Friday, August 20, 2010

That Darn Boleslavsky!

I love books. I love holding books, I love reading books, I love the smell of books. As tempting as it is to want all of my books at the touch of a button, I probably won't be purchasing one of those book reader thingies. I just don't prefer it to an actual book.

Because I love books, I have lots of books. Shelves and shelves. My husband even made a set of lovely bookshelves to hold some of our books. I was perusing said bookshelves this afternoon in the hope of, well, "culling the herd," since we're having a garage sale tomorrow. What will I never read again? Will I ever finish Love in the Time of Cholera, or should I just admit defeat at 3/4 of the way through? (Seriously, who gets 3/4 of the way through a book and just goes, "Eh. I'm done.")

As I was plucking out my dual copies of The Inferno and The Purpose Driven Life (the latter hoping to save a person from the former, I suppose), I came across a copy of Acting: The First Six Lessons by Richard Boleslavsky. It was a gift from a dear friend in high school. It's a good book. Heck, it's got a blurb from Sir Alec Guiness! Is there a higher recommendation? I think not. If Obi-Wan Kenobi says you're good, you're good. There's only one problem with this Obi-Wanderful book:

The print on the spine faces the wrong way.

Everyone tilts his/her head to the right to read book spines. But Boleslavsky makes me tilt my head to the left. It's outrageous! It's absurd! Sir Alec Guiness would have retracted his blurb had he known, I'm sure! And now he's gone and it's too late. He's forever endorsed a head-tilting-left book. *sigh*

What actually bothers me about this? Is it that I actually have to tilt my head to the other side? No. Frankly, when I'm searching the aisles at the bookstore, my head actually gets tired from tilting to the right as I browse. That's not it.

I think the issue is perfection. I have this lovely bookshelf that my darling husband made with his bare hands (and, you know, power tools), and all the books are just so. Some are standing up, some are stacked, there are little trinkets here and there. It looks really nice. And then there's that one book facing the wrong way. I just want to take it out and put it back upside-down so it'll face the right way, but then I'll know it's upside-down, and that creates another set of problems.

But you know what? I bet no one else notices that book. No one else thinks, "Ooh, Rach has got to do something about that darn Boleslavsky. Ruins the whole aesthetic!" I'll bet my husband doesn't even know I have that book, nevermind the fact that it faces the wrong way.

Sometimes there are things about ourselves that we think stick out like a sore thumb. It may be things about our appearance, or maybe there are things we worry about not doing perfectly and we think everyone else will notice. Guess what? I'll bet no one notices that one thing.

I've often been in plays or scenes and lines get messed up. Either a line is forgotten or said out of place. I know that line is missing because I know the script. I was supposed to have memorized it. I get very concerned that everyone in the audience noticed that long pause or that I said that one word twice while I was trying to say the right line or find my place. Guess what? No one notices. No one else has seen the script or knows what the scene is supposed to look like. Unless I go sprawling, odds are no one will discover my error. As far as they know, I did exactly what I was supposed to do and it was great.

People see you that way, you know. Only you see the glaring imperfections and moments of weakness. Well, I guess that's not entirely true. God sees them. He knows you worry about them. He doesn't want you to worry about them. I know he doesn't want me to worry about them. If something's wrong (in a sinful kind of way), try to fix it. If it's not wrong—just imperfect—assume no one else notices and go on about your business.

I don't think that lesson is in Mr. Boleslavsky's book. I'll have to go back and read it again. At least that'll get it off my otherwise-perfect shelf for a while...

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