This line of thought started last Friday morning at Cafe Moto then after my workday transitioned to my one bier of the week at Hoffer’s in La Mesa where the “Lab Monkey” IPA by Monkey Paw mellowed the synaptic action a tad. It took three more coffeehouses to finish as “work” kept intervening: Monday at Santos Coffee House in North Park, Tuesday again at Cafe Moto and today finally at Rebecca’s Coffee House in South Park.
Most of us go through our childhoods with various and evolving desires and interests. At this time we are also attempting to find “our” place in the world. This “place” will be where we might be able to earn a living and satisfy our desires. In the finding of this place we achieve a sort of balance. Ideally we will have been exposed to enough of the world to have figured out what our palate of talents is composed of. Then our talents get meshed with our desires and something significant happens.
For most of us there is a shaking out of desires. We figure out, for us, what is “practical” or “realistic” to desire in light of our perceived talents and appraisal of our abilities. Maybe we look around us to see if anyone in our immediate environment has achieved the things we desire. Eventually our desires are paired down to a small constellation that we base our expectations on. We leave childish dreams behind as fast fading memories and get on with life like the rest of those around us. We have settled.
We all have a role to play. Some are the butcher, the baker and the candle-stick maker. What of the outliers, those who are not content to settle into a prepackaged life that society has offered?
What of the others, such as the old woman who lives away from the center of town, in a shack next to the forest, a witch perhaps? Or rather a misunderstood resister of the norm. What of the young person who refused to be a farmer in a farming town and instead bounced from town to town until he or she finally succumbed to an alcohol induced dream-scape. Perhaps he had never heard of explorers, or writers or scientists for there were none in his town.
There are those of who refuse to “settle” even if it causes discomfort. Maybe we should accept that some are predisposed to unconventional urges and accept that these questioners, explorers, artists and seekers have a unique contribution to make to humanity. Perhaps it is they indeed who have driven society’s incremental advances. Perhaps we all have a bit of this questioning inside us but due to a palate of other attributes which society was attracted to, has gone fallow.
(I wonder what Stephen Hawking would be famous for today if he grew up being able to kick a soccer ball better than all his mates?)