Friday, October 25, 2002

A Rose by Any Other Name

So what have I been doing lately? Learning to tango, of course. Yep, that’s right, I learned how to tango last night at the ballroom dance club. Karl, Jen, and I all went……oh wait, Karl decided not to so it was just me and Jen. When we got there, there were only two other people there and it did end up being a pretty small crowd, but that didn’t stop us from tango-ing it up on the floor. Nicole and Leslie were also there so I was lucky enough to be a very wanted dance partner by all three of the girls (well, Nicole had Van Roy to dance with most of the time too). The tango was a little different than I actually imagined it would be. It is a very stoic and crisp dance as it is made up of quick, short moves accentuated by small deviations to the normal routine. We also learned some of the dirty dancing style stuff like dips and the whole leg massaging thing. You could really turn this into a very sensual dance if you wanted to, and I’m sure many people do.

Besides learning how to dance, I haven’t really done anything too out of the ordinary. I’ve had a philosophy dialogue on arrogance I’ve been writing, which I finished up last night, and I’ve been reading Kripke’s Naming and Necessity & Plato’s Phaedo. Besides that I’ve just been trying to exercise more and read some Edgar Allan Poe in my spare time. Speaking of exercise, I hadn’t maxed out benching for a while so I thought I would yesterday just to see where I was at in comparison to the last time I did. I managed to put up 215 but couldn’t quite muster 220. This is actually amazing to me as I couldn’t even bench 190 at the beginning of the summer and I didn’t do that much chest lifting over the summer. It is now my goal to hit 230 by Christmas time. Hopefully, since it is colder outside now and I should have more time on my hands I will be able to do that. Ask me on Christmas if I can do it and I’ll tell you.

Here’s another completely random thought. So we’ve been discussion Plato’s theory of learning is recollection and his argument for it in my ancient philosophy class. The topic of reincarnation came up and according to a section of the dialogue, Socrates states that the non-philosopher, who attaches their soul to this world, can be reincarnated as an animal or a plant that would resemble the type of person they were. For example, a very social person may come back as a wolf or a hard-working person could come back as a mule. The same analogies were made for plants. I was thinking about this last night for no real reason and I tried to put people into what type of plant they would be.

For me, this is how it would run down, in general. A very boring person would come back as nothing more than grass as grass is quite boring. Someone who likes to hide their true selves could be seen as a carrot or onion. Someone who was obsessed with looking good would probably come back as a big, gaudy flower of some type. A very wise person I would think of as a tall oak tree. A very productive worker would come back as a corn plant or apple tree. A somewhat annoying person that you can get along with for small amounts of time would be a dandelion. A mean person would be a thistle and a truly evil person would be a briar patch. I could keep going on and on (as I did last night), but I think I’ll save you from my monotony.

One plant did come to mind that was a type of an enigma in my mind. Where would you place a rose? What type of person is a rose? A beautiful person because a rose is so pretty? An evil person because of the pricking thorns? Would they want to cause pain or pleasure? Would one merely be the side-effect of the other? I stared at the rose I kept on my computer and wondered. I came to the conclusion that if I could be any plant, I would want to be the rose. Why? Trust me, it’s not because I’m beautiful or because I like to cause pain, but it is for other reasons. A rose seems like the perfect balance in our world—it has the ying and the yang, if you will. Life can’t be all bad and it can’t be all good. It can’t be all exciting and it can’t be all boring. Notice how roses are used for so many occasions—anniversaries, funerals, weddings, showing love, showing remorse, showing you care, etc. There will be joy in my life, but there will also be thorns that will prick me, sometimes very deeply, sometimes only for a moment, but above all of these thorns is the beautiful flower of the rose. Even as my hands may be bleeding on the stem, the sight of the flowering tip of the rose makes it worth it.

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