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
March 16, 2015 - 10:59 a.m.
I didn’t leave the house or even get dressed yesterday. I didn't get anything accomplished. What the hell am I going to write about? Well I did accomplish something. I figured out how to use the WiFi to transfer files from my old computer to the new one. I'll be done with the pictures in three hours and thirty minutes if the connection stays at the same speed. The problem is somebody keeps using large amount of bandwith and slowing things down. It's the return of the bandwith hog. As I am staying within my network I know it's somebody in this house.
Music really does have charms to soothe the savage breast. I had a run of good music last week and I felt so much better. OOO Beethoven's Eighth Symphony on WQXR. That helps.
Food helps. I have absolutely no sweets in the house. I need a sugar fix. I did make soup for dinner. My two previous attempts at cooking were failures. I overcooked steak then chicken. I have become less fond of the soup I made. Yesterday I gave it some extra oomph by adding bacon fat. That worked. I picked that tip up from Jack Kerouac. Most people don’t think of The Dharma Bums as a cook book. So is To Serve Man.
How slow am I writing? The symphony is over. I'm feeling uninspired today. I'm feeling unhappy today. I'm feeling overwhelmed today. Is this just chemicals in my head? I don’t know but it reminded me of something to write about. A few weeks ago there was an article in the times on depression. Some doctor thinks it isn't about depressed serotonin levels. That's not my point .My point is that in the course of the article he said how things that increase serotonin increase ruminating. And that's what I want to talk about. I had totally lost the world ruminating but that's exactly what I often do. I had been calling it cycling and things like that. But ruminating is a great word. Do you know what it comes from? It's first meaning is chewing one's cud. It's what cows do. They eat grass. They chew it. It goes into one of the stomachs .It comes out and they chew it again. And this keeps happening. Grass is very hard to digest. And that's what I do with emotional things that are hard to digest. It can happen in impersonal things. I ruminate over conservative politics every day. I get myself worked up and think of things to write here. The problem is that it's too often the same things. I don’t want to write rants. I need a new perspective to cover old material.
I will ruminate over religion. I just don’t get it. I know intellectually perhaps why people believe but I can't put myself in their place. It really is adults believing in the tooth fairy. What is going on in their heads? What's going on in your head? Stop now! I am not supposed to be ruminating. I'm supposed to be writing about ruminating.
I have this Pavlovian thing. Every time I go into the shower I find myself ruminating on my relationship with one specific person. They are not happy thoughts. One of the thoughts is about how I used to have all happy thoughts about her. I have to work to snap myself out of it.
Ruminating is the path of least resistance. It's thinking without effort. It's where the mind wants to go. There is good ruminating too but we don't call it that. But it is the same thing. A series of happy thoughts that follow one from the other in a pattern. It isn’t just me is it? You do it too, right? I know I hear it a lot from people. They'll express these thoughts over and over again. Now it's one of those things that can be a pathology but is also something that everyone does. It's a matter of degree.
I am not going to force myself to write more. All I'd accomplish is just ruminating. Of course I know that as soon as I post this I'll remember the brilliant clever thing I meant to write about. OK I'll write a bit more. Just writing that last sentence made me happier. That's what I think of as the real me. I am clever and I am funny and happy to make fun of myself for a good joke. I'd pretty much always prefer to be funny. I think the whole problem is that I don't have any chocolate in the house. I'll make bacon and eggs for breakfast to hold me over till I get some.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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