The soul has greater need of the ideal than the real for it is by the real that we exist, it is by the ideal that we live

Monday, December 14, 2009

Well I thought you'd never say it

It finally happened! I got tagged for a meme. I've never been tagged before, so there goes yet another virginity. But it was taken by one of the best bloggers I know, so it was given willingly albeit unknowingly.

The task at hand is to talk about five things I enjoy, so here goes:

1.) I love teaching. I'll be honest, I got into it so I could do something else in the summer, but miracle of miracles I find I LOVE watching that light come on in people's eyes when they understand something for the first time. It's amazing and the way they look at you when they suddenly feel part of the fraternity is totally fulfilling. It's not diffficult to encourage someone who really wants to know, and when they do, I just want to help them figure it out.

It doesn't hurt that I have a total passion for the subject I teach either. It's truly the substitute for the interpersonal relationship I never had. It comes and gets me,then throws me out in the street like an old shoe,and every time it comes back for me I go willingly.

Buddy Zimmer,my high school theatre teacher, may he rest in peace,got to teach in the fall and winter,and then direct plays in the summer. It was a life I always envied him. His passion for it when he was young,was the reason I pursued it. I felt lucky that I got to spread his ashes in not one,but two of the theatres he taught in.

2.) I love being a potter. It gives me a creative outlet that I think about ALL the time. I think of colors,and glazes, and shapes,and having a true studio in which I can work whenever I want. Doing the work gives me a sense of accomplishment,and produces work that as opposed to theatre is tangible and lasting. It calms me in ways I find hard to describe.

Keith D. Smith, an old friend I haven't seen in many years was the reason this passion came to me. I moved to New Mexico the first time in the 80's mostly because I knew him and it was easier to start off in a town where I knew someone. But also because I felt pulled there for some reason. In any case he was doing an internship as a potter and I stumbled in on it. He volunteered to teach me how to throw, and though I didn't follow it at that time I found it was one of those things that kept coming back to me. This latest time I've re-discovered it I think it'll stick.

3.) Horses. I love working with horses. They teach me something every single day. They show me that I'm small and in the order of things pretty fragile and insignificant, and that it's a miracle that we humans survived at all as dumb as we are. They're huge scared-y-cats with no good reason except that flight is their only defense from anything. And man can they do flight good. I can work with them for hours and think I've accomplished something and suddenly find they've outsmarted me and negated the whole lesson. They live right here and right now and that is a lesson I haven't perfected. They also get me outside rain or shine and that is good for my soul.

Oldflame, whom I haven't mentioned here in a longtime was the inspiration for this passion. He used to ride fairly often and really liked it. I thought it sounded like fun, but being the compartmentalist he is, we never pursued it. But his interest in it piqued mine and I took lessons. I got lucky,the guy who taught me also had a passion for horses and he was a very encouraging teacher. So I've sought out opportunities to work with them ever since and one day soon I think it'll be time to have one or two of my own.

4.) Being gay. That teaches me that I'm part of something bigger all the time. Like right now in this era there's a struggle for civil rights, and there are differing opinions on the subject. An entire generation has come along with their own life experience and thus their own views on the subject. I belong to this group, not by choice, but by birthright, by virtue of who I am, by being true to myself and wanting to be a free man on the earth.

This passion I can attribute to me. I certainly had the choice of being honest about who I am or not. I had women in my life, and certainly at least one who loved me enough that I think I could have led a very different life than the one I have. But it wouldn't have been an honest one. It wouldn't have been very fulfilling if I knew in my heart I was hiding something, not only from others but from myself. I lived enough of my life in the shadow of others expectations that I am truly glad I didn't succumb to that pressure. I also think I'm lucky to be finally slowing down enough as I age that I think I can handle a relationship...finally.

5.) My bike. I'd love to be able to ride my bike more than the weather in this climate allows. There's a perspective of life on a bike that you can't get from a car. It can take you places you'd never go otherwise, and when we finally educate drivers here in America of the dangers of getting too close, we might just find it'll take off as a form of personal transport.

The first charity ride I did in 1992 was 50 miles and a lot of it was along and close to the Missouri River Just north of here. At one point we passed through this town, the same town coincidentally in which I now teach, and as we left there I came around a curve and to my left was a field. It was river bottom land and it was planted for the season. It was still early in the day and there was a fog over the field. It was utterly still. A hawk was playing with some prey darting in and out of the fog. Suddenly a passenger train streaked through this bucolic vista startling me back to the task at hand. I'd never have been there if it weren't for my bike.

Thanks Bigg! This was a great way to start my week. I'm done working for the holiday season. I have to post grades today and tomorrow and then it's the last of the shopping. There's candy to make and lights to hang and general holiday cheer to impart. This was more fun than I had thought it would be. Now I have to tag five friends. Here goes:

Thomasina, you're up dear. Warren, I think it's time you stepped up too. And though I don't think he's a meme kind of guy, nor do i thin he's in the mood right now but I'm going to tag Justin just because I think he needs to think of something positive right now instead of the incessant BS he's dealing with. I think my friend in HI should do this too, but he doesn't have a blog so the challenge will have to be found here.

And so it goes:



Don's Girl said...

WHAT?!?! Heck, my cat got one of this meme on HIS blog--and now me? Hmm. Let me ponder..


The New Me said...

Your cat has a blog? I'm, um speechless.