I was given the advice to read Don Quixote three times in my life: in youth, as an adult, and in old age. I’ve read it once so far. The second time, my favorite lines will be some I don’t remember ever reading the first. And on the third, I’ll understand in a way that I can’t even think of now.
Things hit you differently as you grow. A second experience reveals, but age enriches.
We are re-watching movies from our childhoods now, and almost every night I am either surprised by how much worse or better something is than I remember. What’s consistent is that I now recognize subtleties, in-jokes, hints from the director, or how clunky some characters can be.
We recently revisited Galaxy Quest. I know it well from watching on road trips because my mom could “watch” it without having to see the screen. I never noticed Tony Shalhoub’s subtle comedy shining in the background, Alan Rickman’s pessimism, or Sam Rockwell’s worries.
What more is lurking beneath the words of your favorite novels, the surface of your favorite movies, the face of your favorite paintings?