for granted nor falling into a routine. While Qualls said this much more eloquently, it is something I have been fretting over a lot too. Self-improvement can come just as much from acknowledgement as it does from artistic expression.

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