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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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Lethe [4P]
Monday, October 29, 2018
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Religious experience and exercise [4P]
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
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Work thoughts, gym freebies
Friday, October 12, 2018
"Side Of The Road" by Big Black Delta.

I worked today, although since I usually have to leave early on Fridays to babysit, I don't have a static room anymore. Today I subbed in the 4-5 pre-K room. Lots of boys, and I always find myself wondering how many of them are going to grow up and break someone's heart. Oddly enough I don't have that thought about the girls, even though it's equally applicable. I feel some affection for them now, but also sadness because of the knowledge that their lives will get so much more complicated.

Also went to the gym today, which I usually don't do on Fridays anymore because... I dunno, I'm lazy now. Tired all the time, maybe. I took a five hour nap today so I guess I must have been exhausted? But after that I was good to work out. They had some freebies/samples at my gym, including spicy Skittles and some kind of Garnier hair mask. Pretty good stuff, actually. I tried out the hair mask when I showered tonight and it's a little overpowering in the scent department, but I like how my hair feels. The Skittles were interesting, not bad. Not really that spicy. I doubt I'd ever buy them, but they were fun to try.

I actually feel pretty good at the moment, which is maybe why this entry is just about random stuff I did and less about deep philosophical thoughts, haha.

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Things I thought I wanted but which I maybe don't really want
Sunday, October 7, 2018
Recently I've developed this awful tendency to question my own consumerist indoctrination whenever I see something I think I'd like to buy.

Cute clothes? "Is this just me buying into the idea that clothing is inseparable from personal expression?"

Branded merchandise of something I enjoy (e.g. People Watching)? "How does having a shirt with these characters on it matter to my enjoyment of the source?"

3 CD box set of The Caretaker's Everywhere At The End of Time? "Why do I seem to believe that having this physical set would enhance my experience of the music?"

It's a good way to not spend any money, but it's also a good way to suck all the fun out of buying things. But then there's the question of why buying things is fun in the first place, and whether that's actually something worth valuing, or I've just been surrounded by this cultural attitude so long that I've never thought to question it, despite it actually being fairly weird. I'm not going to start going around and yelling "WAKE UP CONSUMERIST SHEEPLE" and knocking products out of anybody's hands, but it's something I'm thinking about in my own life. Not freaking out about it, and not making a shift towards material minimalism, but being more aware of how consumerist culture affects me, I guess.

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A little belated
Monday, September 24, 2018
My birthday has come and gone. Not too much to speak of, except that my friend Matt surprised me at the train station in the morning with cupcakes that had little fondant budgies on them. I was catching an early train, so it was before 7am, and I knew he was going to come see me there, but I didn't know about the cupcakes. It was a really nice way to start off my day and I'm very appreciative of the effort he made.

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Family history and magnanimity
Sunday, September 16, 2018
My family has been trying to have dinner together on Sunday nights for the past few months, in an effort to promote cohesion and know more about each other. Lately I've been asking my parents questions about our family history, partially because I'm taking a Family Dynamics class and it's making me wonder about a lot of things. Tonight we went to a sushi restaurant and both of my parents shared some things about our family history that they knew. I learned the names of my maternal grandfather's parents and some of their story, and my dad retold us a story about my great great great grandmother on his side who fell down a well in China and couldn't get out for days because she had bound feet and struggled to climb out on her own. I can't even imagine how traumatic that would have been to go through. Unsurprisingly, after she was shipped off to Hawaii to marry my great great great grandfather, she worked as hard as she could to sew clothing to sell so she could save money to stay in Hawaii. Hawaii had running water, unlike China at the time, so there weren't wells around.

The personal stories of history can be so fascinating. It's disappointing to me that for a long stretch of my life, I just saw history as an incredibly boring summary of wars and treaties. It was sanitized of much of the life and individuality that characterized the lives that made it up.


Unrelated to my thoughts about my family history (at least, for the most part), I was reading more of Technology and the Virtues by Shannon Vallor tonight. I just finished the chapter on virtues that we can apply in the 21st century, one of which was magnanimity. Magnanimity is one of those words I have often seen but never thought too much about. After reading about it though, I think I will add it to the self-development "to do" list I keep to remind myself of which values I strive for and what things I want to work on.

Furthermore, the sense in which the 'great-souled' or magnanimous person is 'above' the common person is chiefly concerned with their lack of pettiness-- their unwillingness to defile their virtue by scrabbling in the dirt over trivial advantages, honors, titles, prizes, or other ego-boosting trifles. The great-souled person does not ignore these things because he wishes to be above others, rather he is above others just because he tends to ignore these things. The things the great-souled person values are more valuable. The magnanimous person is the one who has a sense of nobility and self-worth founded in a lifetime of moral and social efforts rather than relatively meaningless zero-sum contests of ego. The magnanimous person can afford to be generous in spirit where others are not. He can absorb a petty insult without having to repay it. He can warmly greet the person who has pretended not to notice his arrival. He can let the other car swoop into 'his' parking space at the mall without responding like a rabid dog.


What, then, is the relevance of this classical ideal for 21st century life? Who talks or thinks about being 'noble' any more? This is precisely my point. Magnanimity enables and encourages moral ambition and moral leadership, two things sorely lacking in our contemporary technosocial milieu. Moral ambition can be described as the ability to 'think big' in one's moral aims. The magnanimous, those with justified moral ambition, are able to go beyond what most of us can afford in the moral realm (often little more than 'I'm going to try to be slightly less of a selfish jerk today'). The magnanimous can pursue and lead others in moral projects that require enduring courage, deep wisdom, expansive empathy, extraordinary care, and tolerance for great frustration and conflict-- because they have successfully cultivated these virtues as resources for such projects.

Reading this, I have a renewed sense of something to strive for, which feels especially important at this juncture in my life. I've been fairly depressed lately and I think I'm coming out of it a bit right now, so it helps to have something to invigorate me and remind me of who I want to be.

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Saturday, September 15, 2018
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Friday, September 14, 2018
I have been getting really bad headaches and I'm not sure why. Just a couple days this week, in the afternoon, right around when I finish babysitting. It's this throbbing pain that makes me feel like I'm going to collapse and/or throw up. Not a constant dull pain like the normal headaches I get... and light seems to make it much worse. Migraines, maybe?

Right now I'm wearing sunglasses to type this, haha. My sunglasses are tinted yellow and polarized and they seem to help a little, but I think there's some other issue I need to figure out here. My guess is that I'm sick, but it's this very strange sickness where my only symptoms are extremely mild occasional coughing and rare but extremely terrible throbbing headaches. I've never had a cold like this before and don't know what to make of it. :S

I've been really wanting to write a long and reflective post about something I've been thinking about for a few days, but it's currently too uncomfortable to stare at the screen for as long as it would take, so unfortunately I have to postpone that for now...

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