Friday, July 12, 2013

"Multidimensional" vs."Unfocused"

I guess that, for years, in one form or another, I have been trying to figure out if it is a good thing or a bad thing that I wind up wanting to do all of the things that I see and admire. I've never been good at sitting back and admiring.

Does anyone else have this problem/blessing? Is it an ego thing?

The great one. 
The result of it is, I think, that I was never one of those people that we are supposed to admire in -- at least the -- "American" ideal.

I remember an old soccer coach telling us as a team about a former player's dedication -- how this player used to clear a circle in the snow in the yard in the off season (kids had those back then) and practice juggling the ball six hours a day, seven days a week. "That's dedication," the coach said.

Well, that's dedication, for sure. But is it admirable? Seems more like a mind being limited to one thing; and, in truth, one thing that is not terribly important. (If I weren't writing a blog post and if I didn't have to worry about audience, I would say, out loud, that I think this guy's dedication to soccer was actually pathetic. But I can't do that.)

The sports model, of course, is supposed to be an indicator of later success in life. Dedication like that leads to success on grand scales.

But I have always been more wide-eyed about the world. I have, at turns, wanted (and still want) to be a construction worker; an archaeologist; a marine biologist; a baseball player; an actor; a musician; an et cetera.

Can you find me in this picture?
"Mr. McBibble's Candy Shoppe"
by my sister Gina Matarazzo 
What I saw and admired, I always wanted to do. My instinct is to pat myself on the back for being multi-dimensional. The problem is, the society in which I live would rather criticize me for being unfocused.

It just seems, to me, that the world is too wide a place for us to commit our existence to one thing, unless that specialization is of tremendous importance. But I guess that's the key to this: what's important?

At any rate, I see a great novel and want to write one; I watch a documentary on Ancient Egypt and want to dig in the sand for relics; I watch Chase Utley make a tremendous play and I think of joining a men's baseball league...

Maybe the good thing is that I have stuck with writing -- which means that I, at least, have stuck with one thing that pulls it all together. If I were a guy like the one juggling soccer balls in the snow, though, this blog would be called Rabbit.


  1. Or "Snowshoe Hare"?

    Do you know W.D. Snodgrass's poem "April Inventory"?

    And one by one the solid scholars
    Get the degrees, the jobs, the dollars.

    1. I love it, George -- both your title and the poem. I need to read more of his stuff.