I am not Aristotle

Dunce (7885704332)Just to start this off right, here’s a rodent in a dunce’s cap.

OK, I’m just going to get this off my chest, because frankly, it’s cramping my style.

For a variety of reasons, I did not have quite the same opportunities for education as many of my younger siblings did. (A lot of this had to do with a pathetically strong desire for approval and a perceived familial disapproval of some of what I’d hoped to do, but that’s beside the point.) And honestly, if I’d had the chance to be absolutely anything at all, I’d likely be a lab rat rather than a theology professor.

I just can’t seem to make my brain go certain places. Unlike certain other family members, I don’t read books on economics or politics for fun. I struggle with getting through books on philosophy or spirituality. I make myself read some of the writings of the saints, for example, because it’s good stuff…but I’m much more likely to navigate through Francis de Sales than Thomas Aquinas.

Given my druthers, I tend to read fiction, and not necessarily of the “literary” variety. If and when I read non-fiction, I’m mostly fascinated by stories of disease and disaster and adventure.

I guess my point is that I’m just not the hyper intellectual scholar many family members and friends seem to be. And this can’t help but be reflected in my writing. I’m not comfortable with attempting opinions on politics. I’m never going to be a major apologist. I’m never going to be one of those bloggers.

Any fictional stories I write are likely to be pretty straightforward. They are unlikely to have deep philosophical layers. They’re likely to have some nerdy elements, because I like such things. They’re likely to explore feelings and humor. But when I try to force deeper themes into them, I sound like a clumsy child, and I know it, and it makes me want to give up writing entirely. Which is kind of where I’ve been these past few months.

At the same time, I feel like I’m not supposed to be anything aside from deep. Not that anyone has said so in as many words, but I feel shallow, ridiculous, and out of my league even in my own family and the social circle that surrounds them. It’s like…they’re debating the pros and cons of various minimum wage options, and I’m over here talking about my favorite tea and fairytales.

Is that so wrong? I don’t know. Some days I really feel like it is.

Other days, I make another pot of tea and write (guiltily) about talking dogs and space ships. And wish I didn’t think so much.


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