Monday, May 11, 2009

Einstein, Connor and I

Einstein was a rebel. I quoted him (through the character of Connor) in ‘Just J’, mainly because I’m a fan; have been since I was a teenager. Much of life is spent either trying to fulfill, reliving or trying to get past, the dreams and experiences of our teenager years. The influences from those years follow us throughout our lives.
At 16, I had a door size poster of Einstein’s quotes on my wall, and a bookmark with the his quote “I want to know God’s thoughts, the rest are details.” I also had a picture postcard of him next to one of Marilyn Monroe—who I was deeply in love with. I heard Marilyn once said that Einstein was the “sexiest man she ever met.” I’m not sure if that’s what led to me learning more about him or not. You know, discover more about what she liked, in case I ever traveled through time and got to meet her; I could capture her heart and give her the undying, unconditional love she needed and longed for; saving her from herself. If you’re going to dream: dream big.
I once told Jordy (before the annulment, or marriage for that matter) that my nickname used to be Einstein. She thought I was joking—I don’t think she was ever sure when I was serious and when I was joking, which is odd considering that she thought she could read my mind, and since I always knew . . .
Then one day I was in Picton with Jordy and we ran into some of the guys I used to play darts with.
“Einstein!” they shouted.
“I told you,” I said to Jord, with a smile.
I left her in shock for sometime before explaining:
I didn’t get the name Einstein because I was brilliant, or even bright; it was simply because there were two Colins at the bar where I played darts (I was playing darts in a bar by the time I was 17, but that’s another story) and that night I happened to be wearing an Einstein t-shirt; the one that read, “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” But the quote isn’t important to the story. My t-shirt had Einstein on it, so I was re-Christened Einstein. I had a few other nicknames but—regardless of how I got it—Einstein was the coolest, and least embarrassing.
My sister even bought me a mug with Einstein engraved on it. I still have it. It’s great for the ego, that and my ‘Bigger than Jesus’ mug, which I picked up at the Rick Miller and Daniel Brooks play of that name. I reach for them when the insecurities, that stay with you from high school too, rear their ugly heads. It balances things out and enables me to laugh at myself. The world needs more tongue-in-cheek humour—and people laughing at themselves. Mind you that type of humour is tricky on the web, you need to add a lot of :) …jk…;)…lol, or there can be major fallouts. The net, in general, is horrible for that. I’m still learning.
The Einstein quote that I think meant the most to me in high school was, “Don’t worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater.” That gave me great comfort. :)
Last week in Books and Company, in Picton, I saw the magazine ‘Discover Presents Einstein’, which spurred me to write this. I had to get it. Here are a couple things from it that I like and wanted to share:

“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science.” – Albert Einstein

“How strange is the lot of us mortals! Each of us is here for brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he sometimes thinks he senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people—first of those upon whose smiles and well-being our happiness is wholly dependent, and then for the many, unknown to us, to whose destinies we are bound by the ties of sympathy. A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving. I am strongly drawn to a frugal life and am often oppressively aware that I am engrossing an undue amount of the labour of my fellow man. I regard class distinctions as unjustified and, in the last resort, based on force. I also believe that a simple and unassuming life is good for everybody, physically and mentally.” – Albert Einstein

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