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Memores acti prudentes futuri

You're unsure if I am a loose end or a strand
that waits for you to mend or understand
A few words
"When we describe the Moon as dead, we are describing the deadness in ourselves. When we find space so hideously void, we are describing our own unbearable emptiness."
~ D.H. Lawrence

"Is the meaning of life defined by its duration? Or does life have a purpose so large that it doesn't have to be prolonged at any cost to preserve its meaning?"

"Living is not good, but living well. The wise man, therefore, lives as well as he should, not as long as he can... He will always think of life in terms of quality not quantity... Dying early or late is of no relevance, dying well or ill is... even if it is true that while there is life there is hope, life is not to be bought at any cost."
~ Seneca

"People will tell you nothing matters, the whole world's about to end soon anyway. Those people are looking at life the wrong way. I mean, things don't need to last forever to be perfect."
~ Daydream Nation

"All Bette's stories have happy endings. That's because she knows where to stop. She's realized the real problem with stories-- if you keep them going long enough, they always end in death."
~ The Sandman: Preludes & Nocturnes

"The road now stretched across open country, and it occurred to me - not by way of protest, not as a symbol, or anything like that, but merely as a novel experience - that since I had disregarded all laws of humanity, I might as well disregard the rules of traffic. So I crossed to the left side of the highway and checked the feeling, and the feeling was good. It was a pleasant diaphragmal melting, with elements of diffused tactility, all this enhanced by the thought that nothing could be nearer to the elimination of basic physical laws than deliberately driving on the wrong site of the road."
~ Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

"It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend."
~ William Blake
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Shamanic traditions
Thursday, February 21, 2019
I have some pretty heavy skepticism around New Age type spiritual fad things. If people find personal comfort in that stuff, that's fine, but I'm not into it when they push it on me. My school can be kinda... ehhhh... overly New Age-y as far as I'm concerned. Lots of people talking about their healing crystals and their ayahuasca trips and past lives and stuff. In some cases it seems totally at odds with science, and I dislike that, considering we're supposed to be learning in an academic environment...

This morning in my first class, a guest speaker came to talk to us about medicine wheels and shamanic practices in Native American cultures. I'll admit, I was fully expecting it to be boring and irrelevant to anything I want to do. The guest speaker turned out to be interesting, articulate, and engaging, though. I was very pleasantly surprised.

I'm not really into rituals and stuff, but she explained everything she did in a pretty reasonable way and didn't make it all woowoo spiritual. She was down to earth and talked about how differently we're impacted by physically moving versus just talking about stuff, and about the importance of not confining our attempts to pursue health to the abstract realm of ideas. Overall I thought her points were pretty solid.

We made prayer bundles with colored cloth and sacred tobacco, which was like, not really up my alley but okay, no big deal. Each color represents a direction (East, South, West, North, and the Good Red Road) with an associated power. East is clarity, south is innocence, west is introspection, and north is wisdom. We were supposed to put a small pinch of tobacco in the middle of each square of cloth, think of a prayer to go with that particular color/power, and then tie it up into a little bundle. There's just one long string for all the bundles, so they end up being connected to each other. The speaker told us to put our bundles somewhere we'd see them frequently, and then after the next moon cycle (so 28 days), to bury them in the ground. I'm not exactly sure what this is supposed to accomplish, but I guess I'll do it out of respect for the process.

Still have a healthy amount of skepticism that my "prayers" will be fulfilled, but we'll see. In any case, I feel more amiable towards shamanism than I did before. Not to the point where I think I'd want to incorporate it into my life, necessarily, but I can see how it has benefit for other people and the principles behind it make a lot more sense to me.

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The urge to write [4P]
Saturday, February 16, 2019
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Unexpanded thoughts [DP]
Tuesday, February 12, 2019
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Waiting [4P]
Monday, February 4, 2019
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The relative nature of hard work
Monday, January 28, 2019
"Daphne" by T.hanks.

Wondering again if I have any idea of what it means to work hard. Usually I feel like I don't, and then I feel sort of guilty for not knowing how to do it. I hear about other people devoting hours to studying or practicing or working and I feel kind of embarrassed for... not really ever doing that? Like, I get my stuff done, but I feel like I put a pretty minimal effort in most of the time. When I read for class, I pretty much just read through once and I don't really highlight or make notes or anything. >.> Maybe I've become a worse student...

On the other hand, it doesn't seem like I need to "work hard" to get an A in my classes... I can't tell if that's because grade inflation is rampant, professor standards are low, or I'm just performing at a level that is actually good. If it's the case that my low effort is enough to produce work that's comparable to the people who actually put in hours, then... is this a matter of ability? It feels like uncomfortable territory to explore. People tell me I'm smart, but I don't feel like I'm allowed to wholeheartedly accept that without risking coming off as arrogant.

At the very least, I'm lucky, I guess. Or well, I am in some senses. Lucky that I don't have to put in a lot of effort to get a good grade. Maybe unlucky in the sense that I haven't had to learn how to work hard, and if there comes a time when I need to work hard, I might be royally screwed.

But then on the other side, there's the question of whether I'm just delusional about my level of effort and I'm neurotically pushing myself and underestimating how much work I put in because I've been fed this myth of limitless potential my whole life and have deeply internalized it. When you grow up with people constantly saying "you can do anything!" you might end up believing that you can always try harder, do more. If your potential is unlimited then you can never fulfill it, no matter how hard you work, but it always feels like you could be working harder. Got an A in the class? Okay, that's great, but was it a 100% A or a 93% A? Because there's a difference there. Graduated with honors? Okay, but was it magna cum laude or summa cum laude? Summa cum laude? Yeah, that's all well and fine, but could you have picked a more difficult major? Does it really mean anything if you got high grades in an easy subject?

I realize this all comes off as me refusing to acknowledge my accomplishments, but for me it feels like an endless wondering about what my actual limits are. I know I have done some things that are probably worth recognition, I just don't know what my best looks like. Maybe it doesn't look like other people's best. I have no way of knowing. Most of the time when I feel like something is "hard" it's hard because I managed my time poorly or didn't prepare enough, not because the thing itself is difficult. I think that's a valid distinction...

And I don't mean this to reflect on other people at all. If someone worked hard to accomplish the same thing as me and I didn't work hard at all, it doesn't devalue their accomplishment. It's great that they put in a lot of effort for them, in fact.

Maybe I'm just not proud of the work I'm doing because I feel like I'm just coasting... I dunno, it's hard to say.

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Alright, let's post this thing [2P]
Wednesday, January 23, 2019
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Into the wild, we never learn
Saturday, January 12, 2019
"Ouagadougou" by BC Unidos.

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Necessary frustration [4P]
Monday, January 7, 2019
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