The word of the day is ‘anomie.’
“anomie is a ‘condition in which society provides little moral guidance to individuals.’ It is the breakdown of social bonds between an individual and the community, e.g., under unruly scenarios resulting in fragmentation of social identity and rejection of self-regulatory values.”
— § —
Just once, I would like everything in the universe to stay where it is, as it is, for a day, to give me a chance to catch up.
Having to make decisions and judgment calls all the time about things that matter is exhausting. It is not a state of being that is conducive to personal fulfillment or achievement. Quite the opposite; it feels rather like constantly being tasked with putting out fires, only without proper supplies.
Instead, you are shown two tanks containing clear liquids and asked to choose one of them to be sprayed over the flames. Of the two, only one contains water. The other contains alcohol. And the fire may or may not be a grease fire.
— § —
Time is a merciless tyrant that doesn’t value human life at all.
— § —
The watch project is almost done. Now the task is to select those that will go and sell them on eBay to recoup their costs (and in some cases, to make a profit). Likely keeping:
– Two Seiko Flightmaster automatics
– One Orient Sparta military automatic
– One Orient Sparta pilot automatic w/full lume face
– One Citizen Eco-Drive Nighthawk Classic
– One Citizen Eco-Drive Nighthawk Promaster Titan Titanium (my 40th birthday gift to myself)
Hooray for eBay. And with that, once all are sold, the “watch collection” phase of my mid-life crisis will end. For at least 10-20 years.
— § —
The image of Bernie Sanders smiling at a small bird on his lectern is indelibly etched into my mind.
I’m not a religious person, but I’ve always been a spiritual person in the sense that I adhere to something that goes well beyond a “rationalistic” or “realist” approach to life and the thngs that I value (and the ways in which I determine value and select amongst values).
That is a real moment in a great universe of unreality. For two worlds—the authentic natural and the manufactured human—to meet in that way went well beyond the monadic and evoked the transcendental.
That anyone can witness the moment and not be changed is well beyond me.
— § —
To care for people is not the same as to be loved by them. In fact, you know that you care, and that you love them, precisely at the moment at which you practice this caring without love in return.
— § —
It has been seventeen years since I raced down 900 East Street at 80 miles per hour feeling as though my life had begun to disintegrate.
I can honestly say that the disintegration has continued apace. It’s not that you ever manage to put the pieces back together; it’s that as you age, you become accustomed to, and skillful at managing, the piecemeal approach.
The disintegration—that is permanent. One version of me might even say that confronting, accepting, and learning to navigate the inherent disintegrative and disintegrated properties of self and everyday life are, when taken together, the essence of adulthood.
A simpler way to put it is to say that adulthood is learning to hurt while actively trying not to hurt back whenever possible, no matter the stakes.
— § —
Mortality. Mortality, mortality, mortality and time.
Everyone and everything dies. This is how we know that we are alive; death makes it so. Life is meaningless without mortality. There is no love, no excitement, no joy, no desire, no significance without endings.
But endings also render these things painful, at least by turns. At times, intolerable.
The Buddhists have long held that life is suffering. Taoists planted the seed of this wisdom, but Buddhists elevated it to its proper place in the human canon.
Suffering is the root of all that is good. That is the sad and terrible nature of all of human existince. And good it is—as well as, at times, intolerable.