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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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Sunday, September 17, 2017
So there's this blind guy in the chat I hang out in, and we were talking tonight about how he imagines color. He went blind as an infant, so he doesn't really know what any colors look like, but he still has associations for them. He "visualizes" by imagining textures and shapes as opposed to images.

I think it's safe to say that as humans, vision factors a lot into our development and how we construct reality. It's probably the sense that we depend on most, and being blind is significantly more disabling than being deaf, in terms of being able to function independently. Going off that assumption, it's interesting to think of how blind people's minds might develop differently. The guy I was talking to linked this article that I thought was pretty interesting:

Blindness and autism: What is the relationship between blindness and autism-like difficulties in children?

Was fascinating to me to think of how blind people are cut off from the social world in certain ways, because they can't pick up on a lot of nonverbal communication (which supposedly makes up a higher percentage of information in communication than verbal communication). Lacking such information, it seems to follow logically that their reality has a different construction than that of sighted people. I mean, of course they're going to rely on other senses (e.g. hearing) more, but I mean, it's not like being blind means you just live in the same world as sighted people, except you can't see anything. It's really a different world. What does red mean to blind person? How do they experience distance? Chat guy said he has a lot of difficulty with scale compared to other people.

I should look into the phenomenology of blindness more, I'd really like to know what research has been done on this topic...

...Okay I did a quick Google Scholar search and I'm not getting a lot of results that look like what I want. Hmm. Man, if I were more research-oriented instead of practice-oriented this would be a phenomenal thesis/dissertation subject, assuming I could find anything at all on it.

I'm so curious about other people's lived experience, but the curiosity is especially strong with blindness, and I'm glad that this guy is so willing to answer my questions. It's often challenging to explore people's experiences of reality because there's so much that people take for granted and assume and gloss over in their descriptions. If you ask "what did you do today?" you're unlikely to get a thorough answer at all unless the person had an exceptionally interesting (to them) day. I don't think people pay much attention to the finer details of their daily lives. It's funny to think about, because I find high levels of detail immensely boring in fiction, but immensely interesting in reality, if that makes sense.

If I asked the average person to describe five minutes of their day in as much detail as possible I'm not sure if they'd really know what to say. I remember once in community college, for one of my classes we had to examine one of our hands and write down a description of it. Once we had all written our descriptions, the teacher asked, "how many of you wrote that you have five fingers?" Very few people raised their hands. It was such an obvious detail that most of us didn't think to even mention it. And yet these details do matter, you know? A person with four fingers, or six fingers, is probably persistently aware that they have four or six fingers compared to other people's five. When you're off from the default in some way it changes the way your reality is constructed.

One of my favorite professors in undergrad did his dissertation on amputees phantom limb syndrome, and he was fond of explaining phenomenology to his classes by talking about how amputees experience facets of reality compared to non-amputees. I think one of the things he said was that if a person without a leg were to enter the classroom, he/she would be keenly aware of the distance between things-- how many steps between the door and his/her desk, etc.-- and what objects he/she could potentially support him/herself against, and so on and so forth. It's not that such details don't exist for non-amputees, but they fade into the background because they're relatively unimportant or meaningless.

There's a constant shifting of the details that come forward for us, the ones we notice versus the ones that blend with the shadows. An easy way to think about this is by looking at a gestalt picture:

You can look at this two ways-- as two faces or a vase, but both exist simultaneously, and what you see in the moment really just depends on where your attention is focused. What you're focusing on is the 'figure' and the rest is the 'ground'. Reality is like that, just... with a lot more than two things to see.

Anyway, the details that we notice shape our reality, yeah? Pretty straightforward I think. There are many details, more than we can take in all at once (which is why we're selective), but we have some freedom to choose what we pay attention to. Although... for blind people or other people with disabilities, I guess they don't really get to pick from as many details as people with all their senses intact. Bringing this topic around to my personal experience (since this is my personal blog, after all), I think that I have made efforts to shift what I pay attention to, maybe not super explicitly at times, but I still have, and this has changed my experience of reality. My perceptual habits have changed and I notice more when people do nice things for me, when things are going well (I think I wrote a post awhile ago about feeling lucky), and stuff like that. I could put it in more clich� terms as "looking on the bright side," but there isn't really a bright "side", more like... bright specks scattered amongst all the other specks of various types.

Back to the topic of senses shaping reality... So the guy was talking about his sense of humor and how he thinks it's affected by being blind, and he linked some videos. In the suggested videos on the side, there was this:

I thought it was funny. Not to the point where I actually laughed, but like, I enjoyed it. Talking to this blind dude has made me aware that visuals do play heavily into my sense of humor at times-- the contrast between imagery and sounds can be pretty amusing to me, but this is something that guy doesn't even have access to.

Anyway, I don't have any conclusive thoughts on this, it's just raising some interesting questions/thoughts for me and I wanted to note them.

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Security [DP]
Saturday, September 16, 2017
Be it extremely emotional, controversial, messed up, or whatever, this entry has been password protected.

If you know it, enter it; or, ask me for it.

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Thursday, September 14, 2017
"Only" by Nine Inch Nails.

I'm becoming less defined as days go by
Fading away
And well you might say
I'm losing focus
Kinda drifting into the abstract in terms of how I see myself

Sometimes I think I can see right through myself
Sometimes I think I can see right through myself
Sometimes I can see right through myself

Less concerned about fitting into the world
Your world that is
'Cause it doesn't really matter anymore
(No it doesn't really matter anymore)
No it doesn't really matter anymore
None of this really matters anymore

Yes I am alone but then again I always was
As far back as I can tell
I think maybe it's because
Because you were never really real to begin with
I just made you up to hurt myself


I went out with a friend last night. We played pool (meaning, he explained how to play to me, and I was mindblowingly bad at it except for one amazing trick shot where I jumped the ball over another ball and hit one of my balls into a pocket) and walked around, then sat in a very fancy Target Starbucks and chatted. It was nice, I had fun.

He's very personable and easy to talk to, and I'd like to hang out more with him. We briefly talked about the possibility of hanging out next week, so I hope it happens. He said he'd take me to Sonic because I've never been there, and I've always seen the commercials and been curious. The closest one is... pretty far though. An hour away? Over an hour? I don't know.


I dreamt some things.

There was a church I was associated with and we were on a trip, but something went wrong, and those of us who were unaffected fled to a house for safety... I was alone in the entry hall when I heard a knock on the door, and I opened it and saw some of the church members, with an odd detail... they had fake looking black wigs on their heads, and I realized too late that they had been compromised and were going to hurt me. I couldn't stop them from coming in and I tried to flee to my room and lock the door, but I didn't make it, and they closed in on me.

I was with a group of people in his grandmother's house for the weekend. She had agreed to let us use the house while she was away... I was in a room that was only accessible through a crawlspace between the first and second floors of the house, and there were no stairs, so you had to climb a ladder to move between floors... I went up to the second floor to use the bathroom, and noticed blood, which I thought must explain the intense anger I'd been feeling prior. As I started to descend the ladder, I saw him, and I quickly got into the crawlspace and knocked over the ladder so he couldn't follow me, but he got into the crawlspace too, and then he was trying to get closer to me, and I was screaming at him to go away, trying to kick him so he couldn't come near, but he wouldn't leave.


Ran 1.5 miles and then did Turbo Kick. I really like Turbo Kick, maybe I should start going to the other class times as well.

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Running progress
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Ran 3.05 miles at the gym continuously. Well, "ran"... Had it set to lvl 1 incline, 6.4mph (9:22) up to 1.5 miles, so I wasn't even breathing hard for most of it. Stopped because my feet were getting too warm. Shoes don't breathe enough...


I think it's time for some self-administrated exposure therapy.

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Feelin' things
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
"You & I" by New Look.

I might have posted this song before, but I haven't listened to it in awhile and I like it. It fits my mood at the moment.

So I read The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan over the past couple nights. It's very very quick to read, but oof, it hit me hard emotionally. The book is structured as a series of dictionary entries, each with a snippet of the story, and it's pretty amazing how much Levithan conveys in so few words. You don't get all of the details of the story down (it's about a relationship), but you get enough to feel a pretty heavy impact from the more painful entries. Or at least, I did. I imagine the impact is affected by the reader's personal experience with the themes described in the book.

Ummm... I didn't go to the gym today. :T Wasn't feeling it. I will go tomorrow though! And I'm gonna hang out with a friend tomorrow evening, so I have something to do. Gotta try really hard to eat before class tomorrow so that I have energy. I know I keep saying that, but I really should try. T_T

I have this feeling, and it's nice.
It's not... magical or mystical.
It didn't hit me suddenly or creep up on me.
Although I do feel constantly surprised by it, somehow.
It just feels real, and comfortable, and safe, and secure.


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Need to work out more [DP]
Monday, September 11, 2017
Be it extremely emotional, controversial, messed up, or whatever, this entry has been password protected.

If you know it, enter it; or, ask me for it.

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Don't feel like saying much
Sunday, September 10, 2017
Had an ECS meeting today and went to the gym. Ran 3 miles in total, not continuously, plus did normal Bosu stuff, Stairmaster, and squats.

Found r/killthosewhodisagree and have been browsing it a little. Made me think about how accustomed I've become to people making extreme threats of violence over disagreements in opinion. I know I was guilty of doing it when I was a teenager, but I'd like to think I've grown since then. Looking through the posts there was a bit shocking when I realized how normalized that kind of language has become.

Didn't get around to writing a piece for that guy yet... Trying to refine some ideas but I really don't like the prompt and it's sapping my motivation. I should at least write a critique for him though...

Mood was not good today, despite socialization/exercise/sunlight. Could be dietary, but I dunno. It's hard to tell when I just wake up feeling bad.

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Working with kids again
Saturday, September 9, 2017
Appetite is getting better, but for some reason all I want to eat is cucumber kimchi. Sadly we don't have any more at the moment.

Yesterday was my first day back the the church where I used to work... I'm in charge of a class of two year olds now. There are 16 of them on the roster, but I think we had... 12 or 13 of them on the first day. It went pretty well! We have quite a nicely behaved set of kids. Probably one of the only "bad" things was when I was changing diapers, and one kid just... man... it was like an explosion in there. My co-teacher and I were frankly shocked, because we hadn't smelled it or anything. And... there were no gloves, so I was using a pretty thick wad of baby wipes to clean it up. That kid's parents need to adjust his diet, because yikes.

A few of the kids were clinging to me almost the whole time, and when we took the class out to the playground (they get a half hour on the playground with another class of the same age), a couple kids from the other class decided they wanted to hang out with me as well, haha. One little boy just stood near me the whole time and showed me a flower he picked, then kept staring at me until I was like "what's your name?" He said "Nathan," so I told him my name, and then he smiled and kept staring at me. It was kind of weird, but cute, haha.

I've been looking at the analog glitch art of this guy named Rob Sheridan, and he linked a cool video on his Tumblr:

"INORI (Prayer)"

Also looked at the Flickr of the guy I'm doing the writing partner thing with... man, some of his photos of things are just stunning. I've been seeing some really beautiful things and I feel sort of inspired?

I've been trying to find this one song I heard at the gym for awhile now and it's proving to be very difficult. :(

Decided to take a break from the search and just looked up some old stuff.

"This Time (Klaas Remix)" by DJ Antoine.

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