I don't think I'm alone when I say some times I don't get it. For example, I was walking through an art gallery yesterday and there were several exhibits that defied any explanation I could offer. When this happens, my internal conversation often ends up matching the kind of day I'm having. Because yesterday was sort of an in-between day, I didn't get as discouraged about my lack of understanding as I would have on a bad day or as glib about it as I would have on a good day. But as I struggled to understand what I was looking at, I began to wonder about the conversations some of you have when you don't get it.
This also happens to me quite a bit with poetry. And even though I've spent many years studying and playing jazz, I've had moments there as well. My wife will challenge me when I'm listening to something she finds un-listenable; even when I agree, I sometimes don't admit it. I recently read that "Finnegan's Wake" by James Joyce is considered a book only scholars actually read. I was relieved to know that; I've been unsuccessful reading "Ulysses" and have had my fair share of trouble even with Joyce's short stories.
I'm reasonably sure my intelligence puts me somewhere on the bell curve. In other words, I'm not as smart as the top 5% of the population, nor am I as limited as the bottom 5%. So I'm left wondering: When I don't get it, how many other people don't? How often will any of us willingly admit that we don't get it? And how does not getting it make us feel?