Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Big Bang

During the past few weeks I have found myself utterly incapable of falling asleep unless I am absolutely exhausted. Most people say it's worry that keeps them up, but the nature of my insomnia is the direct opposite. It's as if suddenly I realized that the world is too full of beauty for me to close my eyes much longer than the duration of a blink, and I am left trying to take it all in. I want to find art in the city, learn everything about the economic situation, absorb every fact or deception in the current race to the presidency, and read as much wisdom as journalists and writers will impart on their audiences. Then I want to master pop culture and take time to slow down to notice the clouds or the architecture.

Periods of intense learning, for me, come in dramatic phases. I love being informed and you'll always find me glued to some sort of publication, but every now and then I get especially ambitious in my attempts. I am an eternal learner, but I call phases like what I am in now my learning resurgence. Only resurgence implies that something has come back again, and the degree at which I am attempting to take everything in is absolutely unprecedented. I've never seen anyone like this.

Even I know that my current sprint for knowledge and awareness is more than ridiculous. But what do you do besides keep pace with them as scholars and critics reference one another in trails of relevant information? Giroux leads to Poplin, leads to Stein, leads to Anderson, and the next thing I know I am face down on top of my sheets, the imprint of a book digging into my right cheek. I'll sleep in that deep immovable state for hours, but it's only because I've gone so long without a proper night's sleep that my body can't help but finally surrender to its biological imperatives.

And right now, at this very moment, nothing is more imperative than learning. Oh what I would do to be able to absorb it and truly understand with one big blast. They could call it The Big Bang, only this time no one would have to study it because they would know. But hey, maybe, just maybe, that's the point anyway. If we ever knew it all, from the future of marketing to the point of our existence, then existing at all wouldn't be so wonderful anyway.

I'll turn to ashes before I find the end of this trail, but until then I'll burn in my pursuit of knowledge, snapping and crackling with intellectual secrets of the world. With deep breaths that stick in my lungs and stay trapped in my being, I will learn as much as humanly possible. That is my learning resurgence. That is The Big Bang.

Random Note: For those of you curious about the picture, this is one of the service change signs posted at the subway station I frequent.  I thought it said a lot about where I live (and only strengthened my desire to learn Chinese for more than intellectual purposes), so I took a picture to share.

And even though I have a hankering desire to escape into the grasp of Bellah, Madsen, and Tipton, I'll share a recent music discovery that I think will remain a favorite for years to come.  Check out The Ballet.  Electro infused rock with a violin never felt so infectious and sparkling.  All Music Guide calls them "yearning, wistful, melancholy, literate, reflective, bittersweet, earnest, delicate, intimate, precious, and poignant.  I couldn't have said it better.  So even if you've ignored this section before, click here and enjoy.