(from June 14, 2018)
I want this to be my new normal. The interaction with, the lifestyle of the people at _. The check-ins were amazing. I don’t feel like I’ve ever felt connected to a group of people like this in so little time. I love when a large group of people have one conversation, W said. Like this. Often large-group conversations fail because the conversation follows a random walk of topics that no one is super-interested in. But when you go around the table, and everyone’s attention is focused on the person who is speaking, and the speaker gets to just talk about whatever is on their mind, whatever is important or relevant in eir life right now… The prompts were, “What is alive for you right now?” and “What could life help you with?” It’s a lot like authentic relating and circling – and indeed it feels like the right version of authentic relating to me – like the other experiences have been near misses and this is on point.
What is being romantic but following a feeling? And making life more interesting because of the pursuit of it? What is being romantic but putting stakes on things, really wanting things, so that the question of “is this good to do?” falls away and you’re just trying to attain your desire or your dream?
(Writing makes me more romantic. In a quiet sort-of way. I’m terrified of being emotionally empty. When people ask me how I think or feel about something, and I query my feelings and don’t find anything there – that is something I face. But having a world, story, character minds flow through me – it’s like spirit-water in the dreamworld, it’s like the difference between philosophical zombies and feeling humans.)
The moon is full tomorrow. The full moon and the new moon are times for reflection. When the moon wanes, do the things you want to get rid of in your life. It’s also the time to make offerings to the ancestors, food and liquor and burning paper money, all the things that they loved in life. You don’t owe them anything – the people who brought you into this world without your permission – give your token of respect and then follow your own desires. When the moon waxes, do the things you want more of in your life. Do this, and you’ll be better off than the people who don’t believe. It’s in all the traditions, Christian, Buddhist, native everything.
– Stand on the shoulders of giants!
– But the world is more Lilliaputian. How about: be carried by many midgets.
if I ask you for a god, who would you name?
if I ask you tomorrow, would you say the same?
if you don’t commit: that’s just lame
silence burns, but apathy drowns the flame
(from diary, 12/2)
…The feeling that struck me the most was how much being happy – and a big part of that is having Friends and people who care about you and who you can talk about your interiority with (like this) – really affects the way I deal with the world. I can rage against this and call myself a prisoner to circumstance, but that’s not useful. It’s so much easier to be nice to everyone, to cooperate, to do the things that need to be done, to give people the benefit of the doubt, when I get the feeling that there are people who care about me.
The platonic ideal of morality and success is that I do whatever is Right – treating people well, working hard… – no matter the circumstances I find myself in. Treat other people well even if I don’t feel cared for, work hard even if no one shows they appreciate the work.
But that’s not reality. It’s not a matter of logical update – the feeling that I “should” work hard or be nice to people doesn’t by itself make me work hard or be nice to people.
It takes a larger shift.
The reality is that feeling loved has a huge impact. The reality is that people who are in a relationship can be more productive because they feel that love. There’s nothing moral or fair about it – it’s just the way things are.
So seek love.
“Hold on when you give love, and let go when you give it.”
I forget to watch the leaves turn color,
and they are already gone.
Sight is an illusion
when nothing penetrates the clouds of the mind
I’m afraid that if I spend the whole day
stilling the surface of my mind’s pond
it will still have waves
and I still won’t find
the hidden beast down deep
who whispers my true desires