Thursday, September 17, 2009

Certifiable? Certified? Classified? All Of The Above?

I cannot be classified.

I am not a member.

I wrote that in high school, 10th grade I believe. It's cute, I think. Lord knows, I'd be ecstatic if I received anything of that nature from my students. For me, it was the beginning.Some of my earliest memories aren't even really memories. They're figments of my imagination but figments that were being used to propel all sorts of exploration. Before I even turned three, I was having daily conversations with my sixty four year old neighbor, Sav. And I would talk about whatever was the furthest from my immediate scope. My favorite topic was the planes that flew from nearby JFK Airport and right over our house in Queens. By the time I was learning my alphabet, I had made it to the edge of the known universe, struggling with the black or white space that could only be what came before the beginning. Yet, none of that was a threat to my place in the whole mess. As I've said, I've always been able to pilot from within. No matter which direction I look, outward or inward, I can always find myself on the verge of something but never quite there. Let me pause for a moment to paraphrase something my mentor and karate instructor said in class last night.
Look through the telescope and you will see infinity.
Look through the microscope and you will see infinity.
Being on the verge of something but never quite there is merely a description of the leash we are all on. We may gaze at the infinite but our perspective is finite. Sooner or later, we classify out of the need to get a grip. We make plans.Love. Work. Living space. No matter how long I have used my creativity and imagination to address and contemplate the infinite, the present has a way of getting one's attention. Try having plans in all of those areas blasted to bits within a relatively short window of time. No longer a dreamer, you're worn. Suddenly, you become aware of the mass you're comprised of and remember how long you've been dragging it around. It's a crash course in what's actually goin on. With luck, the "While You Were Away" memo arrives long before any serious breakdown. In my experience, the road to disaster is paved by neglect for the here and now. A certain Dr. Winston O'Boogie once said "Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans."

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