Curiosity Journal, Life Lessons

Truth / Ode to Odinaka

My conversation with Felonious Munk, Calvin Evans and Odinaka Ezeokoli on curiosity, comedy and the power of observation was supposed to air today on WERA 96.7FM “Radio Arlington” but clearly the Christmas Elves were in a post-holiday lull and got up to some serious mischief, so you’ll have to hear the show on Friday, December 29 at 2:30pm ET here — and, after broadcast, the uncut version here. But in the meantime, there’s this…

Odinaka walked beside me down the corridor. “The word I would use is truth,” he said.

Odinaka, whose name replays with unexpected musicality like a staccato mantra in my head.

Odinaka, of the sinewy, elastic frame, equal parts expressive and exuberant.

Odinaka had hit upon something.

I had asked if he saw the observations that are central to comedy as an expression of curiosity. “That’s not the word I would have used,” he replied, “But I think it works.”  The conversation moved on. But he held onto the question and I’m glad he did.

It’s not the word I would have used, but I think truth works.

So: curiosity is the search for truth.

Patricia Hunt hopes to teach her students to find it among the stories masquerading as news. Writers Laura McBride and Tom King strive for some version of it in their own stories. So does Detective Sara Bertollini.

Which begs the question: if curiosity is truth seeking, what’s its future in a world that is less and less so inclined?

No wonder I’m out there making the case. Choose to seek truth.

Odinaka, self-described loving conscience and comedic sculptor.

Odinaka, younger, perhaps a little more deferential, a little less outspoken, proved to be the poet among them. Too much of him ended up on the proverbial cutting room floor. You’ll have to listen to the uncut version to appreciate what others will have missed.

Odinaka may get less air time in the conversation on curiosity, comedy and observation, but he’s the one who lives on in my imagination.

Odinaka, literally “in the hands of God,” for me now synonymous with truth.

 

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