Thursday, February 28, 2013
Read, Write, Think
Many, many moons ago, when my hair still lived above the bottom of my ears, I resided in Gretna, Louisiana; right across the river from the French Quarter in New Orleans. It used to be a 10 minute drive, at most, to possibly the biggest party spot in the entire U.S. Quite an amazing and inviting back yard for a bunch of 22 year olds. It was very easy to get lost in that laid back southern lifestyle. By the time I came home my hair was entering its current hippie-ish like state, I traded bandanas for kangols and I could not stop using the phrase ya'll ( to be accurate, I still find myself using this particular phrase). Those months spent in the South will always be some of the fondest of my life. And not because we lived right near a party so immense that it lasts 2 whole weeks, although that was very cool.
Now, there is many things I remember about that trip, and, interestingly enough, many things I do not. Certain moments are a little more hazy and vague than others, but there are also those moments that are as clear as day. Like when we literally took an entire street sign, post and all, loaded in our SUV and brought it back to our condo. I was never quite sure why we took it, but I can never forget going over the Mississippi River Bridge with a street sign pole hanging out the window. Classic!
The inspiration for this reflection comes from the fact that this upcoming Tuesday is Fat Tuesday and my friends are making the joyous journey back to New Orleans for some pure southern fun that, in this humble opinion, the whole world should experience at least once. Most of the travelers are first timers. But there is a wise Prof Thug Nug (finally got this hyperlink thing down) going on the trek and he will be able to show the others the correct partying path. Without question, fun will be had by all.
When I was living in Gretna, I told my roommates that instead of wasting the remaining days I had left partying day/night I would rather , READ WRITE THINK. This was met with laughter that is still heard today. It was an absurd notion that those three things were going to be able to be accomplished while living in such a lively city. I tried my best to do all three, although the time I fell asleep on the porch probably is a good example of occasional failures. I read a Hesse novel. I did write in notebooks, about what I read as well as any and all topics. Every now and then I stumble across those literary "gems"and read what I wrote. I kind of laugh at myself because it truly is so funny how at 22 I thought I had a good idea about how life would go. I thought I knew exactly where I would be when I was 31. I wrote about emotions that I thought I completely understood, and made philosophical assumptions without true experience. I did think. In fact, I did this more than anything else. I went on walks by the river, would sit on a bench for an hour or so and just watch people walk by. I thought about a lot of things. Some way more than others. I thought about my mother having breast cancer, I thought about my father man-ing up like always to deal with it, I thought about my brother and sister and the 2 beautiful twins they were about to have. I thought about my life, what would I do, who would I love, where would I live. The crazy part is the life I have is not even close to the life I imagined during those contemplative days. NOT EVEN CLOSE!!!! The life I lead is exponentially better than what my emotionally/spiritually feeble 22 year old mind could come up with. At that youthful age I could not mentally construct a vision of the future that took into account all the twists/turns, love/loss that would come to embody my own existence. But really, at 22, who can.
We all change. Acceptance of that fact makes a lot of things easier.
But something that has not changed is that I have not stopped reading, writing and thinking. I do it in different forms now, with different people in different ways, but I still do them all with the same passion I had as that young man with short hair stuffed underneath a baby blue kangol. I like to think that I have gotten smarter, we all do. But in reality, it is not smarter we get, it is only more experienced, wiser. Are You Experienced????
Thinking about New Orleans and writing about it so that other people can read about it...wow...circle!!!
Thank Ya'll for reading, come back now ya'hear!!!!