May 30, 2016
Everything has been written before and why bother anyway.
That feeling is what I have to overcome whenever I sit down to write for an audience. When I write in my notebook, it’s different — even if what I’m writing is pointless, I’m not wasting anybody’s time but my own, and it makes me feel better, so that’s why I bother. But if I’m asking others to take the time to read something I wrote, I need it to say something.
I was being facetious in the previous post, trying to brainstorm topics to blog about. But then last night I was asking myself, “Really, what are you going to blog about?” I was so excited to get back to writing on a near-daily basis for public consumption that I forgot to decide what I was going to write about. Of course I want it to be something of value to the reader — more value than just “a distraction from boredom” (though if that’s enough for you, I guess that’s enough for me).
Lately, what I value most is equanimity. To me, equanimity means being okay with life, and not being in a constant state of writhing emotional anguish. An intermittent state of writhing emotional anguish is the best anybody can hope for, so that is my goal. I strive to intermittently not be in a state of writhing emotional anguish.
So I think that may be the thing I keep in mind when trying to decide what to communicate on a regular basis: How to negotiate with the world, the limits of our existence, and the very harsh human realities of life on the edge of extinction, without missing the joyful and miraculous aspects of being alive. Nothing too ambitious! Since I have no actual answers to this question, I predict a lot of stories about me heroically not losing my shit over some provocation in the subway, or how I recently discovered that I’ve been tensing my solar plexus since the 1970s.
(The above image is from The Point, a full length animated feature from 1971, featuring songs by Harry Nilsson and narration by Ringo Starr. I saw it at day camp as a kid. I could have sworn I hallucinated it, but it turns out it’s real.)