The incurious eye misses the obvious, the subtle, the subtext. The incurious eye is glazed in a cataract of ignorance and indifference. The incurious eye is neither blind nor myopic. It is empty.
If there were a God his great gift to mankind would have been curiosity.
Curiosity invented fire, tools, hunting and gathering. Nuclear weapons. Surrealism and existentialism. The bowed instrument on which great musicians have played Mozart’s Cello Concerto in E Flat Major. Curiosity is the light in the darkness. Curiosity didn’t kill the cat. It emboldened the cat.
When a presidential candidate with an orange face and yellow dyed hair imitates a disabled man and promises the fawning grinning multitudes in red hats to Make America Great Again, he doesn’t say how and they don’t think to ask.
There is nothing more terrifying than those who are certain that what they believe is undeniably true. They close their minds to new ideas and knowledge. They reach for metaphorical blindfolds and hide in a Plato’s Cave of their own construction. With a lazy lean towards confirmation bias, those cursed with an incurious eye select information that supports their views and reject information that doesn’t. Believing they know it all, they assume they have nothing to learn.
The Incurious Eye Drops
Relief for the incurious eye can be found in the words of Lorca and Dylan, the paintings of Goya, Van Gogh, Caravaggio, in Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture; in Dizzy Gillespie playing A Night In Tunisia. If you feel lost, you can find yourself on long walks through the winding paths of unknown places. Stop and watch as the shadows lengthen and the sky turns orange, pale green and silver.
I have chosen to illustrate this essay with a photograph of myself taken by Patrick J Domken at the art gallery that bears his name in Cadaqués, the village in the Ampurdan where Salvador Dalí and Marcel Duchamp fought battles across the squares of a chessboard on warm afternoons outside Bar Melitón with glasses of red wine bearing the bitter taste of tears.
At the Domken gallery we come across new work by artists with ideas and visions outside the narrow walls of reality. We find beauty, surrealism, the murky pessimism of the times in which we live shot through with rays of optimism that remind us of our humanity. Pianists give live concerts. The opera singer Felix Serraclara after retiring sang again at the Galería Patrick Domken van Schendel.
Victoria Macarte dances primeval steps to the drums of Jimmy Gimferrer. The painter Koyama watches. He arrived in Cadaqués and never left. Why would he? I have read selections from my books and attended book launches conducted in a polyglot of languages and, here’s a funny thing, with a curious ear you begin to understand the things you don’t understand.