Saturday, June 28, 2008

still crazy

Awhile back, I wrote to tell my old friend D, himself known to wrap quiet desperation in some pretty darn elegant pop tunes, that there was a Paul Simon retrospective running that had brought him to mind, as had an accompanying review noting that Simon had tasked himself with using all 12 notes of the chromatic scale in each melody on Still Crazy.

"Ah," D. replied, "this explains why I can never play mid-70s Paul Simon on the dulcimer." (Dulcimers apparently are fretted on a diatonic scale. Now you know.) "This afternoon I finished a 1000-word (precisely, of course) essay on [X ]for our [Y] publication," D. continued. "I once wrote a course description for an academic catalog that was a pangram. At what point does it just become obsessiveness?"

My answer? That darlin', --and this goes for you too, dear reader, if try as you might, all you can see/think/do is one thing, or conversely, you've got yourself some attention deficit or a bad boggle habit--you've got it backwards. It's obsessiveness that sometimes blooms into genius; genius does not devolve, it only transcends. Your obsessiveness and your genius are one and the same real thing.

While I may not actually be doing much to exemplify my own insights these days, I have been enjoying a near-daily reminder in the form of a nearly life-sized coral reef fashioned from yarn and plastic.

Imagine this. Have you ever tried to knit/tat/crochet? Having grown up just one generation after the demise of the dowry, with my own mother's linen closet filled with handkerchiefs and crisp white sheets edged with lace whose makers she'd known all her life, I actually learned my grandmother's pattern and used to give pillowcases to friends on very, very special occasions. It was a labor of love that progressed at a maximum speed of 4 inches per hour.

Now imagine that there are ruffly little anenomes and mildly obscene sea cucumbers in a glass teaser case I pass on my way through the corporate turnstiles each morning, because there are. Think of their slow, practically geologic accretion into the room-sized exhibit we all snorkel past on our way to lunch. I think it's supposed to heighten awareness, but mostly it just makes me happy that that kind of crazy keeps cropping up, even here, even now.


David Gambrell said...

I would not be convicted by a jury of my peers.

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