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Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Rain of Ideas

This afternoon I decided to visit Eckerd College library to do a little reading and create my blog for today.  On arriving at the college parking lot it was pouring down rain, so I was forced to sit some 30 minutes for the clouds to pass over.  This gave me time to remember in 1963 or '64 when I was 19 or 20 and attending the University of South Florida in Tampa, a student acquaintance of mine asked if I would like to travel with him one evening the 30 or so miles to Eckerd in Saint Petersburg to hear a noted philosopher give a special address.  I did not know who the philosopher was at the time nor do I now.  But I considered it a positive that someone would ask if I would like to go.  It suggested I was seen as someone interested in ideas and capable of comprehending them.  If the latter was not completely true, I intended to carefully keep it to myself.  In any case, we went to the lecture.

As I sat gazing past the raindrops splattering on my windshield this afternoon, I thought of the significant fact that human beings whether brilliant or dummies have an affinity for ideas and are willing to drive many miles to hear them.  Next to me was a rental car with a small sign directly in front of it that read "Drive Me".  Just as we drive long distances to hear or contemplate ideas, the ideas we pick up can end up driving us rather than we them--sometimes mercilessly.  As the rain varied in its intensity, it occurred to me that ideas can rain abundantly with thunder and lightning in one period and merely drizzle in others.  Sometime they gush like a fountain (a fountain was in the campus yard before me) and sometimes the well of ideas is parched and dry.  It is truly awesome the affinity between humanity and ideas however insightful or misdirected.

The rain let up and I headed to the library with today's blog in mind.

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