This image is false. It's a lie. An odious lie.
And that image, to which many in our society are so beholden, is what drives many so-called geniuses to madness, or places of darkness and loneliness and self-isolation.
But over the past weeks, I have learned differently, thanks to a gaggle of Twitterfolk. We seem to be conducting, online, through Google Hangouts and Twitter and direct messages and emails, a contemporary version of the Parisian salon: a place where like-minded individuals just get together, hang out, and bounce ideas off of each other. (Except without the cognac and opium.)
Through that frenzy of ideas, some amazing and powerful (there's that word again) ideas have started to form. Like the Blank White Page. Like a precise and sprawling definition of what it means to flip classes in the humanities. Like how to flip reading (which, for the record, isn't "read this book at home and talk about it in class"). Like how to work on a cross-country video collaboration, showing faces and processes and misfires and missteps and, ultimately, beauty.
I have no idea what it is yet, but there's something taking shape, something (dare I say) magical, almost. It's many things: frenetic, whirlwind-ish, spiraling, chaotic. But it's not boring.
And it's definitely not isolating.