Wednesday, August 15, 2001

Philo-Soph is a compound word

Let's talk again about living in the mountains. There was a time that only hermits lived in the more remotes areas as we do today. As it was, fending for the bare essentials was more a chore than a leisure drive, and the plains and flat lands promised farming and easier hunting and gathering.
In those days, and of yore, homes amidst a nearly impossible perch were restricted to nomads, monasteries and castles. The likes of which, all, welcomed the labor of others to aid their survival.

Today, my house rests nearly unreachable if sought by a walker carrying supplies sufficient for a hearty dinner. Moreover, the construction of which would require a force of labor unattainable through my own meager means.

Here's the point. I really do have a castle. Sure, the scepter isn't in my hand, and the sprawl of my influence is limited to half an acre, but nonetheless, as far reaching as my driveway I rule supreme, queen at my right hand, weed eater in my garage.

What is missing, of course, is the royal treasure - not to mention the fleet of vessels, legions of knights and the general flogging of the serfs. It's not exactly Camelot or the hundred acre forest, but there's just something about owning your own trees.

The effort required from my sad little Plymouth Neon to climb to my house is daunting. You can hear the struggle of the squirrels in the pistons as each switch back is consumed. I wouldn't mind peddling down the hill, but don't turn me around.

Something interesting happened. Whenever I talk about what I studied in school, I always neglect to mention I studied Political Science, and tend to focus on my degree in Philosophy. The problem is, when you mention Political Science, people always ask stupid questions.

"So, what do you think of the President?" or "Well, what's happening with our relationship with China?" and so on. What I studied in the past neither then nor now dictated I ever be abreast of contemporary events, let alone historical ones.

In an attempt to circumvent such queries, and the feeling of failure as I fork over the acknowledgement that I have no idea about those things, I stick to Philosophy alone. It's an interesting dynamic to see people begin to quick-shift their minds into a different gear, attempting to interact with the subject matter in some quasi-cerebral way.

Most people have had an experience they need to share. Some people continue to suffer from the ramifications of some mind numbing question they would love to either have me solve or over which to watch me flounder. I provide a good show either way.

It's interesting how in a world of the mentally neutral, I come in contact again and again with the ones who enjoy the general practice of their armchair skills. "So, ..." they always begin, followed with some clever question forwarded to them in email, or heard at church, the gym or just came to them in the shower one morning.

It reminds me of the joke of the guy who said he was from California to a woman, who promptly asked back, "Oh, do you know Sam Smith? He lives in California, too!"

Silliness, especially when you think that all I did was study it in the past, with finger-quotes around "study" - Ha!

No comments: