As I began writing this post I was reminded of a quote I happened to come across nearly a year ago entitled “Gestalt Prayer” it read, “I do my thing and you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, And you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you, and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, it’s beautiful” (Fritz Perls, 1969).
This initial reading, in so many respects, seems to me to be a wonderful embodiment of the work being done here at the ICI. More specifically it speaks to the way the ICI values the seemingly chance encounters and connections that more often than not have led them to pursue projects they could not otherwise have imagined.
What I had not noticed until now is that this quote while impactful is incomplete. The final six-word line is missing, “If not, it can’t be helped” (Fritz Perls, 1969). While a seemingly inconsequential omission its exclusion creates a significant shift in the way a reader may interpret the earlier statement. This discovery is a very timely one considering I have recently had the opportunity to play a small part in contributing to the ICI’s ongoing First Line/Last Line project. In this project either the last or first line is chosen from a book in the ICI library to post on both their Twitter and blog.
As many of those close to me know the very first thing I do before starting a new book is I read the last line. For me these are lines that even out of context can be beautiful, funny, and provocative even out of context. This is particularly true for the sentences chosen to be included in the First Line/Last Line project. Almost more importantly they are never quite what you might expect. This idea of expecting the unexpected flourishes here at the ICI making me excited to see what the next stop in this road will be.