Friday, June 17, 2005


I had a class in H.S. called Poetry and Music. It was taught by Mr. Basil. He was a pretty cool dude. We read poetry and talked about it, not in a literary sense, but in a "how does it affect you and me as persons" sense. How are we moved by the music and poetry around us? What music and/or poetry might be in us that we can share with each other? He had us watch Leo Buscaglia videos and read Robert Fulghum and Hugh Prather and we talked and wrote poetry and brought in our cassettes of music to share. It was a very groovy class, and it introduced me to these writers (free thinkers) that really had quite an affect on me.

You may have read or at least heard of the book called All I Ever Needed To Know I Learned In Kindergarten, written by Robert Fulghum. Well, he wrote another book that inspired my wacky titles. He wrote a book called It Was On Fire When I Lay Down On It.

In this book he includes an essay on Geek Dancing. (Not Greek Dancing) It's a beautiful essay in which (among other things) he talks about two older folks who don't look like they could walk across the street much less dance but have been dancing together for so long they move with ease and grace that has been perfected over the years so well that they don't even need to speak, they just dance, and it turns out beautifully.

Within that essay is a paragraph about geekiness that I sort of relate to, and I'd have to contest his assertion that this happens around age 60, because I'm not even close to 60 and I feel like I'm nearly there.

"At some point your genetic code presses a switch in your head. You look in your closet to dress for the day and you say to yourself, who cares? You reach the point somewhere around sixty when you decide to just go ahead and weird out. You start out the door in your house slippers, headed for the grocery store, and you don't go back and change into shoes. To hell with it. Or you go out to the mailbox in your bathrobe--your oldest, sleaziest, comfiest bathrobe--and don't give a damn who sees you. Or when someone rings the doorbell, you don't check in the mirror to see how you look. You just open the door. It's their problem, whoever they are. So you aren't color-coordinated anymore. So? So you don't make your bed every day. So? Your life becomes like your old car--just as long as it runs and gets you there, who cares how it looks? Some people call this going to seed. Others call it the beginning of wisdom. Take your pick."

I don't know about you. I call it wisdom. Once, about 6 years ago, I got to church and someone said "Dude! I love your shoes! Where did you get those?" I looked down and lo and behold I had gotten all the way to church in my brown fuzzy slippers. When I told them they were my slippers they sort of looked at me in awe and said "You came to church in your slippers? That is SO COOL!" I tried to explain that I didn't do it on purpose, but the cool factor had gone way up and I have to say I kind of liked that. So I felt a little stupid (but cool) for about 5 minutes and then I remembered the Robert Fulghum paragraph and thought "Yup. I've become the Geek. But I'm a WISE Geek!"

Beauty and Grace and Wisdom and Geekiness really can go together, I'm finding out. And it's a gift, the ability to see it all in the same place.
What lovely messes we are, when we aren't trying so hard to hide from each other.


  • My strongest memory from that class is watching "The Finer Things" Steve Winwood music video. The words moved me so back then, and they still do:
    "While there is time
    Let's go out and feel everything
    If you hold me
    I will let you into my dream
    For time is a river rolling into nowhere
    We must live while we can
    And we'll drink our cup of laughter"

    By Blogger ., at 6/17/2005 3:22 PM  

  • those are two great books....I loved them....I'm not close to sixty (yet) but went to the mailbox (one of those communal things at the entrance to my neighborhood) in my little girl boxer panties and undershirt earlier this week....o.k. sure so I drove there, but still had to get out of the car and get my mail. Who does care anyway?

    By Blogger Adinah, at 6/17/2005 4:16 PM  

  • "Some dance to remember, some dance to forget."

    - The Eagles, Hotel California

    By Blogger Steve, at 6/17/2005 10:45 PM  

  • One of your best. posts. ever!

    Love it. Glad to be geeky!

    By Blogger SpookyRach, at 6/20/2005 12:18 PM  

  • I have reached geekdom. I guess we should all get t-shirts proclaiming the fact huh?!?!?

    By Blogger Princess of Everything (and then some), at 6/20/2005 12:56 PM  

  • I'm a geek - yes. I wear my Walmart nightie outside to water my flowerpots. The only thing missing is curlers and horn-rimmed glasses - then I'd have the full geek-goddess effect going.

    One of the dictionary definitions of a geek is a circus performer who does bizarre acts, like biting the head off a live chicken. I'm not quite that geeky. Just Walmart nightie geeky.

    By Blogger Just Pat, at 6/20/2005 2:10 PM  

  • JP - you and your nightie. :o)
    I'm sure the flowers (and the neighbors) don't care. Have you got the isotoners to boot?

    I'm glad to know so many geeks read my blog.

    By Blogger Captainwow, at 6/20/2005 6:59 PM  

  • i wanna be a computer geek ... but i'm not smart enough ... :o) ... atleast i'm getting to the stage where i don't really care if i'm in style, as long as i'm comfortable! yup, those 4 inch heels were given away a decade ago! ha! it feels good to have shoes on that i can actually walk in ... AND slippers would be the best! loved that you shared that little tidbit!

    oh, i posted a cat pic today and thought of you! or did i think of you and then post the cat picture? hmmm ... *chuckling*

    By Blogger Saija, at 6/20/2005 11:19 PM  

  • hoping oyu catch this message on here, I'll post on mine too....No, it's Brian Andreas. His link is on my page. Called Story People. You MUST go and read some of the stories. They are a hoot. I posted one called "flying naked with Jesus" last's on my blog, scroll down and read it...

    By Blogger Adinah, at 6/21/2005 7:10 PM  

  • It's awfully scary but so liberating when we learn how to be ourselves, to just be in the world as our own and tell those who look at you in distain - "just fuck off dude".

    By Blogger Cyndi, at 6/22/2005 4:12 AM  

  • OK, this is just too weird.

    First off, my father-in-law's name is Stanley HUGH PRATHER. Obviously it's my last name, and look how close GAYLE is to GAYLA.


    By Blogger Gayla, at 6/22/2005 5:18 PM  

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