Friday, August 6, 2010
5:40 AM. Starting to get that old feeling, time passing. And I can see that in fact I have reached the point where the accumulated material, undigested, is starting to overwhelm me. Time for the analytical work that will pull it all together.
My friends Dale and joy, visiting from Arizona, to be added to my Papa list. And still I get the feeling — get the material out there. And in return I say, what’s the hurry, all of a sudden?
What do you tell people in similar circumstances?
I tell them that logic is only logic; that feelings tell you something important regardless of whether you know why or not. But I also say, beware of Psychic’s Disease.
Surely a warranted assumption, that there is a reason for steady progress, at least, if not hurry necessarily, regardless whether you know why.
I suppose. Say, I heard a snippet on the radio, the other day — I gather that England disclosed its long-secret UFO files, or claims it did. Is this the disclosure you were hinting at?
No. We said it was a form of disclosure no one was thinking about. Time will tell.
All right. Well, we’ve frittered away 20 minutes making coffee and doing — whatever I did for 20 minutes — so I suppose we should begin. Anyone have something cued up? Or queued up? Either way of looking at it?
You haven’t hit your groove yet.
That’s better. Can you feel how the jittery feeling was replaced by a calmer state?
I do. I was carrying that as a result of company and this feeling of things stacking up, I guess.
That provides subject matter enough: your lives and their half-perceived background, and how you can tailor your lives to better fit a changing background, even moment by moment when need be.
You — Frank — have stripped down your life to a manageable subset of life, eliminating many things not harmful in themselves, even many things that would be desirable, as a way of reducing that external distraction, or pressure, or background noise. Like Thoreau, you have reduced the noise of your contemporaries. This has served you well, providing you the mental space for other things, for, as we have said, your minds have only so much capacity to hold concepts and information at any one time. If you’re watching television you can’t be reading, and if you’re doing either you can’t be entertaining or exercising or engaging in a hobby or profession, etc. That’s just common experience.
But if you reduce your customary input, you tend either to increase the sensitivity of the recording instrument, or you dull receptivity. In either case, you are the less able to respond to interruption as readily as you would be if you were more active. Correspondingly, you find it easier to live a more internal life, a deeper, slower, more connected life, than you would if you were continually being pulled outward.
No matter what level your accustomed interaction with others, in other words, you are apt to find the accustomed is interrupted, and you then have to deal with the interruption well or badly.
Speaking of “well or badly,” I don’t feel I’m particularly on board, here.
Too distracted. Which is right on point. You are making lists of things you want to do, and instead of putting the lists on paper you are holding them in your head, and of course that distracts, if only slightly. Putting down [onto paper] the slightest of chores or intentions frees the mind.
Well, it’s 6:15 now. This must be a new record for non-productivity.
Faithfulness is all. Just stay with it. But — questions would help.
I suppose there have to be days like this, when nothing comes and my mind is stuffed with cotton.
You don’t suppose diet and exercise could have anything to do with it, do you?
Oh boy. Here we go.
Well, could you do the work if you were never getting out of bed, and were living on twinkies?
The old story — letting the instrument get out of tune.
It isn’t like you aren’t being told, repeatedly, from various sources.
Couldn’t be as simple as lack of sleep, I suppose.
Who’s responsible for that, if true?
I feel like Bill Cosby’s old Lone Ranger routine when he jumps on Silver and starts off on a chase and Silver says, “Wait a minute! Are you crazy? Get off my back!”
Funny, but not too helpful — if help is what you’re wanting. Just willingness to do the work isn’t enough, at some point. At some point you have to be able to do the work.
[EH:] It’s called being in training, and you have to take it seriously if you want to have enough wind to go several rounds. You saw how I lived. It wasn’t only physical exuberance that led me to include hard exercise in my life as part of my routine. It was necessary, as necessary as living in a way that provided new input. It’s one more aspect of wholeness, and this is something that I scorned the literary crowd for. They lived too much in their heads. Now, nobody lived as much in his head as I did, but I lived intensely in my body, too, and it balanced. Suppose I’d tried to write about bullfighting from a flabby, under exercised body? How vital would my prose have been? How sharp would my perceptions have been? How fast and accurate would my mind have been, finally? You’ve got to keep the machine tuned. But of course you don’t keep it tuned just for the sake of keeping it tuned, but to use it.
I hear all this and I do absorb it, and it just makes me want to go back to bed.
Maybe it doesn’t apply only to you — and maybe knowledge not lived is sin.
7 AM. Resuming?
You don’t have the data, you don’t have the questions, you haven’t done the background work, you haven’t done the analysis — how can you expect better results if you don’t follow the process to the extent that you have come to understand it? It isn’t a matter of us providing “shoulds” for you; we’re saying, you don’t go east by wandering north, or by wandering at random. You might as well try to write a book by compiling random thoughts — which you are beginning to come close to doing!
Yes, it’s interesting. I can see the gumming up of the works, here. So I will need to shift gears.
This isn’t only for you — it’s for anybody who may come to it, of course. Anybody’s work requires its own discipline. Within that discipline is a comforting routine that encourages continuity of effort. Without it, necessary but less favored forms of work tend to be shirked, and the result is unbalanced and often incomplete and even becomes abandoned unfinished.
I get it. And if I didn’t, today’s entry would give it to me.
Rather, because you didn’t really get it, today’s entry or non-entry resulted.
Yes. Disappointing. Oh well, there’s always another day.
Not forever. Each day has its own energy, its own flavor, if you will. Some things, missed or neglected or dealt with slipshod, never come again as opportunities. They may return as problems. Or they may manifest by their conspicuous absence. Better to deal with each day as you live it.
In the face of so much (merited) chastisement, I think I’m going to have to fold my tent for the day. With luck, I’ll be better prepared tomorrow.
With diligence you will be.
Well, time will tell.