It’s almost Halloween, the time when we all pretend to be things we’re not. While pondering what I wanted to be this year, I considered several different costumes: crazy high school teacher, crazy mom of a nine-year-old, crazy wife of a musician…but there was a common theme there.
Yeah, that’s right. Crazy.
Patsy Cline made a mint off a song with that title, and many movies have that word in the title (Crazy Heart, Crazy for You and a bunch more I can’t think of). Tom Robbins frequently wrote great books about nutty people; in one of those books, he noted that some people carry their crazy around with them like a camel carries water in its hump. That bit of wisdom got me through college and an emotional move to California.
My grandpa worked at the “Bug House” in my hometown of Lima, Ohio. It was also known as the Lima State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, but “Bughouse” is easier to say. Everyone knew that the people populating the “Bughouse” were crazy nutters, people who had done horrible things because their minds were skewed. In that context, crazy was dangerous and not at all desireable.
But now here I am to bring crazy back.
I found this amazing poem celebrating those who are labeled crazy by the outside world. So, on this day before we pretend to be something we’re not, I offer you a treat:
Here’s to the crazy ones by Jack Kerouac…
Here’s to the crazy ones.
The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers.
The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.
They’re not fond of rules.
And they have no respect for the status quo.
You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them,
disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.
Because they change things.
They invent. They imagine.
They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire.
They push the human race forward.
Maybe they have to be crazy.
How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art?
Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written?
Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?
While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world,
are the ones who do…
Thanks, Jack! I say, be proud of your crazy!