Marco Polo describes a bridge, stone by stone.
"But which is the stone that supports the bridge?" Kublai Khan asks.
"The bridge is not supported by one stone or another," Marco answers, "but by the arch that they form."
Kublai Khan remains silent, reflecting. Then he adds: "Why do you speak to me of the stones? It is only the arch that matters to me."
Polo answers: "Without stones there is no arch." (Invisible Cities, 82)
Now as schmaltzy as that little conversation may be, it was a felicitous passage, as I've been struggling with the notion of teamwork lately. Finding myself irritated by having to depend on others, constantly, and impatient when things don't go as I wish them to go, which in turn fosters a more unpleasant environment and so the cycle continues...
Such negativity, ricocheting in all directions, is an idea I thought about a lot this weekend. It all started after seeing the darling Nina Menkes' film The Bloody Child- I had the theme of violence spiraling out of control in the back of my head (hehe the tagline is something along the lines of "an examination of murder- as seen from the back of the mind"), but I was thinking of it in a less mundane way, on a grander scale, particular because of this sensationalized explosion known as Kony 2012 blew up and the past weekend's tragic shooting rampage in Afghanistan.
The Calvino passage serves as an opportune reminder that sometimes smaller scale resentment, or constantly negative attitudes, are all that's necessary to blow up into grander tragedies. While relying on others may not come too easy these days, I can't let it become contagion. Perhaps it isn't that there has been an abundance of disappointments, maybe it's just a case of an unhealthy rhythm gone wild...