When I studied my master's degree in Buenos Aires, I was privileged to have Gustavo Valdés de León as a teacher. The subject he gave us was design theory, full of philosophy and critical thinking, in general very deep, it was not the typical chair that you hope to learn and smile in a didactic way, it was a subject that, on the contrary, made you think and analyze a lot, sometimes it was even frustrating for you as a student.
Gustavo was a brilliant one of our times, I think that without realizing it he taught even when you passed him in the hallways. One day philosophizing with him I asked him where he found inspiration, he told me at the opera. It wasn't until seven years later that I understood it, when I had the opportunity to go as a photographer to Cirque du Soleil, at their Volta show in Miami.
In one of the shows, there was a group of aerialists who did a kind of choreography on the ground, jumping some rings (hoops) that were arranged in the center of the stage. It turns out that the rings were getting taller and taller, so the audience was growing anticipation. And I, as always, thinking the worst in this type of act, I said in my mind: the trapeze artist is going to fall and boom! He fell. There was silence throughout the room because the drummers and the band left the auditorium were unfazed in that part of the show. The trapeze artist then got up and asked for applause in unison, the audience eagerly awaited him, he began to give his short career, he jumped and achieved his feat.
At the end he bowed and the audience cheered him on.
I think that in the end we do not connect with the extraordinary man who does impossible things and pirouettes but with the human who became sensitive to his failure -human-. And it's where I'm going.
On the internet we find miles of success stories of people who have gone through many challenges and mistakes to reach some goal, goals so big that they even changed our lives. I'm talking about people like those who created a social network, a certain mode of purchase or endless online services.
Does it have to do with how we deal with adversity? Of course that's what we've learned from so many successful people and at this Cirque show, that was definitely the inspiration I needed to write this blog post.
Almost ten years later I understood Gustavo Valdés de León.