31 December 2006

Smiling Anew At The Storm

My favorite picture of Me was taken several years ago on a beach in Rincón, oft-called "The Surf Capital." In the picture, I'm sitting in the sand gazing skyward, wearing one of My many casual hats. Above Me is an immense mass of clouds, purple-gray and menacing as that of a powerful storm. As the picture was taken from a moderate distance, I appear somewhat small, almost engulfed under the mass of angry clouds. And yet, as I sit bathed in sunlight, I have a smile on My face, almost gleeful, as if the fun were just beginning.

The picture, now a calendar, is stuck on My refrigerator door. In an unguarded moment, the person who took the picture captured something about Me that I had sensed but never really knew: I like seeing chaos around Me. I thrive on the sense of risks and "Uh-oh, now what?" that (understandably) drives most people nuts. It's why I live taking on a wide range of projects, pursuing a variety of interests and essentially learning as much as I can.

And yet, there are a couple of points I must ponder. One is that I am not totally free-floating and adrenaline-addicted. There's a part of Me that seeks to create a Tranquility Base, even if it doesn't often see the light of day. And second, as I face the chaos and impending storm We face as a nation, My characteristic smile has vanished.

Don't take My word for it: Look at The Jenius back in early to mid-2005 and compare Him to the One appearing in late 2006. The cheery smile in the face of chaos, the smile that says "This will be fun!" because Life without challenges is for corpses (and sadly, most of Us want desperately to be corpses) seems to have devolved into first a tolerant smile, then a sardonic one and has now ended up a wolfish grimace.

That's not growth, nor is it fun. What I sense is that at a time when more of My best tools are needed to make Our Future a brighter reality, one of My finest--optimism--is blunted. And if you, fellow Puerto Rican, wonder how egotistical I am to think that Puerto Rico needs Me, know this: It needs you, too. I at least recognize and accept that fact.

Will this pessimistic feeling last? No. The picture I treasure captured a fundamental facet of Me, one I know will re-emerge soon. But the basic change from "C'mon, We can do it!" to "What the hell is wrong with you people?" is an ugly, unworthy and unneeded downward slide that benefits no one.

I could have written about ex-governors who claim a "right" to police escorts though their safety is best-insured by the sheer indifference We feel to their being alive or dead. I could have written about the worthless spectacle of a special legislative session that produced nothing except additional pocket money for Fools. I could have written about hundreds of things, all neatly-defined in My files, that attempt to shed another ray of light (or vat of scorn) on a topic that The Jenius is interested in. I could have, but I chose not to, for in the end, without the cheerful smile to face the dark clouds, The Jenius simply...doesn't exist.

This is My final post.

I wrote that before Christmas with the intention of posting it today, having decided to close this chapter of The Jenius and move on.

And yet...

As 2006 comes to a close and 2007 looms as a challenge, the feeling I had that The Jenius was no longer needed has faded as My response to a very sad year for Me and My Island has also faded. It isn't time to seek a new playground: It's time to crank up the energy level on this one.

Consider the cranking already begun...

The Jenius Has Spoken.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad you decided not to stop. But you gave me a fright :0

Anonymous said...

Good to see you will keep this up. I have enjoyed your posts and have stolen a few ideas for my benefit ;-)