I don’t have much to say.
I’m having a fine week – what is becoming a “normal” week. Soon I probably won’t even use quotation marks.
I’ve been doing a good job of making dinner since I went grocery shopping last week – even if dinner has alternated between Mexican food and breakfast food. I’ve also cut waaaaaaay back on my trips to the Brewhouse – been going once a week, if that. this does mean that I have not been nearly as social, though, which hasn’t really been a huge problem lately. yes, I’m lonely. no, the cats don’t help that much (especially Lucille). I do enjoy being able to talk to people online though, whether the medium is emailing or chatting or blogging – it helps some.
I’m falling back in love with reading, I think. it’s definitely better than other things I could fall in love with.
this is all I really have to say at the moment. if anyone wants to hang out with me tonight, let me know.
3 thoughts on “33 weeks now”
From what i’ve seen and heard of your Mexican and breakfast food dinners, it seems amazing. I need to read more now. I think the fall always inspires that in me. Bring that first book in the series that you were addicted to last week on Saturday night :). You can always come to Spring Hill!
Falling back in love with reading is good. I’ve cultivated a semi-monkish semi-asceticism, in which I stay cloistered in my home collecting information, documenting it in forms and places more easily accessible to the masses, etc. People alert me to opportunities to go out and have fun, and my first thought is not to actually partake but to analyze, thinking “Isn’t that interesting,” pondering the implications of what it says about human nature, society, etc. and perhaps writing an essay or article inspired by the subject.
I’ve discovered, there is this very comfortable halfway point between living life to the fullest and committing suicide. Asceticism is, after all, not that much different from death, because it involves so much renunciation. But this is more like either the death of, or the numbness to, certain desires. E.g., I don’t like to use drugs anymore; I hear of interesting opportunities to try, say, DMT, and I only halfway want to do it, even though 15 years ago, I would have been quite eager to experiment. Now I am just intrigued by what others do.
The monk or the ascetic thrives on vicarious enjoyment. The monk finds joy in pleasing God. The spinster librarian finds joy in sharing knowledge that others will use to bring pleasure to themselves or others in the world. E.g., the librarian will circulate some book on sex whose techniques someone else will actually practice; the librarian is content merely to concern herself with the administrative details of making sure it gets back to the proper shelf and is properly tracked in the computer system, etc. and with helping people find what they’re looking for. Actually, it may not matter if she even agrees with the overall goal of the book. That is others’ responsibility, but she takes pride in doing her job well and trusts that everything else will turn out okay if the library is administered properly.
One can let the body and its desires wither away until one becomes almost pure intellect. I am not saying it’s recommended, because one also misses out on some stuff. I am just saying it’s an option. It’s sort of like how in the anime Deathnote, the protagonist, Light Yagami is offered by the god of death, Ryuk, the option of receiving the Shinigami Eyes, which can see both the names and lifespans of Humans floating above their heads. All Yagami has to give up in exchange is half of his lifespan. He rejects this “eye deal” and Ryuk is not perturbed by this; he tells him he just wanted to let him know that such a deal was available. It can never hurt to have more information.
So it is with the option of the semi-rejection of life. Not only is it possible, it’s even respectable. Of course, it’s not for everyone. As Victor Hugo writes, “It is all in vain to have no mirrors in convents; women are conscious of their own appearance; young girls who know that they are pretty do not readily become nuns; the inclination to the calling being in inverse proportion to good looks, more is expected from the homely than from the handsome ones. Hence a marked preference for the homely.” Likewise, people whose lives are going well are probably averse to the semi-ascetic route. But for the others, it can be a good option.
Nor is semi-asceticism necessarily miserable and full of pain over missed opportunities. Far from it; as long as one can stay INTERESTED in life and in one’s own doings, one can be happy. How much easier it is to stay interested than to be successful! Success brings anxiety, because then one has more to lose. To be poor and single is to have nowhere to go but up.
I saw this article about how magazine editor Sophie Fontanel voluntarily gave up sex for more than a decade. My first thought was, “That’s too bad; those might have been some of the years when she was youngest and hottest-looking.” Then I began questioning the assumptions behind that way of thinking.
Youth is not all about avoiding sexual idleness; what about being happy during those years when emotions are the most intense? By renouncing something, she actually gained; she was able to pursue other passions that were even more satisfying, and not have to worry anymore about being disappointed in love. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324085304579010843270841998.html
So it is with so many things; once one is willing to think outside the box of mainstream opinion and convention, many doors open up. People say, “Do this and you’ll be considered successful; if you don’t do it, you’ve failed.” It doesn’t create much room for individual experimentation, and it sets one up for disappointment if one either (1) falls short of the goal or (2) achieves it and finds it overrated.