Looking at the Clouds

Have you ever been in the presence of someone whose apparent brilliance was intellectually intimidating.  Their mastery of the vocabulary and factual details about a particular subject may be beyond impressive.  Over years of observation, however, I have found that many of these savants have a very narrow range.  On some subjects they might be as dumb as a post, and I often find them lacking in what we generally refer to as common sense.  The true Renaissance man/woman is very rare indeed.

Nevertheless, when you encounter a loquacious savant it can be disconcerting.  To illustrate, I call to mind my favorite Peanuts cartoon by the late, beloved Charles M. Shulz. I’m certain that my recollection of the dialog is not completely accurate, but I recall the story as follows:

Charley, Lucy, and Linus are sitting on top of a hill looking up at the clouds. 

“What do you see in the clouds, Linus? Lucy asks.

“Over on the left there I see Perseus.  He’s trying to put a rope on the winged horse Pegasus.  And above them, in that cloud above,  I see Andromeda looking out her window.  And look, way over on the right I can see the Apostle Paul.   He’s holding coats for the others as they stone Stephen.”

Lucy turns to Charley “And what do you see, Charley?”

Charley hesitates for some moments.

“Well, I was going to say a ducky and a horsey, but I changed my mind.”

Do you ever feel like Charley Brown?

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