“Why do we wake up, roll over in bed, and suddenly enact our own miniature one woman marionette show? Why am I, like a machine at work, moving toward this table of individuals I’d usually glance over, smiling and staring doe-eyed and beginning: ‘Hi folks! Good evening! How are you?’”
My least favorite combination of too-often employed words is: YOU THINK TOO MUCH. If there’s one form of expression kids and even adults are taught to not do too much of, it is to think. Even feeling is permissible in large amounts. The other day I was at it again, outpouring too much, so really any bit of, my thoughts.
The given response: “Leah, you think too much.” And all at once, I felt totally full of rage, my perceptions of humankind surmised to something altogether negative. Not only have we no more “Great Thinkers” or even the tendency to employ the term, honor the individuals, but we no longer cherish, admire, or merely regard thought as essential.
I think a lot, and although, as in the “you think too much” incidents, it may be marked characteristically perilous, it is my most favored trait. I am most fully alive when on my own—executing a mental dance, praying over supposed scenery, which really shows itself to me as just another component of myself. Aloneness is where the dance happens. And I am pretty good at being alone. I did it often as a child: usually in the “running away” format (to the backyard, in the grocery store, at the mall). I loved a lot of humanity, sure, but my truest love, from very early on, was a world with which I would forever acquaint myself, and rarely produce any clear-cut decisions.
Philosophy was an obvious program of study for me, but again, my mere interests would herald “realistic” responses and naysayer’s jabs positing the things I loved as “dead” or “dying.” But I didn’t care. Even absurdist philosophy was all about living and life. It encourage rebellion in the face of a barring universe. It encouraged intelligence in the form of action. Even in a seminar room, I was feeling like Sysyphus—preying on my truths, aware and in admittance of a world I am consistently ceasing to conceive.
I find myself wondering when being an intellectual became pretentious. When Camus distinguished existentialism from pretentiousness and established thought as an act of claiming one’s freedom rather than a muted, loathsome passivity he was regarded an intellectual. So, I guess I, too, am (shamelessly) an intellectual. As my good man said:
An intellectual? Yes. And never deny it. An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself. I like this, because I am happy to be both halves, the watcher and the watched. “Can they be brought together?” This is a practical question. We must get down to it. “I despise intelligence” really means: “I cannot bear my doubts.
I am a thinker. Thought is my breath. How else is one to live?