chasing genius

by tobias crabtree

i have no illusions about my own genius. i know what my IQ is and it’s average; not to say that i don’t have my moments where i feel pretty damn sharp, like the other day when i remembered where i hid my keys. (i often hide stuff in spots that i don’t remember and then they’re lost for an undetermined amount of time, sometimes forever) but yeah, if you believe in IQ tests, and i guess i do, sort of, then i’m average. what’s cool is i know a few geniuses. they range in size and age. some are women, some are men. i’ve even known a few dogs that gave me a sneaky suspicion that they were at least smarter than me…maybe way smarter than me.

here’s the deal, though; i kinda think that it might rub off. the route to genius is tricky. i definitely have spent some time thinking about it but i try to do that in private because when i think really hard, i don’t look that smart. i take on the distinct features of a caveman when i am really perplexed. i like to hang out with the smarty-pants types and i’ve found that, if i keep my mouth shut, i do tend to know more afterward. it’s great, it’s like sitting in an advanced math class but not being called on for questions. sometimes i leave these little get-togethers feeling downright, well…genius. and maybe¬†feeling genius is part of the secret. i just figure it can’t hurt to allow yourself to feel smart now and then, especially if you keep it a secret.

but genius goes beyond IQ and doctorates and physicists. i really think it does. i’ve known little kids with beautiful, amazing minds that lit up everything around them. i’ve watched a peruvian lady spin wool and weave me a sweater in a day, and it fit perfect and i wore it for years until it fell off of me…she was a genius. i’ve seen my friend, nick, make fire by spinning sticks while wearing socks that he knitted and a shirt that he made…he’s a genius.

maybe genius has to do with living so that our feet tell our hearts where the ground is and our eyes tell our hearts where the sky is. maybe it’s in the living. yesterday i saw genius in the world. i was on a little boat with a good buddy. we were looking for waves to surf, out where the sun was on the water, we saw a whale. tim turned the boat toward the whale and, when we got near to where we thought we had seen him, we turned off the motor. “maybe we spooked him,” i was just thinking out loud. tim nodded.

the whale came out of the water about 20 meters away. he went straight towards the sky and rotated and the water poured off of him by the boatload and our mouths dropped open. i have never, ever been so amazed. i saw the pink color under his fin and the wrinkles in his skin. barnacles. his eye. he carried a soul so big that i felt it’s pull, like gravity. he fell longways back into the sea and was gone down through the dark, dark, dark.

when the world gives us this, and we stay quiet and feel, we get a little more genius. of course, this is only the opinion of a caveman so don’t take my word for it, check it for yourself. i betcha it’ll rub off on ya.