Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Burden and a Gift

"It's a blessing and a burden."

How many times do I hear that? How many times do I SAY that?

There are very few gifts that aren't burdens in some way. It makes me think about Kant and how the only intrinsically good thing is a good will. Fair enough, I'll buy that. I'll even extrapolate to say that a good will is never in and of itself a burden.

What else?

A light heart, a good humor. I'm fortunate to have both of those.

…and then there's genius. Number one with a bullet on the All Time Top Burden and Blessing Countdown. Genius is not an especially rare commodity. I know a handful of 'em and with very few exceptions; they seem to spend a lot being miserable, or at least miserable to be around.

I know three who don't: my beloved Professor McG, my grandfather in Nashville, and me. Wait, four, if you count Michael.

Yeah, I'm one too. Textbook polymath: exceptional and rare, but not exceptionally rare. I come by it honestly, my Nashville grandfather is a polymath with an eye towards the sciences and my other one has a true genius for languages. I can do pretty much everything…except for pull-ups.

Being a polymath can be frustrating but it's not as lonely as some of the other types of genius. There's not the feeling of being a one-trick pony. I live in fear of being thought of as "just" a liberal arts writer type. I was well on my way to becoming a field botanist at the top of my class at one of the finer eastern universities when I got the call to ministry. If I couldn't be a scientist I wanted to be a mechanic (still do) or maybe a handy man (I like taking things apart and fixing them).

I never once thought I'd make a living, or at least most of one, as a writer.

Then again, I never thought I'd make one as a priest, either.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re:"I never once thought"

It just goes t'show 
When lookin' in th' mirror 
We've precious little knowledge 
'Bout who it is that's lookin' right back


3:51 PM  

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