Friday, July 20, 2007

Plato's Cave--Mapquesting North and Making Good Time

We'll talk about this later. When it's Saturday morning, and my melatonin supplement has given me an adequate night's sleep. But while you're waiting, does anyone know what this is? It's something I think about, and feel sympathetic to, from time to time. Good night!


Well, it is Saturday morning, but a few weeks later than I'd anticipated. And suffice it to say that there was a lot of resting involved (along with help from the little percolator-that-could and a trip across state-lines) to get myself to a personal place where I could finish this elusive post.

I first learned about the concept of Plato's cave during my first semester of community college, a smallish red brick structure in eastern Iowa where I met many a colorful character. There was Jhaimie Clark, who considered her name so dull that she was continually trying to come up with a better one for herself. (The last I heard, which was years ago, she had become "Roen Montalue.") Then there was a very nice Casey Slack, who wore a bull ring in his nose and asked me very casually and cordially one day if I'd like to smoke pot in his Porsche. I declined, of course, just as cordially. I had studying to do, after all. (I always stayed far away from illegal drugs--one never knows when one will need to take a government job. (: ) And there was another Casey...Casey Franey, who was already supporting a wife and a child, and answered "a decision" when our psychology teacher asked the question, "What is love?" I disagreed back then, when I was nineteen years-old, and still believed that you couldn't DECIDE who you loved. Now, at thirty-two, I understand and appreciate a little better his perspective.

Anyhow, back to Plato's cave. The memory of it, the depth of it, has always haunted me. The very idea of being chained, looking at shadows on a wall, and believing the shadows to be reality, when, in fact, there's a whole world waiting to be seen if one could only claw and climb into the real world.

The day after I posted the picture of the cave, I threw some things into the back of my van, including my three-year old, a couple of sleeping bags, a tent, a couple bags full of clothes, a lantern, and a six-pack of Michelob Ultra Pomegranate Beer. We ended up at Enota that first night, but the next morning, I called my sister in Ohio to tell her that we were on our way. "I'm half sick of shadows," was my mantra as I mapquested my way north.

I only stayed at that small midwestern school for one semester, but what I learned there has firebranded itself into my soul--besides Plato, there was the magnificence of Brunelleschi's dome taught by my art history professor, the insistence to "write what you know" from my English 101 professor, and I won't even get into the volumes of life lessons I learned from living with my grandparents that winter. They reverberate into my present, keeping me straight on the road between innocence and experience. I was able to make my way home with wide-open eyes and in natural light.

2 Things not left unsaid:

mmr said...

hope you had a good night's sleep! click here for more:
allegory of the cave

Casey Slack said...


hat gesagt: "Then there was a very nice Casey Slack, who wore a bull ring in his nose and asked me very casually and cordially one day if I'd like to smoke pot in his Porsche."

Isn't it amazing what people remember about another? peace, friend.