My ability to think and speak philosophically is like an accent that comes and goes depending on whether I'm around native speakers. And the person I've been around the most this past month, outside of my lovely house-mates, is no philosopher. John and I, both temporary, part-time employees of the Clear Wireless internet company, worked together as a door-to-door sales team. We took turns knocking, and "Welcoming you to the 4g network!", and handing out our fliers. Nothing like door-to-door knocking to put one in a philosophical mood-- all these box-homes, housing suburban creatures and their families, creatures who peek their little heads out to see what sort of visitors have come to call. It's us, John and I, trying to appear nonchalant, standing one forward one back, commenting on the prettiness of their decor, the beauty of their dog.
Though nearly every house is different, they begin to look so very similar, like turtles in a row, some with shiny, rain-washed shells, and some sporting mud and stick, a little filthy. But no one judges a dirty turtle, and it becomes difficult after awhile to judge the poor part of town as any different than the rich. It's just not. They live inside their little homes. They carry little ones in the pouch. They touch each other, and masticate their wheat and corn deliberately. They have their tastes, yes, but difficult to differentiate them by those slight differences after awhile.
Some insist by signpost and sticker that they support so and so. Others, the other one. Some rant about the turtle god's lack of existence, and some gasp at the audacity. And then they all go back to being turtles, bobbing in and out of their shells methodically.
Also good for thinking about human nature: online dating. We'll fail to comment on the nature of the kind of mind that goes online to find a date, except to defend him by saying he's no different, in the long run, then the other, more traditional creature. Watch the way he eats, and how he dies-- identical. Like so many jungle cats.
But online dating is as illuminating as door-to-door knocking, and requires approximately the same kind of sales pitch: "Welcoming you to the time of your life!" "That dog in your pic is so cute!!" "I love Coldplay too!!!!"
One young lady (old enough, yes-- I'm not a creep) said something on her profile that rocked my little turtle world: she said "The question of god doesn't interest me." This after advising anyone who was religious in the least to stay away.
It just seemed so semantical to me (who was interested in her, because of her obvious intelligence and wit, other than that admission). It seemed rhetorical, separate from her actual life-in-body. Not interested in the question of god? That's like saying one isn't interested in the question of existence, the question of language. That's like saying one isn't interested. And it wasn't true, in her case-- she clearly was interested in what living had to give her. What would reveal itself as something to her by her being alive.
A tangle of words. I'm half the size of John, and I've lived much differently, from a narrow perspective-- but we both want to be interested, want food, want shelter, want sex, want to interact meaningfully with the meaning we are living within, whether by love, by laughter, or by watching the fibers of our words slowly split and scatter, like pollen in a summer wind.
That was way too romantic. Think instead of John and I like two fat turtles on a summer rock, sunning, and one is licking something off the rock, and one has his nose to the summer air, sniffing blackberries, while little turtle turds fall out his shell's back end.