Friday, April 08, 2005

When is a Tree Just a Tree?

I remember my 10th grade English class, wherein the teacher was doing her best to teach us symbolism in writings we had been assigned to read.

I was having none of it.

Why was this evil woman stealing the joy of a good story and making me extrapolate meaning in every little thing? Not only that, but how in the world were we supposed to know what was meant as symbolism and what was meant as just plain story stuff? Half of the authors were dead, so it's not like I could actually verify these theories.

I basically rejected her totally. In my logic, there was no way we could ever know what the author wanted to symbolize unless he came right out and said it. Not only that, but even then I knew I couldn't be trusted with anything open to interpretation by me.

There are several forces at work here.

The first being that I am a visual learner. I have to see things I'm working with/learning about - otherwise I've got that "wha?" look on my face for the duration of the project/lesson. My mental picture screen only holds about 2 variables before it simply wads all of it up into a giant paper basketball to be thrown around while someone is trying to talk to me.

The second is that I have what C has come to appreciate as random creative vision/hearing abilities. These abilities link directly into my third super power, which is "I can create a logical link to ANYTHING."

i.e. - Apartment complex near C's old house is called "Regency Palms". I read the sign as "Pregnancy Palms", and within one second had decided in my head that "It's nice that there is an apartment complex where single, pregnant moms can go to live before they give birth."

See what I mean?

Since 10th grade I've come to very much appreciate symbolism in reading, movies, music, etc. Because that teacher caused me to flail against the idea - I later explored it and started to see what she meant. Most recently, it is the t.v. show Lost.

The scary thing about Lost is the fact that this show has engaged all of my super powers and sent me spewing ZoomLogic for days after an episode. This might be ok if I kept it to myself. Instead, I feel like I have to tell someone before I lose it.

C is that someone. He's got to deal with me racing into the bedroom saying "HONEY! Here's what I think...." followed by the snapping on of the light – mere seconds after he's settled down to sleep. Or when he's trying to get a shower in the Hot Water Time Machine. I, apparently, do much of my theorizing when he's trying to get a shower.

I'm pretty sure he'd like to travel back in time and find my English teacher. He'd say "Sweet Christ woman, you have no idea what you are messing with here. Her brain doesn't work the way you think it will. I love her but I'd like to be able to take a shower in peace just once. Skip this lesson and save us all."

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