In life and in art, there are many layers to discover, to add, to take away, to understand. When we look only at the surface, we miss many important aspects that help to make up the whole. Likewise, if we look only at the details, we miss the completed picture, or at least what the details are beginning to form.
The details may or may not be intentional, skillfully added, or able to be recognised and understood. Some require rigourous study and analysis and time and practice. Improvement usually requires failure, and the tenacity to keep trying anyway.
Sometimes layers need to be removed entirely, or briefly separated from the whole. This is a big part of theatre training and any good performing arts training. Many other areas of work, study, and life also use this concept. Alexander Technique, for example, delves into the tiniest details of the human psychology and physiology.
In singing or orating, it is essential to understand the nuances of text and voice (and many other aspects!) in order to be able to successfully and faithfully deliver a text. If not, we might be able to get by, but we will ourselves miss many details, therefore depriving the audience of a potentially deeper understanding. We often undermine the work of others, or fail to get close to our true potential. However, when we intentionally study the details, our work becomes much more nuanced and honest.
In discussing important political and social issues, it is essential to understand the psychology behind why people think and believe as they do, why you think and believe as you do, and to find where your layers correspond, where they are less solidified, and where they could afford to be a little flexible. If not, we ourselves are no different than those we dare to call ignorant. We likely become a further roadblock to other people's better understanding, which is exactly the opposite of what our intention tends to be.
In life, it is essential to understand when our bodies need something, when they don't, when we need rest, when we need to focus, and an infinite number of other things (who can fully understand life, let alone anything else?!). Life is absolutely full of layers, and we will never be able to discover them all, but every piece we do come to learn more about makes us better human beings.
By looking at some of the layers that make up a complete picture, we can begin to truly craft what we choose to do ourselves, and can learn more successfully. It becomes a cycle of learning and creating and improving.
What layers can you take a closer look at today?