6 thoughts on “Normal? Nah!

  1. Amy Cohen

    Well, since I doubt anyone is truly “normal,” I suppose we are all amazing. And we are, aren’t we? Certainly as Louisa finally recognizes in S7E8, no one in Portwenn is “normal.”

    But I think Maya uses “normal” in a different way than DM. Maya’s point is that we shouldn’t settle for what is the norm because true creativity and invention come from seeing beyond the norm. I think DM’s theme is that there is no such thing as “normal” anyway, and we should value each other for our differences as well as our similarities. I assume Maya Angelou would agree with that view, although her quote almost seems to suggest that we can make ourselves “normal.” Maybe normal in her quote just means going along to get along, whereas DM uses normal to mean not dysfunctional.

    It’s always fascinating how one word takes on so many different shades of meaning depending on the context.

    (And yay for a new post!)

  2. kjacobson@mindspring.com Post author

    As we have been instructed “normal” is a loaded word!

    With Maya the meaning generally has to do with encouraging your creative spirit, especially in terms of music and writing. I like your thought that she makes it sound like we can make ourselves normal. That seems to be at the heart of the story in S7 between Martin and Louisa. Can we make ourselves “normal” (whatever that means), and should we?

  3. Linda D

    Normal can be different on different days and according to circumstance. I agree with Maya Angelou that those who settle for less than what they are capable of, might indeed, be just normal. At the very least, they are missing awesome possibilities!

  4. kjacobson@mindspring.com Post author

    Hi, Linda! Glad you’re still reading the blog. I’m sure you’re right that Maya thought being “normal” was not enough to strive for. Perhaps she also was saying that one’s “amazing” self might be constrained by one’s effort to fit in and be part of a group. (She taught college students after all.) I would guess she wanted people to shoot for the stars and think beyond the usual and expected. I liked the quote so much because ME is depicted as exceptional in his medical knowledge and capacity to apply it, and he has exceptional skills with fixing clocks, but there has been this undercurrent of his always knowing that he otherwise doesn’t fit in to the surrounding community. Louisa, too, is exceptional for Portwenn and intuitively knows how to handle crises with her students and adults. (Think Peter Cronk and the headmaster with porphyria.)

    Should they try to be “normal”? Maya might say “no.” They should keep their individuality and “amazing” attributes and shrug off any inclination to fit in (as long as their behavior doesn’t hurt anyone, I suppose.) Of course, the problem is Martin’s behavior does hurt Louisa at times, and vice versa too. I would think Maya would draw the line there.

  5. Linda D.

    Absolutely right. It is not right to hurt others in an attempt to “fit in”. It is a fragile line though. Thanks for keeping the blog going!

  6. kjacobson@mindspring.com Post author

    I have barely kept it going! I hope to write another post soon that will perhaps boost the blog again. I have been having a busy summer and admittedly don’t have as many ideas or as much motivation to keep writing on the blog. Nevertheless, the blog continues and I will attempt to do what I can to keep it functional!

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