Anthropologist of Wonder

In The Daily Drool on October 20, 2009 at 6:00 pm

Is it any wonder artists are so prone to madness?  We hear, see, taste, feel everything!  Our minds, bodies, and souls are tuned in to those hard-to-hear frequencies… frequencies that the average citizen remains blissfully unaware of… and with a predisposition to listen to so many channels, it’s no wonder we get labeled eccentric, quirky, or just plain crazy (warranted or not.)

Today, at my odd job surveying teens, I was sitting in a gymnasium (woof, I don’t miss P.E.!) with oodles and oodles of school kids, minding my own business when there came a tap, tap, tapping.  Now, the obvious source was one of the 8th graders seated on the floor nearby, but for some reason I looked to the trash located to my right as though some little garbage monkey had begun playing the drums… and allowed that idea to sit for a moment before even thinking to ask where the sound was “really” coming from.

Because (cue the circus music)it didn’t seem that impossible.

And as I sat there, completely open to the possibility of garbage monkeys in Topanga and what they might be doing hanging around with the middle schoolers, (kids do manufacture a lot of trash) it occurred to me that the patterns of thought exercising my brain on a steady basis might be a little bit… unusual.  I mean, people don’t probably go from “Hmm, I wonder what that sound it” cue eyes… see garbage can, VOILA “Garbage Monkeys!”

Then, the observational “Me” who was noting this unusual thinking got to remembering yesterday’s date confusion.  See, I got to the “date” section on a form I was filling in and wrote 10/18/08… then I stared at it, at that infinite 8, in utter confusion.  What year is it? My brain asked as it ran around and around itself in perfectly mimicked loops searching for the answer… (none came)… and then it asked Does it really matter?  I mean, what is our human obsession with time and counting anyway?  The earth doesn’t care about our calendars, seconds, decades… It’s just a symbol!  An assignment.  It’s wholly and completely meaningless! (15 seconds… still staring at the form and that “8”) But what year have we decided upon right now?  Am I really here, facing this conundrum or am I having some sort of existential crisis in the memory of this Post Office line? (25 seconds) Why does this seem to unimportant?  Is time, and therefore the year, and therefore more things by association, decided by my action, or am I a slave to this assignment?  What happens if I call it 2008?  Or 1008?  Anything?  Is this a shift in consciousness or am I consciously loosing it? (40 damn seconds Tiffany!) …   …   …   2008, it feels… weird…

And then  I remember, not because I feel some kind of lunar “Click” but because I can “see” my pen on paper the week before writing 10/9/09 over and over again at a another survey school.

So I scratch out the infinite 8 and draw in the less frightening 9… my mind still racing because I don’t believe in it.  Somehow, some remainder of the confusion has remained long enough for my mind to echo Time is just something we invented to give the illusion of control… control over the seasons, over the sun, over our own imprefect and short existence on this planet… as if Nature or the Earth gave a damn how old we think they are.

And there I stood, form filled out, completely irreverant and not at all unsettled by my ponderings… And I felt (for a moment) outside it all.  I felt completely untethered to these human rules we fight for… and I felt fine.

See -Is it a step, an inch, a breath away from madness?  Or do I simply have one foot in Neverland, one foot still here writing down all I can see?

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