The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Dreams of yesteryear.

Last night, I had the strangest dream. It was the kind of dream that lingered into the waking state.

Indeed, as I lay, between sleep and waking, I thought I heard my parents, downstairs: it was as if I could half-hear them, in distant conversation. Then I awoke, fully, and the sensation faded.

Yet, for a moment, it seemed as if I was back in my parental home, in my former bedroom, listening to the world, from my vantage on the top floor. It was uncanny. It was also most meaningful. It told me, in the way the unconscious is wont to tell us, that, perhaps, it is time to go home. I really should visit my parents, soon. I have been living in far flung places, too long, it seems. So, a visit, at least, is in order.

Many years have passed since I left for Singapore, in 1999. Barring a couple of years’ break, I have lived in South-East Asia, ever since. I have learnt new perspectives on the world and come to understand things I would not otherwise have done. Yet, there has been an “opportunity cost” of doing so. I have foregone all the time I could have spent with my family in Europe. I have missed many opportunities for conversation and sharing. I have lost out on many events that others witnessed, but I did not.

What, perhaps, is not so readily realized by most, is that the life we choose, comes at an infinite cost. To choose one life, is to give up the infinite variety of other lives that we could have lived instead. Thus, all lives come at infinite cost and infinite sacrifice. This morning, before the world awoke, I lay abed and felt an echo of that sacrifice: I felt the world I had left behind, impinge on my present. I felt, once more, what it was like to be home, as it was, when I was younger. It was a comforting visitation from yesteryear. I fell asleep, again, thereafter, to dream dreams of impossible places and worlds that will never be realized. Yet, I had felt a “dream” of a world that was once very real to me. I slept very well.

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 1:36 PM 


Blogger Sam said...

I came upon your site while looking for commentary regarding D.R. Currey, the vain grad student who cut down the world's oldest tree in order to complete his thesis. It's always awful to wonder about what precipitates such horrible transgressions against Nature, or even irreplaceable works of art, such as the Sphinx, or the Buddhas of Bamyan a few years back.

Reading a bit of your blog--most especially your profile, made me feel less alone in this world. I, too, was a gifted child with many interests, not content to specialize in any one area. I lacked any real mentoring, and simply followed a zigzag path.

Thank you for posting your blogs, and for your thoughts about values. These days, although it seems the plutocrats are winning out, I suspect that their financial constructs will continue to collapse, and Nature will have the last say on this planet.

That's my fantasy, anyway.

San Luis Obispo, CA

9:18 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Hi Sam,

Sorry for not replying is not always possible to be prompt in such things, what with a life to deal with.

Perhaps you should consider this: those with many interests, often turn out to be creative what do you wish to create?

Re. plutocrats: yes, they do dominate the world these days...but I think the future is going to be much more sobering, for everyone, them included. The challenges facing Mankind in the coming decades, cannot be overestimated. Ultimately, of course, Man will come to an end...but I hope that is not for many millions of years and that it results in a worthy biologically engendered successor.

Re. destruction of works of art. Yes. I can't understand that either. Too many religions result in a lack of respect for different ways of being. This is tragic. All religions should accept each other.

Best wishes to you on finding your own path.

4:23 PM  

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