I was awake early this morning, and started listening to WUOL 90.5, Louisville’s classical station.
It took me back to the early 1980s, the period between college and my first European journey, working two part-time jobs, and for better or worse often drinking a third, then using whatever time remained to listen, read, study and learn as much as possible in preparation for — what, exactly?
The short answer would be readying for those early travels, but I never really saw a larger picture, and still honestly don’t. In time beer became my chosen delivery device for whatever erudition I’ve been able to muster, with an unexpected career to follow, except that beer still doesn’t entirely address the root aspiration, which nowadays I’m coming to view as a deep yearning to transcend Southern Indiana in terms of consciousness and be immersed in a larger world, while at the same time not taking the obvious way out by leaving an area that I consider to be home, warts and all.
Perhaps the term is “expatriate-in-place” is appropriate, or some such wry designation, and I realize disappointment might seem the inevitable consequence of my stubbornness in remaining in a habitat so resistant to change, and yet there is much cause for contentment in the people who “get it” and the things we’ve all accomplished in spite of the ones who don’t.
I’ve never been the smartest person in the room, primarily because I’m very well versed in my own limitations. Rather, my goal has been to learn from the smartest people in the room. The only trick is knowing WHICH room.