After we grew up […] we found out how unreliable these stories had been. The simple, pleasant adult society they had prepared us for did not exist. As we suspected. the fairy tales has been right all along – the world was full of hostile, stupid giants and perilous castles and people who abandoned their children at the forest.*
From the beginning a curator was somewhere between a priest and bureaucrat, combining the practical with the otherworldly. Either way curators had access to and master over difficult, concealed knowledge.**
There may be more than one path leading out of the darkness.
This is what the best of our religions, myths and fairy stories tell us, often finding a new-norm seeded with meaning.^
Here we must note that it is hard for humans to let go of the past and to take hold of the future. As a result we can miss the nuance which, if we turn out attention to the difficult thing we face, becomes more apparent and with it, possibility – though the path of moving from victim to protagonist is a demanding one.
Like a curator bringing the practical and otherworldly together, we apply the lighter touch of imagination to the hardness of reality:
In fighting against resistance we will become more focused on getting rid of the problem than on understanding what it is; by contrast, when working with resistance we want to suspend frustration at being blocked, and instead engage with the problem in its own right. […] Apply minimum force is the most effective way to work with resistance.^^
It is as we work with the difficult things that different paths appear on the other side.
(*Alison Lurie, quoted in Bruce Handy’s Wild Things.)
(**From Michael Bhaskar’s Curation.)
(^At the moment I am reading J. K. Rowlings’ The Ickabog and Roald Dahl’s The Witches.)
(^^From Richard Sennett’s Together.)