Full fathom five thy blogger lies; of his bones are coral made

Hello and good morning.  It’s Thursday, March 10th, 2022, the second Thursday in March, and it’s time again for my weekly blog post.

As those who follow this blog know, I posted the 4th part of Outlaw’s Mind earlier this week.  If you haven’t seen it, you can feel free to go and read it here.  If you haven’t read any of it, and you’re interested, the first part is here, and you can see the listing of all the “parts” here.

I call them “parts” because they really aren’t chapters.  As I break them up, chapters tend to be longer in most cases, but I haven’t assigned chapters yet in this story.  I often don’t do that until the story is finished, after I’ve trimmed and adjusted things.  This story is being posted in very raw form, and if it’s rough and not as good as it might be because of that, I apologize.  I do appreciate those of you who read it, and I hope you enjoy it.

I’ve done a decent amount of writing on it this week—about 6500 words—the single biggest chunk last Saturday morning, when I cranked out a ridiculous two thousand words in under an hour.  I have no idea how to explain that.  It may very well be crap because of it, I’m not sure.

I don’t honestly know whether any of my writing is anything other than crap from anyone’s point of view but mine.  I’m not fishing for compliments; nor am I fishing for insults*.  I just honestly don’t know.  I don’t know very well how people react to anything I do, frankly.  People in general are confusing to me, sometimes even people I’ve known my whole life.  I do know that, for the most part, they don’t like having me around much.  Can’t blame them; I feel the same way about myself.

I haven’t done anything new, musically, but I did re-figure out the chords and specific melodies of my song Come Back Again (which is available to listen on YouTube if anyone is interested).  I hadn’t written down the chords except the basic opening ones originally, and when I happened upon a sheet with a few of those the other day, I figured I’d write out the melodies as they are and refigure those chords—maybe even change them some from the original, though I don’t think I did.  I’ve never been completely happy with how the song turned out as I arranged and “mixed” it before, but there are things about it that I like**.  It’s maybe too slow, and it’s certainly a bit gloomy, but then again, I’m a bit gloomy…in the same sense that the Pacific Ocean is a bit damp.

I’ve been trying to get into somewhat better walking condition, trying to work through calluses and blisters to get ready for a near-epic undertaking that I have tentatively planned.  I’ve been going slightly farther each day (with a few days off to let blisters settle out), and last night I walked about three and a half miles after work.  Once I’ve gotten up to about six miles at a pop without new blisters (no pun intended) or soreness, I think I’ll be pretty much physically ready for my undertaking, though there will be other preparations needed beyond that.

I’ll be saying/writing more about it as time goes on, and when it happens, I mean to make YouTube videos and will of course share them here and via my few anti-social media channels.  I don’t know whether anyone will even notice, but I hope to make it a useful process, perhaps calling attention to some charities or other.  My favorite one so far, and the one linked to my Amazon Smile account, is Reading Is Fundamental.  I remember their public service messages from when I was kid, and I agree entirely with their title.

I’ve said it over and over again, in various places and times:  I think written language is the lifeblood of civilization.  Almost everything good that we’ve done on any kind of scale, and any durable progress we’ve made, has depended on written language in one form or another.  As Carl Sagan put it, “Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs.  Books break the shackles of time.  A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.”

We watch videos of people all over the internet and web, and see stories told in movies and TV shows, but with a book, we can hear the words and thoughts of other people speaking directly in our minds, even ones who lived a very long time ago, in a galaxy that was then far, far away…certainly on any human scale***.  Through writing we can store memory and experience and understanding that can endure and build over the course of millennia.  We can step outside our parochial concerns—and all of our daily concerns are, finally, parochial, as is all politics, and social movements, and fashion trends, and all else that seems to grab people’s attention so very strongly.

That’s about all I have for this week, I suppose.  It’s probably actually more than I have, frankly, since I haven’t really said anything of substance, and I’ve probably wasted your time.  Apologies for that.  I hope you’re doing well otherwise, though.

TTFN

sunken-ships-5


*Hopefully that’s obvious, at least.

**I’m fond of the lines, “Only meeting strangers; always losing friends.  Every new beginning always ends”, because it is self-evidently and logically true when you think about it.

***After all, the Earth orbits the sun, the sun orbits the center of our galaxy, and our galaxy is moving even relative to the cosmic microwave background, towards the Andromeda galaxy, and of course, the universe itself is expanding.  The Galaxy Song, by Eric Idle/Monty Python gives a nice rundown of just how much motion that is, over how great a scale.  The last bit about the expansion of the universe being limited by the speed of light isn’t quite correct, but it’s not a substantive error as far as the song goes.

This tempest will not give me leave to ponder on blogs would hurt me more

Okay, well, hello and good morning, everyone—everyone who’s reading this, anyway.  It’s Thursday again, and so it’s time for my weekly blog post.  It’s March, also, but I don’t think there’s any such thing as “Marchly” blog posts.  March is the month in which Spring begins (in the northern hemisphere), so that’s nice.  It is if you like Spring, anyway, and most people do…for good, sound, biological reasons.

I’ve been slightly less productive on Outlaw’s Mind this week than I was last week, having written only a little over 4000 words this week…4153, to be exact.  This is mainly because I didn’t work last Saturday, so I didn’t write anything in the morning that day.  It turns out I’ve been writing about a thousand words a day, lately (plus some additional fractional number on average, which can’t apply to real words per se, so I won’t figure it exactly…readers can feel free to do the division for themselves if they like).

The story is progressing nicely.  Or, rather, it’s progressing well.  It’s not very “nice” right now; in fact, Timothy is going through what will probably end up being the worst thing to happen to him so far.  That’s the way it goes with stories; you have to torment the protagonist.  Ease and comfort don’t exactly make for gripping reading, unfortunately.

It’s probably a universal fact of life—again, for good, sound, biological reasons—that fear and suffering and discomfort are much more engaging than any achieved joy or experienced satisfaction.  The Buddhists are probably right, that life is fundamentally characterized by suffering, and it’s not unreasonable just to want to get off the ride—by meditation or by other means.

Though, of course, there is in most creatures most of the time a terribly strong drive not to get off the ride—yet again, for good, sound, biological reasons.  That’s even without Hamlet’s lamented dread of what dreams may come.  Even if you’re convinced that the reason no traveler ever returns from the bourne of that undiscovered country is that there’s no place from which to return and there’s no one to do the returning once you go there—and certainly no suffering—nevertheless the dread of it remains, as does the addictive clinging to the maladaptive habit that is life.  It’s terribly frustrating.

I’m being slightly melodramatic here.  I apologize.  I’m frustrated by a great many things—stupidity (my own and that of others), events in the outside world, events in my life, events in my inside world, the nature of my inside world, and so on—and this blog is pretty much my only venue for expressing those frustrations.  It’s not like I can talk to anyone about them.

I mean, it’s physically possible to talk about them, don’t get me wrong, but physical possibility is not a dispositive fact.  After all, it’s physically possible for a person to run full tilt at a brick wall and quantum tunnel through it.  But that’s so improbable that you’re probably waaaaay more likely to win every lottery in the world on the same day…without even playing any of them deliberately*.  But, in principle, it could happen the next time you don’t look where you’re going.

If such tunneling became, somehow, much more likely, perhaps because some omnipotent being had tweaked the nature of quantum interactions, I suspect that the universe as we know it would fall apart.  For one thing, fusion reactions would happen way too easily (I think) if tunneling were so much more likely, and maybe every form of “ordinary” matter would accumulate locally into massive atomic nuclei—little bits of neutron-star matter everywhere, accompanied by all the local equivalents of supernova explosions that would happen as protons converted into neutrons, and positrons and neutrinos went flying everywhere…dogs and cats living together…mass hysteria!  But, again, this is just speculation and silliness.  The point is, there are easier ways to get through walls.

Actually, I don’t think that was the point.  Oh, well.

Anyway—as you could probably guess—I have a very difficult time having normal conversations.  I have a pretty difficult time having even abnormal conversations.  So please forgive me if I express myself here, at least a little bit.  You’re the one reading it.  No one’s forcing you to do so**.

I did post the third part of Outlaw’s Mind here earlier this week, and if you’re reading it, I hope you’re enjoying it.  I guess I’ll probably continue to post it for now.  It astonishes me that I ever thought this was going to be a short story, or even just a novella.

I’m trying to force myself to read fiction again, so I’ve again gotten the Kindle versions of a few “light novels”, such as are popular—so I gather—with young people in Japan.  They tend to be short books, which helps, but they’re often too short…they’re almost always serial stories, and that gets frustrating, because there’s no resolution in any given volume.  It’s also somewhat dispiriting to get to the end of a story, or the end of a volume, anyway, and have to face the fact that, no, I’m not some Japanese high school student who has friends and romances and interactions and peculiar occurrences in his or her life.  I’m just still me, which is surely not something for which anyone would wish.

Oh, well, whataya gonna do?  I hope you’re all doing well, and feeling well, and minimizing your suffering and all that stuff.  If so, keep it up.

TTFN

stormy road


*I haven’t worked the numbers at all—I’m not sure how one would even determine the odds of accidentally winning lotteries without having deliberately played them, and I don’t have the necessary skills to calculate the rough rates of macroscopic quantum tunneling, though that, at least, can be done—so I may be wrong about the comparison.  But I don’t think I am.

**I hope.  Please, if someone is threatening you or otherwise coercing you to read my blog, try to find a way to alert the “authorities”, or leave a message in the comments below.  It doesn’t have to be an obvious message, in case you’re being monitored.  Goodness knows I’ve sent coded messages in blog posts, apparently ones that are so obscure that no one even notices that they exist, like last week.

What a wounded blog, things standing thus unknown, shall live behind me!

HELlo and good morning.  It’s Thursday, the 24th of February, and so it’s time for my weekly blog Post.  This will be the last post for the Month of February in 2022.  At lEaSt, it will be the last Of My usual, wEekly February 2022 blOg posts.  I suppose it’s possible that I might write somethiNg Else and post It or post some more of outlAw’s Mind if anyone’s interested.  But otherwise, probably not.

There’s not really much more to report than there was last week.  I’ve continueD to write on a near-dailY basIs, haviNG completed just a little over five-thousand words again this week.  I don’t have any new vIdeos of me singing to inflict upon you, so that’s probably a good thing.  Sorry about doing all that self-indulgent nonsense.  In fact, yesterday, I came very close just to giving away the guitar I have at the office because its presence was galling, and I felt franKly avErsE to the notion of even trying to make anything Pleasant, let alone beautiful.

Speaking of beauty, or its opposite, or WhAtever, I’ve reached a poiNT IN Outlaw’s Mind where some quite bad thinGs are happening for our main characTer, TimOthy Outlaw.  People in my universes don’t get a very good shaKe from me, It seems, but then, neither do people in my reaL, actuaL life, so that’s not too contradictory.

I’ve continued to have great difficulty finding books that I want to read.  I’ve tried to locate new fiction that looks interesting, but even coMics and manga are hard to concentrate on…or, rather, are things on which I find it hard to concentrate, if I want to trY to avoid ending SEntences with prepositions.  I know, it’s probabLy silly to bother with anything like that—almost nobody does anymore, even writers for Formerly prestigious newspApers, magazines, and jourNals.  I finD It frustrating anD even galling, but I recOgNize—when I’m able To be objective—THat at least some of the rules of grammar are arbItrary, though some are also borN of inherent logic, and the violation of these rules can lead to unclear communication and, I thinK, promote unclear thought.  My emotions mIght be as erratiC ANd troublesome as predicting the motion of a doubLe-pendulum, but my thoughts At leaST seeM coherent.  Maybe that’s why CBT* has never really worked very well for me.  Maybe my neUrology is just fuCked.  For all I know, maybe my tHoughts aren’t actuaLly cOhereNt, and everythinG I writE comes across as gibbeRish to everyone else.  Goodness knows, much of what most everyone else says and does feels lIke gibberish to me.

Of course, even non-fiction—even books about physics or neuroscience or rationality or biology or cosmology, whether I’ve loveD them in the past Or they’re new oNes by authors known or unknown To me—has been providing rapidly diminishing returns of latE.  And it’s not as though I do much of anything else for enjoyment.  eVEN the YouTube algorithm is letting me down, but of course, there was never any reason to thinK that it would do otherwise.

I doN’t think I have that much mOre to say today on this blog or ever at all, for that matter.  I don’t think I’ll be sharing any more of OutlaW’s MInd, but I guess I could change my mind at some point in the Future.  I can’t change It in the paSt, after all, alas.  And, of course, even if I could, we would be subject to the seeming paradoxes of time travel fiction in which a person cHanges things abOUt the past that change the fact that they wouLD change someThing in the past, and so on.  Of couRse, Everettian quantum mechanics allows for waYs around thIs—possibly, though it’s probAbly MAinly irrelevanT to reALity—and even the MCU glimpsed at least a bit Of that in AvengerS: Endgame, when the Hulk pointS out that, if your travel into tHE past, that past now becomes your “future”, and you cannot change your reaL Past by changing your future.

Anyway, that’s just stuff and fluff.  I can’t find even a Modicum of intErest in any of the ongoing MCU Projects, nor any of the Star Wars shows or anything eLsE, reAlly.  I’m juSt wandEring farther and farther into the wasteland now.  I doubt that there is a far side to it.

TTFN

tennant hamlet


*Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.  I don’t have the energy to describe or explain it, but feel free to Google it or look on Wikipedia, or whatever.

Or are you like the painting of a sorrow, a blog without a heart?

Hello.  Good morning.  Thursday.  Blog post.  You can fill in the rest of the verbs, articles, prepositions, adjectives, adverbs, and pronouns for yourselves.

It’s been a moderately productive week; I’ve made more progress than I did the previous week on Outlaw’s Mind—I’ve written just shy of five thousand words since last time.  Things are getting exciting and strange and frightening, and that’s all good in a story, though probably not good in life.

I’ve posted the second portion of Outlaw’s Mind—in draft form, anyway—on my blog, here.  It’s a bit of a lurch from the “cold opening”, because it suddenly shifts backward in time, to Timothy Outlaw’s younger, early adolescent days, gradually setting the stage for the events that happen in the opening, and which will then carry on after.  I haven’t yet reached that opening time again in the story, but I’m getting closer.  There will be a payoff, and hopefully the things that happen in between will be reasonably interesting.  They certainly are strange, and—hopefully—sometimes frightening.

I’ve also been mucking about with my guitar and singing, and I did a new video of me playing and singing Yesterday (of course by the Beatles).  I’ll embed it here, below this paragraph, so if you’re inclined, you can listen.  It’s decent, I think, but of course, you should feel free to judge for yourself.

I may inflict more songs upon you, assuming nothing cuts all my endeavors short—if they could even be truly considered short at this stage in my life.  Sometimes it feels as if it’s been eternal already…and not one of those great, “promised land” style eternals usually.  At this point, both my “experienced happiness” and my “life satisfaction”* are below the mean, I think, and most times they are in the fucking sewer.  I guess that’s what happens when you have an apparently defective brain and a bad personality.  No one is to blame, except possibly me…which would mean that I deserve it, in a sense, so I guess that’s fine.

I’ve considered just posting all the rest of Outlaw’s Mind at once, as it currently stands (up to yesterday, or up until whatever other day follows) so that even if I don’t end up living to finish it, someone else can if they’re interested.  I really doubt that would happen; it would probably just vanish into even greater obscurity than that in which it exists now, despite the supposedly eternal internet (where, contrary to popular sayings of the “what’s on the web is forever” type, the vast majority of things are in practice as ephemeral as the path of a single drop of rain).

But, hey, even Van Gogh only sold one of his paintings in his lifetime and look at him now!  Well, don’t look at him.  He’s dead—he killed himself when he was thirty-seven**.  But his paintings are still great, and his work is loved by countless millions of people.  Not that it does him much good, unless you believe in some afterlife that’s influenced by the esteem someone receives after their death by the world at large.  It seems unlikely.

That’s about it for my report this week; there’s little else to say.  I don’t socialize at all, and don’t really do much for fun, not counting what I’ve mentioned above and watching some videos on YouTube, most of which I’ve seen already.  I still can’t seem to get into any new fiction (or old fiction for the most part, even my favorite books), though there are occasional, brief exceptions.  And I’m running out of interesting non-fiction books to read, too.  I’ve read most of the ones that appeal to me at all.

I honestly don’t know what to do about any of this.  I mean, I have ideas, but they are generally frowned upon, and I don’t like making a nuisance of myself.  For now, I’ll keep doing the Nazgul thing and will merely continue, though often it already seems that every minute is a weariness.  I don’t know how much longer I can do it.

I hope you’re all doing better than I am, and that I haven’t bummed you out too much.  Stay as safe and healthy and happy as you can.

TTFN

Vincent's doctor


*As described in research that I think was done by Daniel Kahneman and others.

**I’ve already outlived him by fifteen years, but I’m far from sure that it was the right choice.  At least I’ve written and published some stories and a few songs since that age.  I don’t paint as well as Vincent did, of course, but then again, not many in history do or did, so I can’t feel disappointed about that!  Anyway, as far as either happiness or life satisfaction goes, my life since I was 43 has been a poor investment.  At least before then point I saw my kids.

Sorry Seems To Be the Hardest Word – cover on guitar and voice

Yesterday in my weekly blog post, I threatened you all with the possibility that I might upload some more videos of me singing and playing.  Well, I did just that, with my amateur version of the Elton John song, Sorry Seems To Be the Hardest Word.  It’s far from perfect, but I’m reasonably proud of my arrangement of the opening solo and the middle solo, which were of course originally for piano, this being Elton John.  I even arranged the middle one from memory, since it’s very memorable.  I was getting the opening wrong, though, I could tell, but wasn’t sure in what way, so I did re-listen to the song’s opening by Sir Elton to fix that.

Anyway, here it is.  I hope you like it.

OK…

OK…

Imagine a story about someone who is trapped in some infernal prison.  It’s not a prison with walls, necessarily, but is instead a prison of the mind, perhaps, and that person is trying to get messages out, calling—begging—for help to get free.  But the messages are “coded”.  The person is allowed to communicate with the outside world, but the jailer is watching and reading all outgoing correspondence and doesn’t want the person to receive any help, even if there is anyone out there who might help him—which is not at all clear.

So, the prisoner is forced to send out these coded messages, without a code key, in hopes that people will recognize them as what they are—as attempts to beg for help.  But every response the resident gets simply makes clear that the others outside don’t get it.  They just see the messages as stories, as hypotheticals, as songs…whatever.  They’re not getting the message.  He’s had to be too subtle, and the message is not getting across because he’s had to be too subtle.

Now, take a step back—or perhaps take a step forward, or a step inward—and we realize this story is not actually a story of a person imprisoned by someone else, but that the person who imprisons him is himself.  He hates himself too much to think that he deserves help, and he hates the prospect of openly asking for help, feeling that he has no right to help from anyone—and so it is he himself who is keeping himself in prison—he himself who is forcing himself to send out only coded messages in a subtle way, and he himself who is responsible for just how much people don’t get the point of his requests for help.  Or perhaps they simply agree that he does not deserve to receive help, the prisoner and the one who imprisons him, both of whom are the same person.

People grow more and more resigned—or gleeful or whatever—knowing that the prisoner will never escape, that no one will ever come to help, that there is only one way out, and in the long run, that will be the way he must take, to the horror or perhaps to the glee of those in the outside world.

Now, imagine that this isn’t the story at all, but is something happening in the real world, at this time, in the present moment, as we speak, as we write, as we read.  Is such a thing possible?

Will the prisoner ever receive the help that he needs to escape?  Because it is not possible for him to escape on his own.

And folly, doctor-like, controlling skill, and simple blog miscalled simplicity

Hey, everybody.  I’m really feeling tired and worn out today, so I’m not going to say very much in this post.  This time, I think I really mean it.  There’s not much to report, anyway.  I’m not sure there ever is.

I’ve written about 3000 words on Outlaw’s Mind this week so far, but I had to go back to the computer to do it; the longhand project was encountering some problems.  I’m afraid my handwriting has degenerated beyond even its former, maddeningly messy form, hard though that may be to believe for those who have seen my curse-ive before.  Also, it’s become more difficult and slower for me to do.  Some of this may just be due to lack of recent practice, but it was very frustrating, and so I abandoned that noble idea.

I did some recording (on video) of myself playing some songs on guitar, and singing along, for practice and self-evaluation purposes, and one of them—the Beatles song Help—turned out reasonably well, so I decided to share it on YouTube.  I’ve embedded it here:

I also am taking a break from my antidepressant.  It doesn’t seem to be doing much good, and it’s been having some irritating side-effects.  I know it’s not usually a good idea to change one’s medical regimen without consulting one’s doctor, but since I am the one who “prescribed” it, and since I am the only doctor I’m seeing anymore, I guess that criterion is met.  We’ll see how it goes.

Other than that, there’s not much to say.  Life, as John Mellencamp said*, goes on, long after the thrill of living is gone.

I hope you’re all doing much better than I am, and that you’re staying warm, staying safe, and staying healthy.  Maybe next week I’ll write more.  Maybe not.  I don’t know.

TTFN

empty man


*I’ve probably even quoted the line many times before, but I don’t feel like checking.

Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit, and tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes, I will be brief. Your noble blogger is mad.

Hello again and good morning again.  It’s Thursday again, and so, once again, it’s time for my weekly blog post.  Again.

I’m pleased to be able to report that I’ve done a bit of new writing this week.  I finished rereading Outlaw’s Mind last Saturday, and then Monday morning I got my clipboard and some high-quality notebook paper, and I started to write.  One thing that helped me do it was remembering my old strategy, which was to say to myself that I was going to write at least just one page.  If I didn’t write more, that was fine.  Even when writing by hand, one page isn’t all that much—something like four hundred to six hundred words, I think, given my handwriting.

As is usual, I’ve written more than that, totaling just around six pages in the last three days.  That’s not as fast as I write when I type, which I can do almost at the speed of thought, but that may be beneficial.  I think I sometimes tend to write too much when I type.  Unanimity may be a good example—a story that became over half a million words long before I finished it.  Probably, had I written it by hand, it would have been at least slightly shorter.  But maybe not.  I tried to shorten it as I was editing, but there were no actual bits of the story that I felt willing to take out.

I’ve been thinking about maybe putting some of Outlaw’s Mind up here on my blog, in its current, quite rough draft form, just to give a teaser and possibly to get reactions from people.  I may have mentioned this notion before; I know I tend to repeat myself and run off at the keyboard.  Anyway, I was thinking of posting the “cold opening”, as it were, first (I don’t think I’ve already done that, have I?).  Of course, after that opening, the story goes very much back in time to tell of things that led up to the events in the opening.

If anyone would like me to do that, and would like to read it, please leave a comment here, on this post.  Again, I reiterate, comments on Facebook or Twitter may never be seen (by me, anyway).  I don’t often check even Twitter for reactions*, and Facebook gives me terrible stress and tension even to click in and zip through looking for comments and responses, as well as to see what people I care about are doing.  I feel that, at any time, someone is going to ambush me with an instant message, and I won’t have any idea how to reply to it, and so I’ll quickly pretend that I didn’t see it, and try to remember to come back later, all the while feeling terribly guilty about not immediately taking part in a conversation—even though, morally at least, one shouldn’t feel obligated to talk at any given time, just because someone else wants to.  But it’s hard when it’s people who matter to you.

This is one of the reasons I don’t answer my phone, and I don’t even promise to respond to voicemails (I say I will if it’s interesting enough, but that’s quite a high bar to clear).

Email is nicer.  I tend to like email.  And comments here are not too bad, because I’m always getting on WordPress for one reason or another (often to read other people’s blogs), and interactions are more measured, thoughtful, and in-depth.  Usually.  They are also not expected to take place in “real time”.

Anyway, that’s about it as far as my life goes.  I do my fiction writing in the morning.  I diddle around on the guitar for a short time after that most days, but as those of you who have seen my videos know, my playing and singing are nothing** to write home about.

I try to find fiction that I can enjoy reading, but it seems to get harder all the time—which is a truly dreadful thing, to me.  At least I can usually find non-fiction that engages me, especially about science and a bit of math and philosophy, and to some degree psychology, especially about Asperger’s/Autism Spectrum Disorder, which I’m trying to learn much more about to confirm or deny my self-suspicions.  I’m pretty well along toward the “confirm” end of the spectrum, if you’ll pardon the pun, but I am always leery of confirmation bias.  As I once wrote on an altered version of the old X-files poster from Mulder’s office, “I don’t want to believe.  I want to be convinced by evidence and argument.”

Anyway, I know that’s all boring, so I apologize.  I never do have anything much of value to say or to do.  I’m sure the oxygen (and nutrients) I consume could better be used elsewhere, and my carbon-compound contribution and other entropic effluvia merely push the universe—and more locally, the planet—toward its endpoint slightly more quickly.

The villainous part of me likes that.  But the rest of me just feels ever-increasing self-loathing.  It’s very amusing.

I hope you’re all doing reasonably well—or better yet, as well as you possibly can—this year so far.  Take care of yourselves, and each other.  What better things do you have to do?

TTFN

venus


*I mostly just enjoy seeing amusing Tweets.  240 characters isn’t enough for anything more.  It plainly is not enough for any intelligent conversion, discussion, or debate.

**Should I have written “nothings” there since I was mentioning two subjects?  Or is “nothing” always singular, since there is only one, ultimate, nothing, which means none of each and every possible thing, as in set theory, in which there is only and exactly one “empty set”.

To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the blog

Hello.  Good morning.  Thursday.  Blog post.  You know the drill.  Or at least, you get the idea.

I don’t really have much to say or report.  I did a quick, off-the-cuff post on Tuesday about a subject that has been frustrating me more and more (the relief for which I am less and less suspicious will ever arrive, for me at least), but I don’t know that I have anything to add to it.  If anything occurs to me, and I have the energy to try to convey it, then that’s what I’ll try to do.

I’ve stalled out on reading the last 14 pages of Outlaw’s Mind so far, after having read up to that point by Monday or Tuesday.  This is after having optimistically* taken paper and a clipboard home over the weekend hoping** I’d make short work of finishing the reread and then getting on with writing.  I like the story, and I know where I want it to go and, as they say, the rest is just scratching and scribbling.  Instead, I did essentially nothing at all this weekend—apart from throwing away a bunch of the things I own because I can’t see any point in having them and they were just annoying; and preparing some other things to bring in to give “to the office” so to speak.

I wish I could say that the weekend of doing nothing was at least restful, but if anything, I felt more tired after it than I did at the beginning, not that I expect I would have felt less tired if I’d worked all weekend or anything in between.  The last time I remember waking up feeling rested was sometime in the mid-nineties (which, I just realized, is half of my life ago).  If anything, I tend to feel worse early in the day, but I wake up very early whether I feel rested or not***, so it’s quite frustrating.

Basically, I’m just tired, and getting more so (or so it seems to me) as the future becomes the present and then the past.  And I’m alone.  It’s hard to see this becoming gradually more so as time passes quite in the same way tiredness does, but I feel more alone all the time—ever more like an alien or a changeling who really doesn’t belong here, nor has any purpose here, and who has no realm or planet to which to return.  No respite appears available, and more and more, the only viable escape seems like oblivion—which would not be a relief, obviously, since relief is a state of mind and oblivion is the lack of any states of mind, but it would at least mean cessation.

There’s a moving episode in the 5th season of modern Doctor Who called “Vincent and the Doctor” in which the Doctor meets Vincent Van Gogh, and after they defeat an alien together (of course), the Doctor brings poor Vincent to a future museum so he can see and learn that he would eventually become a beloved, respected, nearly worshipped artist, one of the greatest of all time.  It may sound silly, and in a sense, it is, but it’s actually very moving—well-written, superbly acted, beautifully filmed and directed, and if your eyes are dry after the scene with Vincent in the museum, I don’t know what to think of you.

But of course, the saddest part is that, on returning him home, and then coming back to the “present”, the Doctor (and Amy Pond) discover, not to the Doctor’s surprise, that Vincent still killed himself, only a few weeks or months after their meeting, just as always.  The Doctor makes a lovely, and I think insightful, little “speech” about how the good things in life can’t necessarily correct or eliminate the bad things, but that the bad things don’t necessarily spoil the good things.  Vincent was still ill with whatever mood disorder and possible “neuro-divergence****” he’d always had in his own time; that hadn’t changed.

Still, it would be nice to imagine Van Gogh having been shown just how revered and admired his work would one day be, albeit not within his lifetime.  In the real world, he never had so much as a hint or probably even much of a fantasy that such a thing might happen.  It would be nice for any artist, or anyone, really, to learn that his (or her) work and life deeds had been important, and to see some of the ways in which it was so.  But it wouldn’t change much in the here and now…and it’s always now.

And sometimes “now” seems to go on forever and it can be so, so very exhausting.

I wish I could rest until I felt rested, and if that’s impossible, then just keep resting.  Making one’s quietus with a bare bodkin is an intimidating prospect with a comparatively high wall of activation energy.  But the wall is not constant, and at certain times, in certain states, in certain circumstances, the barrier becomes lower, and it may then be surmounted.

TTFN

to sleep


*I know, what the hell was going on in my head that I would be optimistic about such things?

**Hope is always foolish.

***Which I guess should go without saying, since I just said I haven’t felt rested after a night’s sleep, or anything else, since the mid-nineties.  Duh.

****He only too clearly didn’t see and experience the world quite the same way anyone else did or does.

Please don’t expect (or tell) people who really NEED help to help themselves. It’s stupid.

This is just a brief post expressing a pet peeve of mine that applies (and has done so often and at length) to me personally.

I’ve encountered this issue anew, eliciting ever-increasing tension, stress, anger, irritation, despair, etc., in my research into Asperger’s/Autism Spectrum Disorder, as people “on the spectrum” are quite often plagued by anxiety and depression, among other things, including frequent suicidal ideation…and of course, much well-intended advice is given (it being the worst and most prevalent of all vices).

The issue involves people* making suggestions such as, for instance, that those who are troubled by depression should exercise regularly, because regular exercise often seems to help depression**; or that they should talk to close friends or family members (a particular problem with “Aspies”, or so it seems to me, since communication difficulty, particularly of emotions and the like, is a major part of the condition); and that, if one is severely depressed and self-loathing and having suicidal thoughts (or intentions), one should seek help right away.

Or similar sentiments.

This all feels so condescending and simple-minded and contradictory.  It’s a bit like telling an actively drowning person that getting swimming lessons would be really good for helping them not drown, or that being helped by a friendly dolphin (or any kindly member of some other strong-swimming aquatic species unrelated to the drowner) would be quite beneficial for them, or that they should really come quickly to shore and grab a flotation device before they drown.

It’s missing the point(s) entirely.

If one could exercise regularly, one would already obviously not be THAT depressed.

If one could easily talk to people (especially if one is on “the spectrum”***) and had people to whom one felt one could talk in a relevant way about the relevant subject(s), then that would be an obvious thing, and probably already done.

And if one is feeling utter despair and profound, demonic self-loathing, then availing oneself of help of any kind–including life-saving help–seems not only impossible but frankly immoral.

You don’t do your best to give succor to or save the life of someone who is utterly reprehensible and an unadulterated malefactor who has no chance for reform or to be redeemed, right?  Would you save the likes of the next Hitler or Stalin or Charles Manson or Mark David Chapman?

If someone is lying on the ground having a heart attack or a stroke or has just been hit by a car, we don’t advise them to get up and get themselves to a hospital, do we?  It’s absurd.  It’s insulting.  It’s irritating and it’s idiotic, and it makes the world and the rest of humanity seem even less worth sticking around for****.

I wish people would stop it.  When someone really needs help, it’s means they can’t survive and/or thrive by their own actions.  Thus the metaphor “in over one’s head”.

I’ll close with an a related cartoon that captures more than one aspect of my (not quite domesticated) peeve (apologies, I do not know whom to credit for it):

drowning in depression


* Well-meaning, one must admit or at least assume.

**I have my own suspicions about the direction of causality here.

***Especially if alexithymia is one of their afflictions.  I myself score 157 out of 185 on the online test of this, such as it is.  I have a hard time even knowing what I’m feeling at any given moment, let alone communicating it clearly.

****It can even make it seem tolerable to end a sentence with a preposition, or to allow sentence fragments to stand alone on a line of type for dramatic effect.