Friday, October 19, 2007

Foolish Musings on Wisdom

Ever since I was a child, I have been interested in, longed for, intrigued by the concept of wisdom. It is probably the influence of my mother which got me interested in the thing.

Now, I can say by experience that interest in wisdom does not necesssarily correlate with increased wisdom. I have a good bit of stubborn foolishness lodged in me such that any attempt at quick extraction might cause the death of me - or perhaps even something more serious.

And yet, I do not lose heart because I know there is wisdom somewhere and I figure if I live long enough I might stumble across a bit of it - not that I would know what to do with it when I found it. In those rare moments when I detect the presence of wisdom, I regress into the depths of my immaturity. I'm a geeky 7th grade boy struggling to find a word, a single word, to speak to the very attractive 10th grade girl - the girl who actually wouldn't mind haging out with me if I acted the least bit human. Usually I am quiet in the presence of wisdom, but sometimes I crack and rattle off bizarre collections of words that in no way resemble meaning. I can further the window grade in Annapolis skyscrapers like Tibetan Monks...uhm...uhm.. Inconvenient Truth. Grizzly Adams. Spider monkeys farts smell really bad. When I am with wisdom I am out of context.

I find ways, with remarkable reliability, to alienate myself from wisdom everytime she flirts with me. Does wisdom ever run out of patience? If she does, I'm done for because this stake of fools is lodged in my heart and is sticking out of my chest and I have in many ways come to depend on it - kind of a Stockholm Syndrome dependence, but dependence nonetheless. I'm not sure she's willing to wait around for me to realize that I can break off the end of the stake and then go get surgery and actually remove this foolshness from me.

Sometimes she touches the end of the stake with the tip of her finger, cocks her head to the side to let her hair dangle down a bit, smiles, and benignly tries to start a conversation, "whatcha doin?" She doesn't make eye contact immediately, not until I start answering, which ends up being something about the flatulence of spider monkeys. I don't know how to talk to the girl.

When she asks what I am doing, I come to realize that I don't have any idea what I am doing and that I never had a clue that I was actually partiticpating in life in any meaningful way. But her question tells me that I am doing something and that my doings, whatever they are, not only can be noticed, but might even be of interest to someone. Her question is call not only to awareness, but a call to responsibility. Wisdom does not flirt with me becuase she wants to consume me, but rather because she wants to awaken me from my foolish slumber of self-absorbed immaturity, awaken from this love affair with the stake in my heart and be active in this world. She sees my power and wants to motivate me to use it for the benefit of the world.

My prayer is that I can learn to speak with wisdom, converse with her, receive her counsel. Who knows, maybe I'll set and appointment with the surgeon.

No comments: