Monday, October 05, 2015

In My Prime

© by Gerald So | | 3:30 A.M.

I turn another prime number today, forty-one. I'd like to think I've lived mostly right up to now, but wouldn't everyone? I'd like to look back on a mountain of accomplishment, but having spent the past eleven years as a freelancer (writer, editor, blog admin, moderator, graphic designer, social media admin...), it's more like several dunes.

Coincidentally, last Tuesday, my friend John Ricotta and I went back to our alma mater, Hofstra University, for an evening poetry reading by Rowan Ricardo Phillips. A group of high school students was in attendance, and Phillips especially addressed them, jokingly calling himself old and crackly by comparison. On the contrary, his enthusiasm for poetry and life was clear.

One of the reasons John went was to bump into Erik Brogger, faculty advisor to Font, the student literary magazine we helped start in 1995. Brogger, in fact, came up with the name Font when none of our suggestions stuck. We ran with it, and I like to think we made it popular as Ian Fleming did the otherwise plain-sounding James Bond. It's been through a few phases since then, but it's still around.

Brogger, meanwhile, is retiring in the spring after twenty-eight years teaching. John and I were students just before he got tenure. Well deserved. He's going on to projects a teaching load wouldn't allow.

Reflecting, I realize I've retained my sense of wonder about much of the world. I believe solutions to most immediate dilemmas can be found by remaining agile in thought, keeping dialogues open. Inertia sets in when people think the way it's been for ages is the way it will always be. I believe in doing what I can, when I can, and always expanding what I can.


Bill Crider said...

Happy birthday, Gerald!

Gerald So said...

Thank you, Bill.

Melissa Yi said...

A belated happy birthday. It won't take long for you to reach the next prime number, either. Wishing you ever-higher dunes of accomplishment and deep-seated satisfaction.