To me, anything of true value, especially something that is artistic or intuitive- it’s not important that it’s perfectly understood. Rather, whats important is how you have to fully engage yourself to witness the mystery that it is, the unknowable and unseeable within everything that matters.
This is why I love writing and why I love traveling. The more I travel and live, the more places I feel at home. I think this is really healthy for anyone. It’s a great way to avoid misunderstandings. Some of the world’s problems could be solved in part if we embraced the things that seem different, contradictory, even hostile to us. It’s simply a matter of not having a preconceived idea of what something or someone is, but rather going to see what something is, how people are and why. Being open to change and a further, a complete humbling experience of transformation along the way.
When I travel alone, I gain the ultimate kind of knowledge. This type of kinesthetic miracle or lived phenomenon of being half way across the world alone, where routine things that normally unnoticed are never taken for granted. Where I can inhabitant someone’s mind, grow and gestate until by the end of every day I am someone new and different. A rebirth, a death and a rebirth. There is this reordering of reality, knowledge, and art in a way that has never been seen before by me in this lifetime.
This knowledge, is a rare bird- one that flies in the face of rules and conventions.
Traveling as a journalist makes me firmly believe that intelligence isn’t defined by western knowledge or academics but rather by an overall perception of reality based mainly on intuition, which allows me to “see” significant aspects of things that go unnoticed by others. Sure this can make me seem extravagant at times. When I will be walking to the bus and have a sudden vision that will shape my own functional language and give an understanding to other powerful moments of intuition.
Of course, those who experience something like this simply can’t go on as though nothing ever happened, perhaps that is why I have over a dozen notebooks filled with these epiphanies and observations- and why historically many “geniuses” live their lives consumed with their vastly misinterpreted work.
What I’m describing, isn’t easy to measure.
There are no lineages of these “rare birds” nor are there formulas for producing them.
In fact, in many ways, formal education can prove to be difficult for many intuitive children, even creating serious obstacles instead of paving the way for their success.
Education is an enterprise designed for the masses, not for the exceptions, for the average, not the extraordinary, organic intellectuals in the Gramscian sense.
I grew up as a solitary, shy child in school, who was scolded for day dreaming, for writing with my left hand and not playing with other children. In fact, a widely reported 2008 study of children with high IQ scores found that 68% of gifted children failed or dropped out of high school. Likewise the young Albert Einstein suffered from boredom at school, uninterested in the challenges presented by class work.
The bottom line of what I’m getting at is, this stupor of growing up in a culture policed by invisible norms steeped in race, gender, class and body expectations- living in that toxic culture- is to me like being a prison with invisible walls.
As Orson Welles said, “We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.”
Traveling reminds me of the facade that is our every day life- how we believe we can control what will happen every day. When in the end, we are all just looking for something that is already inside of us. Perhaps the only way to recognize this is to escape from your tangible reality, into one that you never knew existed.