Monday, December 7, 2009

The Burden of Genius...

The idiosyncrasies of a brilliant mind are rarely met with warm embraces. Somehow we've thought it normal to mock the peculiar ways of the gifted amongst us. Its amusing and its human chale. And it should be comforting to the rest of us 'normal' Joe earthlings that its okay when our moments of brilliance are met with giggles. Einstein probably suffered that every day.

Van Gogh died broke, Galileo was prosecuted and convicted for defending Copernicus' challenge of geocentrism when he suggested that the earth goes around the sun (not vice versa), and somehow i bet you the guy that came up with the idea to build a spaceship was more steve urkel than stefan urkool.

Its okay to be brilliant and to do all those little funny things that somehow allow genius to reside in you. If you murmur to yourself on long promenades every day, keep doing it. If you're like my friend kubolor and your bare your soles daily keep doing it. If you're Lauryn Hill and you want to strum your guitar and sing brilliant painful poems unplugged, do it. Hopefully i can medicate myself with this advise in the moments i need it most

the burden of genius? That would be ridicule.


Matthew said...

heh, i think you need to go watch "whatever works" then.

M.anifest said...

i saw it a few weeks back. woody allen. quirky guy. almost had me singing happy birthday when washing my hands

Guillermo Abjofranco said...

Advice that's just in the nick of time for me. Thank you, and keep rocking!

winged troika said...

I never cared much about modern society, its aspirations, its vices and urgings.

I was the class clown all throughout elementary school. In the fourth grade my teacher asked, "What is Independence Day about?" Recalling the movie of the same name I spoke with feigned timidity, raising my voice just enough to be heard. "Uh, aliens?" I answered. The entire class broke into laughter, Mrs. Lee stared hard into my eyes as I struggled to stifle a rapidly growing smirk.

Well, I think its pretty funny, anyway.

Everything I encountered in school had the same effect as her question; I knew, of course, what it was *really* about, but I never felt the need to validate it to myself. I passed it all over at first in humor, then indignation, and finally silence.

I have a prodigiously low tolerance for nonsense, and being expected to require help comprehending a textbook - at a murderously slow pace, nonetheless (a job which teachers seem very proud of) - struck me as very ridiculous indeed.

As I progressed from middle school to high school, the amount of work I completed declined in direct proportion to how much nonsense assaulted my ears and my eyes. My attention to the class environment itself had been waning steadily as well. Eventually it became completely selective. I enjoyed drawing and writing stories while my classmates lazed through cute novels I'd read years before, crunched numbers in formulas they didn't understand.

Soon, though, I had had enough of that too. So I fucked off out of high school at the tender age of sixteen and divided my time around reading, writing, drawing, playing my instruments - shit like that. I also masturbated a lot. Oh, and I forgot about the drugs.

winged troika said...

Yeah, there were lots of drugs involved.

But wait - what had I been thinking in my earlier years? What, exactly, goaded me to forsake the world like I did?

The world itself contrasted with my own, maybe.

I was born with the unfortunate affliction (others, if they knew this condition by experience and not merely by its products, would perhaps stop calling it an ability) of having immediate, fluid access to the faculty of imagination which reigns mercilessly over one's soul, dragging it through the deepest troughs and launching it atop the highest peaks. My earliest fantasies (so far as I remember) concerned gross exaggerations of magnitude, staggering in their scope. I would nod off thinking about a large green cube, a red sphere, or a blue pyramid immersed in an exact Cartesian grid extending everywhere into infinity. These pure, perfect forms swamped me - their beauty was comforting, their size frightening. I don't know why I thought these things, but I did, and thus realized a yearning to return to that boundless eternity of which my imaginings seemed a mere remnant.

Later, as the arbitrary systems of human interaction and the not-so-arbitrary mathematics of nature impressed themselves upon me, my mind came to consider these within its vast, empty landscapes. Like an obese man with a never-ending stomach, I was always hungry to learn. And like that same man, whose organ of digestion constantly lurches with acid to destroy its cargo of foodstuffs, contemplation never ceased.

This inclination is not just a thought, nor a behavior, but something ingrained within me. It's the thin, nimble fingers of a pianist, the unalterable height of a humiliated dwarf.

So imagine, if you would, how it must feel for a prince to be fed scraps of meat thrown at his feet by peasants. Haughty? I apologize.

I've lived carrying my own world on my back while the bastard gods deigned to balance on it another, just to see if it would fall. But when it did, they plucked it right up and joined curvilinear tangents again.

For this my body aches terribly and I suffer no small amount from a profound drowsiness.

My muscles have hardened to an astounding degree, but my bones are breaking - one by one. What good is strength when you cannot use it?

Why'd I take the time to write all of this?
Eh, why not. No skin off my back.

winged troika said...

By the way: _that's_ the burden of genius. It doesn't manifest in the same way each time, but the feelings are always strikingly similar.