I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
September 15, 2016 - 2:24 p.m.
My mind is going in two different directions while planning today's entry. Which way will it go, politics or psychology? Perhaps I'll do both. But I'll start with recounting my day. That part is easy and there's an idiot story.
The regular time for my therapy is Wednesday at 1:45. Last week it was on Friday so it's been a short time. It's also been a very good mental health week. To get there by 1:45 I have to leave here at 12:20 if Jane gives me a ride to the New Rochelle train station. It's something like an hour earlier if she can't. it's because the stupid Westchester 45 bus runs but once an hour that time of day. I should not have time pressure getting out of here by 12:20 but I always do. I have to write, eat, shower, and do my morning online regimen. The problem is the last expands to fill whatever time I have. But I do always make it. I just feel rushed. I got to the train station and only then double-checked my appointment. I have a printout of upcoming appointments and it's on my calendar. I had totally forgotten that this week it was at 2:45. Why did I forget and why didn't I check till it was too late? Because I'm an idiot of course. I hope you all got that one right. It will be on the test. Because of the train schedule I always have close to half an hour to kill. This way I had an hour and a half to kill. The first thing I did was go to Carvel and made a pig of myself. I wanted a sundae, Wednesday is buy one get one free day. There's no one there for me to share it with so I got two. At least I got two smalls. It was with hot fudge and peanut butter sauce. The night before I had a crepe with dark chocolate, peanut butter, and banana. I love that combination. Stop looking at me like that. You're being a foodist. The first amendment promises freedom of religion and I'm Theobromatic Orthodox. We believe in salvation through chocolate.
Therapy was the opposite of two weeks before when I was a bundle of anxiety. This week I didn't have a single major anxiety incident and that's what we discussed. We also discussed what I had eaten. That discussion is what the psychology possibility of the blog is about. And yes that's where I will end up. The politics is important but I doubt very much if I'll change any minds. In fact, the psychology might do a better job of influencing the politics than directly addressing it.
I was thinking of stopping at Stop & Shop and shopping, see what I did there? After therapy but I decided there was nothing I need that much and to head straight home. That proved a great decision as the weather started to look threatening while I was riding the 45. It got worse when I switched to the BX 29. Ten minutes after I got home the skies opened up and it poured. It didn't last long. I wish I had thought to look out the window when it was over. So many people took pictures of rainbows. I was in a perfect position to view it. If I went on the roof the pics would have been amazing. But I didn't. I'm not saying that was because I was an idiot. It was because I was tired. I didn't get enough sleep the night before and I crashed when I got home.
Last night I watched Doctor Who It was the two-parter guest-starring Maisie Williams, Arya Stark on Game of Thrones. In the ninth season the new series has finally hit its stride. This was two two-parters in a row without melodrama. The fate of the universe was not at stake. There were not major revelations about the Doctor. The Doctor came into a situation where others were in danger and saved them because that's what the Doctor does. He wasn't pompous. He had the right degree of silliness. The bird was not crushed and it didn't escape. I love, loving watching Doctor Who And hey, that fits into what I wanted to write about too. We're almost there.
This morning I planned on having matzoh brei. When I make that I start by scrambling one egg. The problem is I was talking to Jane while I was doing that and cracked two eggs. That's too much for matzoh brie, though I'm sure I could have experimented. Instead I added a third egg to make an omelet. Unlike the last time I did not make it perfectly. The bottom didn't have some brown, it was brown. But that's fine. I make a different sort of omelet than anyone else I've seen. When I made my first one I googled how to do it and the first place I looked was very atypical. I pour half the egg and milk mixture in the pan first, let it start to set, then I add the rest. It makes two distinct layers, a crust and a topping. It's the contrast between the layers that makes it interesting. Today I topped it with ham and pepper jack cheese. I spiced it with garlic salt, cayenne pepper and curry powder.
When I ate it I savored and distinguished the different elements. The dry lower layer and the gelatinous upper. The different flavors the egg, salt, garlic, and spices. I analyzed it very much the same way I listen to complex music. Picking out all the different elements then doing a synthesis to experience the whole. I loved the omelet. I love listening to music.
Now we get to the psychology. My therapist says that I practice mindfulness, I am very much in the moment. She's right, I do. I hate the buzzword aspect but I love the meaning of mindfulness. It's how I most enjoy experiencing the world. I love the way she got into it. She started by saying "You're a dessert person." This all started after telling her about the two sundaes. Our last session I talked about a chocolate malt. My Gentle Readers don't need to be told how much I love food and in particular dessert.
Some people divide the world into deconstructionists and synthesizers. It's a false dichotomy. They are two complementary aspects of understanding; both are necessary. That's the essence of science. We try to understand the whole through the parts and the parts through the whole. Anything else leaves out essentials.
Mindfulness is supposed to help with anxiety. I'm both mindful and anxious. Perhaps even though I'm more mindful than most I require far more that most people to keep anxiety at bay. At least it's a strategy that I'll enjoy.
Being mindful keeps me appreciating life. It might not help that much with my anxiety but it works wonders with my depression. When I'm depressed I am far less mindful. Then I don't observe the now but obsess on the things that bother me. I started doing that last night but was able to switch gears.
What I have to learn to be mindful about is my anxiety. I need to sit and observe that from the outside. What is real and what is not? What do I know and what do I just guess? I need to not shove the anxiety aside but experience it like I experience eating an omelet. It won't be as tasty but it will give me some control.
And what does this have to do with politics? People can be mindful of their political beliefs. Just like my anxiety think about what's real and what's not. How much is your wise mind and how much is emotional reasoning.
This is where I usually discuss what I'm about to eat but I already did that. Tonight I'm off to see a musical with Marti; she's reviewing it. Before then I have some errands to run. I have some logistical problems to work out. I'm sure I'll get it done.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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