Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Rudy is still sick (not that you'd know it from any of his behavior, if anything the antibiotic is making him more playful), but I think he is finally getting better.

Yesterday, instead of the Tuesday Too, jf wrote after a post that contained a bunch of questions: "Maybe, because it's Tuesday you'd like to answer some of these questions for yourself, or maybe not, because that would require too much thinking." Yesterday, it would have taken too much time - not necessarily too much thinking. So here goes:

1. Wonder what?

I wonder what it means that I haven't heard from the publisher yet? I wonder what it will feel like if my proposal is accepted this time? I wonder what I will do if it is another rejection?

2. What do you mean, when thought takes over?

I know exactly what you mean. Sometimes when I am doing some mundane task my mind is so elsewhere, deep in thought - thinking in a creative way, thinking in an anxious way, thinking in a focused, figuring out something way. Then I'll snap out of it suddenly, and look at what I am doing - washing dishes, sorting papers, walking somewhere, digging around plants - and it's almost like I couldn't see it before. Couldn't really hear either, the sounds of birds or the dogs barking or cars going by. Or feel my hands in the water or the wood handle of the shovel.

This is reminding me of Don Quixote.

3. Are you saying thought is not a good thing?

Well, I can understand the importance of really appreciating the flowers in the garden, or listening to the birds singing, or the feeling of your sneakers on the sidewalk, or watching people in the street (I could do without the sounds of cars and airplanes). I am sympathetic to the idea of a clear mind and the benefits of skilled relaxation. In fact, I am trying breathing exercises, I hope to stick with it and achieve some benefits. However, I think this means eliminating not just intense thought but also the whole notion of "seeing" things that surround us.

At the same time, I really love intense thought while digging in the garden and walking somewhere (dish washing and paper sorting remain a drag), and to some degree, it is relaxing. I love music, but I often don't play a CD as background when I am working on other things, and I never have the TV or radio on. Except in rare circumstances, these things are too much of a distraction; in my opinion, they drown out both deep thought and the ability to see clearly. This is true of the television in particular. Of course, Castleton is fairly quiet, and Samsonville is very quiet. If I had to tolerate a lot of sirens, horns and assorted other noises I might feel differently.

The last day of the online class was today, one more week and the on campus section is over. The next two weeks will be filled with that end of semester joy, evaluation!

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