I guess those things must have fascinated me as much as they did him, because all my life since those days my biggest love has been understanding things. I theorize all day long every day. Can’t stop myself. It’s not that I love theorizing. It’s that I want answers. I want to understand everything, to see how it all works, the beginning middle and end, the cause and effect. To see clearly.
Anyway, I really enjoy discovering an answer to something, any little thing, but even moreso if it’s a higher order answer. A little hole is filled in and in seconds the whole thing shows its shape, its strength, a process or structure I never saw before. When I first went to university, my major was biology, having just come off the farm. When I cracked open that text book and began to see the basics, each one slowly unfolding in front of me, I remember it was like I was on some powerful stimulant, like some drug splashed out of the pages.
But then, as exams began to close in, studying became more of a job. Memorizing overwhelmed any mental orgasm. It all flattened out. Soon I couldn’t even imagine the discoverers having gotten any thrill out of it, to say nothing of experiencing it myself. Where earlier, for instance, I watched certain bones evolve from one form and function into a completely different one some five or six species later in evolution and was in shock by this literal demonstration of millions of years of change, now I was just memorizing names...tibias and so on. I can’t remember them at all anymore they meant so little to me.
And now when I see a students reading thick texts with head asleep on one hand I feel what a shame. They should be exploding with discovery five or six times a page. But that’s how it has to be or we would never get physicists. Civilization would go nowhere. Anyway, the thrill of individual discovery is pretty much a thing of the past. The Large Hadron Collider has over 500 physicists working on it, collectively, at any given moment. An awful lot of intricate discussion over an awful lot of coffee, for maybe a couple discoveries.
Oh well, I don’t care. I think only for myself. Occasionally I make what to me is a big discovery, and it doesn’t matter at all that the first person to come up with that idea lived hundreds of years ago. And that it has been taught in school all this time and I never knew it. Actually, it’s lucky for me that I missed it. Because that meant there was one more hole in my model that I had the chance to fill by myself, to have my own revelation about. I could, if for some reason I latched onto the problem, think deeply about it for hours, attacking it from all angles, until, suddenly I HAVE IT. I could feel like a kid again, like jumping, running at top speed, shouting.
On the other hand, I could have read it in a book with my head asleep on my hand. I’m happy that I only got the basics of human knowledge at college. The rest I can now add at my own pace, by myself, if and when the opportunity presents itself.
And poetry? Where does it fit into all this? It’s another world altogether to me. There’s some overlap, but poetry describes and delves into one world and theories into another. I really like both, both worlds and both modes of creativity.
So I’m thinking that I’m going to start using this blog for both. The understandings will come in the form of what I think the writing world refers to as the personal essay. Personal because they are personal ideas, coming out of an individual life, out of one person’s thoughts and situations. But essays in that they are an attempt to see something of objective reality as well, and in doing so, bring many trains of thought together around it in a coherent form. Then I’ll throw in a poem now and then because I like them, and like writing them, and because I’m a poetry event organizer now. But also because poems tackle the subjective world much as essays tackle the objective world.
Both worlds are very real and we live in both at the same time. The subjective world is the world we feel and work in and relate with others in and talk about all the time. Poetry can take us deeper into it than we normally go, and can show us a much wider expanse of it than can chit chat. But nevertheless it very seldom breaks through into the underpinnings which is the objective world. To me that reality is the most mysterious because we can’t see it. It’s only indirectly observable. We see it through ideas, theories. And theories are my thing.
I do understand that theories can be a bit dry for the unobsessed. But don’t worry. I’ll try to make them live. And in a very large sense, all of reality is alive, whether we define it that way or not. It's in a constantly changing state of harmony, everything with everything else, no matter how large or small. The thrill is to see it that way.