Miercoles con los Amigos Invisibles vol. 14

"Today I was going to stop being so superstitious, but all the omens were bad."

With a few rewrites, maybe a concrete image, that could be a great sigquote.

Superstitions aren't the only beliefs I'm wrangling at the moment--they just happen to be the easiest to write about. The others aren't so much weird or esoteric as they are achingly self-referential. Such as: subtle changes to how I think about thinking about myself, or how I react to reacting to how others react to me. Each mildly different emotional state and social situation has its own whole set of parameters and needs its own finicky nudges. None of which, as a general rule, ever even get to the point where I consciously "think out loud" to describe what I'm doing. I just do it, and notice it only to the extent that it does or doesn't feel right, does or doesn't fit with the broad outline of my aims.

Thus, they would make really terrible reading. I would likely only confuse myself further if I were to attempt to describe the rebalancing of emotional forces that goes on when nudging a belief out of an old alignment. And if something I write is ever confusing to me, then I can be pretty sure that to other people it might as well be a picture of a bowl of squid chowder. Complete with smells!


All of the things on my list of superstitions have happened today. (Except for the bus one, which happened last night on my way home.) Which is very polite of the universe, riffling them all past me like flashcards so I can remember to forget them.

Except it isn't very polite of the universe, is it. Because reading motives into the perceived patterns of random event is...superstition! Man. Most of these things grew from emotionally satisfying hyperboly into de facto animism so gradually I hadn't even realized how bizarre some of them had gotten. D'you know how many times today I had to remind myself that file folders did not, in fact, feel sad and rejected when I chose to throw them in the recycle bin, to be replaced by newer, less wrinkly file folders? I had to actually think at myself, in the mental equivalent of the tone of voice used by sergeants to point out blindingly obvious things to privates who are standing more than twenty-five yards away, "Those are your emotions. You are projecting them. You don't need to do that."

What's going to be an equally interesting challenge is trying to pay an equal amount of attention to patterns of random events without trying to read meanings and motives into them. Unless the patterns came about as a direct consequence of the actions of a manifest being or beings, in which case the motives or indifference of those beings can be considered. Manifest in this case meaning a thing the existence of which is objectively provable. Which brings up all sort of interesting cases. Can a corporation be said to objectively exist? A religion? An academic "school of thought?"?

One of my favorite things to do when I'm bored is to imagine myself pontificating about something at a captive audience. The imaginary audience never speaks; I just imagine their shifting levels of approval, disapproval, bordeom, etc. In this case I was trying out different phrases of pithy advice on an imaginary young person (not pictured). Apart from the "bad omens" one above, this here was my favorite:

You are not finished--with anything!--until you reach the point where you have to throw everything away, and start again at the beginning.


Amber E said...

Okay, I was finally able to finish reading the story you linked to. Great story, enjoyed it, would have preferred a different end but it's quite plausible. On one hand I would have found the order to be very relaxing for those entering voluntary but the whole monitoring people who weren't wanting that sort of feedback/surveillance would be awful. It was good to see you on Christmas, love Fey