I am not very familiar with Ms. Cash's work but I was struck during the interview by her humility in saying things like "our math is like a toddler's". It's interesting to me how we can take exactly the same factual insight and spin it into completely opposite emotional experiences. David G. Hartwell, the editor of the New York Review of Science Fiction, once wrote in the introduction to one of his anthologies:
Awe plus love equals wonder;Awe plus fear equals horror.
I don't know if that was his formula, or if he borrowed it from someone else, but it's always stuck with me.
Ms. Cash looks at the overwhelming complexity of the universe, which no three-pound brain is ever going to grasp, and apparently pretty consistently chooses wonder. H.P. Lovecraft, who weirdly featured in more than one of my Christmas presents, took the exact same factual insight and pretty consistently chose horror. Neither is wrong, of course. There's plenty of both to go around. It's the choosing that interests me. Is it basic personality? Force of will and training, as last week's Dalai Lama interview might suggest?
I guess that's why I'm still such a fan of her father Johnny Cash (who I got to see perform live, one time, at the Lilac Festival in Rochester, NY, of all places). He understood and maybe even embraced both darkness and light, like a Taoist. Not always successfully, to his and his family's great cost, but unlike a lot of other religious people, he always admitted that the darkness was there, and that it wasn't going to go away or turn into light just because we want it to. He could even laugh about it. Listen to "The Beast in Me," off 'American Recordings.' There's a couple of verbal winks in there, along with a lot of honesty and humility.
Thanks for the show.
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