An autobiography might suffice the patient, but this is hardly the format for such a lengthy endeavour. So I'm left with the dubious duty of scratching the surface of the question to reveal a glimpse of the answer underneath.
First, I'm given to long hours of thinking. Perhaps this is because I sometimes have a harder time of the task than others. Or, perhaps it seems necessary when the occasion strikes to chart the symmetry of thoughts. Doing so often leads me to intricate mazes of interconnected information. And when I abstract those intertwined thoughts to something I can observe, as if a specimen, I can appreciate their beauty, their ugliness, their general importance to my life; in effect, their symmetry.
While this makes me somewhat of an intellectual, and a lover of aesthetics, it also inspires cynicism in me, too: when things are dischordant, dissonant, or displaced, I cannot help but see the absurdity of such malformed thoughts. This is not to say there is no place for asymmetry. Certainly the purposeful use of the arts to capture these kinds of realities re-establishes a contextual symmetry, even if the content is asymmetrical. Those who can do this are admirable.
Nevertheless it remains to be seen how contradictory propositions (or what I may inappropriately label 'asymmetrical thoughts') can be anything other than incredulous. This is where my clash with the religious life comes in: when put up against reality, religion rarely makes sense. Take for example, original sin, the doctrine that states we are all born with a sinful nature because of the deeds of Adam and Eve: it simply doesn't square with reality. My position on that religious doctrine is eloquently expressed by Ayn Rand in Atlas Shrugged:
"A sin without volition is a slap at morality and an insolent contradiction in terms: that which is outside the possibility of choice is outside the province of morality. If man is evil by birth, he has no will, no power to change it; if he has no will, he can be neither good nor evil; a robot is amoral. To hold, as man’s sin, a fact not open to his choice is a mockery of morality. To hold man’s nature as his sin is a mockery of nature. To punish him for a crime he committed before he was born is a mockery of justice. To hold him guilty in a matter where no innocence exists is a mockery of reason. To destroy morality, nature, justice and reason by means of a single concept is a feat of evil hardly to be matched."Were it not for my churning mind, I may accept that I am damnable because of a volitionless sin I happened to acquire from my ancient Hebrew ancestors. Because I tend to be rational, however, I see the eminent sensibility in Rand's disembowelment of such a monstrous thought, and the subsequent beauty and nobility of the human being implied in her conclusions. Because reality is never partial to the perceiver, I have no difficulty accepting that certain of religious beliefs are sinfully stupid. Thus, while I am saintly in my appreciation for beauty and the nobility of human enterprise, I am cynical about teachings that purposefully demean and dehumanise homo sapiens. I am Saint Cynic.
Second, I have had a long-standing love-affair with music. Clichéd as that description may be, it is only so because it is repeatedly true. My father is fond of regaling the curious with the tale that I played Mozart's Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star when I was three; apparently I did so on my first attempt the first time I set to a piano. Being a parent, I know stories can, in retrospect, become a tad augmented from their more organic, original state. Be that as it may, my fingers have never released me from being indentured to music and, in fact, have propelled me on to 22 years of guitaring.
I have no regrets about my love for music save that it came at the expense of divorcing myself from visual arts when I was fourteen. Recently, I have wondered what would happen were I to embrace visual expressions again. Did I cheat on my Athenian impulses for more Apollonarian ends? Can Athena and Apollo mingle together within me? The past 22 years have decidedly answered 'no,' but I cannot help but wonder if these differences within me are actually irreconcilable, or more a matter of time management. Being married to a visual artist, I have concluded the latter. So, at some point in the near future, I will begin the process of recapturing and re-establishing my hand in the visual arts.
Third, I am mad because I am in love. Or to quote Don Byas, "You call it madness, but I call it love." I have an inspiring and beautiful wife, Imogen, and a brood of children that suffuse my life with meaning, newness, excitedness, and unquenchable joy. Who besides the mad could call such a coalescence of improbabilities "love"? To think of the odds as they currently stand, 6.7 billion to 1, and that I came out on top as the winner of my wife's hand, and that we have combined ourselves such that a troupe of wholly original people exist because of us is the greatest symmetry I know: there is no incongruence, no dissonance, no flaws in the beauty Imogen and I have created together. We are all ennobled because of each other.
There would be more to write if the purpose of this blog was not to write what I could place here. But because that is the purpose of this blog--to write what isn't here--this seems like an appropriate place to leave-off. Afterall, an introduction to who I am shouldn't tell what would otherwise be shown from the writings on the main page of this site. It should be known though, that I am passionately partial to genuine, raw interaction with others because that is where the 'I' meets 'thou'; that is where reality slams up against revisionism; that is where the saintly and the cynical intersect; that is where love and madness sympathise and surrender to each other in perfect poetry, in the most inward parts of a searching mind.