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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

humility again..

so I was asked to be specific...
but of course, i will continue to be (somewhat) metaphorical. spin, spin, spin, like all the hero politicians of our times.

one piece of the puzzle is the fact that I can explain to just about anyone what my research is about. the caveat to that statement would be the word "interested". If someone is interested, I can find a way to explain that wiggling electrons give off x-rays and one needs to know whether those electrons are stable like the moon's orbit, or unstable like comets getting thrust beyond the solar system. what i'm trying to say is that no matter how technical one gets in trying to understand something, one can always stand back and give a more accessible description of it. a bridge can be built, though it takes some good faith effort from both ends.

loneliness. there are many paths that lead to this well known territory.

i'm not sure how to make the point, but there's a sense in which the more elitest one gets, the more down to earth one gets. getting away from the popular gets you in touch with what is common internally amongst people, not that which is imposed from without. fierce independence can be related to by anyone. I'm reminded of a line by dostoyevsky about how there are no structures so sacred, no crystalline castles so pristine that they cannot be laughed at. something like that.

here's a story: when i was in kathmandu for a summer, i rented an apartment a little ways away from the center of town. across the street from me was a pharmacy. being not overly careful with cleaning of mangoes and such, I came down with a stomach sickness and walked across the street to consult the pharmacy. i was told that being american i probably knew better than them what to do about my sickness. indeed, i did have some cipro which i took and perhaps helped me out over the next few days. but i made some friends at the pharmacy. this one guy (i'm trying to remember his name) came with me over to my apartment and somehow i ended up reading my journal to him. i was sad about not being able to connect with a certain person and wrote about her quite a bit. this guy listened carefully and gave me his understanding. it was amazing to have this almost immediate connection with someone who grew up on the other side of the world in a pretty different environment from me. on the other hand, my dad also came with me during part of this trip. we were in different worlds. he was looking for external evidence of my humanity. when i taught someone a few chords on a guitar, he used this as a logical argument to convince himself that i could relate to people. it was sad. we had very little connection.


Sarah Silbert said...

I don't know exactly what to say, but I know what you're talking about. Sometimes I get really frustrated because of the lack of connection I have with others.

That is really neat about the guy from the pharmacy. I hope to have experiences like that someday.

Boaz said...

Thanks for the comment Sarah. Sorry for the obscurity. I indulge in it a bit too much probably. But it is fun.
I like to keep blog writing in that undefined arena- making up the rules as I go along. But I may have just not gotten feedback for too long, and so forgotten how to say things clearly.

Yes, lack of connection is frustrating. I guess you are one of those people who really appreciates genuine connection and doesn't get so much out of the experiences a lot of people consider interaction. Keep up the writing... you're doing some interesting stuff.