May is a great month. It allows me to comfortably leave my window wide open. When the golden sun isn’t seeping in with the intermittent breeze, it’s the cool air billowing down across my sheets and over my skin. There’s a lot to be felt and enjoyed in May.
In a computer, everything is recallable all the time, but life is a succession of events that only happen once.
I remember when those older than me would pose the question: “So, what do you want to do with that?, referencing my major, and I would say, “I want to teach”—which is true. I would say it as if to satisfy what they wanted to hear, as a means of reinforcing my confidence. But the more I dwell on my current life standing, the more I realize what I need to do is learn.
I suppose, more than anything, I want to master an art. I want to be uncommonly adept at something - one thing - enough to be called a specialist in it.
To preface this, I read an essay once where to collect something, say, books, was commensurate to collecting one’s self. A similar principle can be found in something as simple as scanning one’s “likes”. They not only serve as a reflection of one’s interests, but of one’s identity. And in this way, we build ourselves.
When it comes time for me to make a career of something, I want it to incite in me a feeling that cannot be satiated. Sometimes I feel as if I spread myself too thin; I do a lot of things, but I don’t consider myself an expert in any specific one. It would be something I could build a life out of—a microcosm of sorts. But mostly, I want it to be pleasant.
For it is through struggle and sorrow that people are able to participate in one another—the heartlessness of the healthy, well-fed, and unsorrowful person has in it an infinite smugness.
Steinbeck’s The Log from the Sea of Cortez
I began listening to the Arctic Monkeys again. In one of their songs, No Buses, Alex Turner sings the lines:
An ache in your soul, it’s everybody’s goal
To get what they can’t have
—and I believe it. Desire is ubiquitous, is nearly inevitable. I think this is because with desire comes the hope of fulfillment. Desire seems to presuppose fulfillment, and so it seems to presuppose pleasure.
The key word, though, is ’hope’. One of my favorite passages in The Log from the Sea of Cortez is how Steinbeck analogizes genetic mutation with ideological anomaly. He states that survival value is not a prerequisite for mutation; it may help, it may not. Hope functions in a similar way. What is one to believe if they were told that their quality of life may not improve? It’s disheartening. But it does happen on occasion.
However, it must not be forgotten that we’re still here. Hope works. I’d imagine if one is inclined to believe their situation is bound to improve, they’re more apt to take the necessary steps. This is all speculation, of course, of which Steinbeck doesn’t fail to omit.
All I can do now is live in the present moment, and take notice when things are going well. Right now things are going well. To objectify the things that have made life worthwhile for me, there are numerous. But here I’ll enumerate a few: (1) I’m healthy, (2) I have friends that I can count on, and (3) I’m beginning to learn what I deserve.
The more that you talk about a person as a social construction; or as a confluence of forces; or as fragmented; or marginalized, what you do is open up a world of excuses… In short, I think the message here is that we should never simply write ourselves off as the victim of various forces. It’s always our decision who we are.
Robert C. Solomon
This is day two with pinkeye, and to be honest it’s quite an interesting sensation: I look in the mirror to see a set of two blood-infused eyeballs, my vision’s slightly blurry and light-sensitive, glazed over by fluid, and my eyelashes feel bound together as if by webbing.
This is the extent of symptoms, though. And it leaves for a pretty dreamy experience. I think I may miss it a little when it’s gone.