recalling the Johnnie

I shall in the end conclude by writing a short narrative of my experiences at St. John’s; a short but rich ‘Great Book’. I don’t know what I would call it though, nonetheless, I think it would be a good idea to write a memoir of my time as a Johnnie. I will begin it one of these days, when I too take a bite of a madeleine, from it gaining inspiration and life.

My favorite moments are the ones spent out in nature, sketching the florae. I recall my Lab tutor pointing out my almost obsessive attempts to capture every single detail in my sketches and my almost equally obsessive tendency to surround my sketches with copious notes. I have always been an obsessive-compulsive perfectionist.

I also recall the moments spent on the grassy knoll, where I’d sunbathe, in between readings of some Platonic dialogue or other. There was that occasion when someone commented on my particularly fashionable attire for the day; I was rather keen on the notion that I looked like the Brasilian flag!

There were so many delicious quotes! Ah seductive and ridiculous quotes! And the morbid banter between the sadistic and sarcastic elements in our group.

Alas, the group is gone. If I am not mistaken, 40% of Johnnies never graduate. Of my closest friends, all are gone. Of my extended friends, all are gone and of my acquaintances … only a fancy few remain; I can count them with one hand!

Last week I returned to Uppers …. I cried. It hurt. It hurt a lot, more than I could imagine. I walked by my dorm Freshman year – that cold place that had made me more of a recluse. It was the place that taught me to be patient and tolerant of others. It also taught me to love those around me in ways that I am not able to communicate; it taught me a quiet appreciation and admiration for them.

When I saw that B&G had chopped down my favorite tree on campus, I felt death on my fingertips. Under the auspice of this particular tree, I bonded with my friends on one of those first nights spent at St. John’s. It was under this same tree that some of my classmates attempted to decipher the myth of Ariadna.

I returned to Anderson, my home Sophomore year. I cried more. I felt something come alive, its birth springing forth intense pain.

But I’d like to go back to this tessellation of the group. It started with Andrew who left for the Northwest, followed by my departure and that of several of my hard-earned friends in the Sophomore class. To this was added Sarah’s departure. And while I waited at the airport as I was about to leave Santa Fe, I received a phone call from Jessica, who informed me she was not returning.

I don’t know how this came to be. It is a sad part of the life of a Johnnie.

How is it that I stopped calling it the town square so that I could call it the Plaza? Town square … that’s what I used to call it when I first arrived in this bizarre and silly place.

I have decided to be ambitious, unfortunately this entails a long and prolonged peregrination into erudition. My vitiated taste of a surfeited existentialist has found a common thread or development between the Iliad, the Histories, the Republic, and the Nicomachean Ethics. Of course, this means re-reading these works once more.

Western thought is not limited to a single work, it is a composition of an endless series of works. I feel that I must, for my sake, for my irrational desire to seek enlightment, attempt to find a common thread, the development of a particular thought process. This desire has been fueled after I realized that it is not in man’s nature to seek truth; it is not a natural aspect of the human ethos. Man is perfectly content in his ignorance. But can one blame him and is ignorance bad; I am not passing any type of judgment but the phrase ‘Man is perfectly content in his ignorance’ screams of negative assessment and critique. Alas it is not, but such is the baggage that certain words carry! The power of words is fantastic!

I am curious, whence comes the ideer (idea) that God, i.e., the Abrahamic God, created all this ex nihilio. If one reads the Bible, it can be understood that all God did was to part the body of water, revealing the earth that lied beneath; in effect, God would thus not be a Demiurge but an arranger of sorts. Holy shit! Perhaps the Bible is not absurd, it’s man’s silly interpretation of the stories in it! Oh!