It had been some time since this blog had received an award, but it has now, from Chandra Lynn. I am appreciative and also inspired. This weblog was created to inspire me and I am so glad it does others — especially Chandra Lynn who is from New Orleans and loves words and beauty like this blog. I am to say seven things about myself and nominate fifteen people for the award, and and this post is a draft.
I had a conversation yesterday with a friend who asked why I had enjoyed learning as a child. “To please?” “No, to grow,” I said. In this conversation I caught a glimpse of why I am not interested in having a religion, having to do perhaps with reading Erich Fromm as a small child and taking from him some ways of thinking about things I liked. Those are two things about me.
That makes Chandra Lynn and Erich Fromm the first two of my inspiring bloggers, and I am doubling my own award so that makes three. Numbers four, five, and six are posts: on Momo’s aunt Alma, 92 and growing younger, her list of 100 things which inspires me, and an interesting project idea from Stupid Motivational Tricks, tantalizing to the brain.
Some nine blogs and five things are missing, but right now I would like to follow on the “100 things” concept with fourteen items, things I want to do in life. I like this idea better than the more traditional New Year goals people have, despite fully intending to fulfill some of the New Year’s goals I have set for 2013 just because they will make life so nice.
Here is a brief list of important to-dos large and small, for right now and for far beyond.
1. Not bargain with the irrationality of others — insist upon rationality and what I used to call “regional autonomy” for me, whether people like it or not.
2. Fund home maintenance and get it done. This is very important.
3. Move to a city or find stable, regular ways to spend large amounts of regular time in these.
4. Get an academic job in a research institution with a library, and/or get that J.D. from a good program — either way, finally start working on a life’s work that resembles me.
5. See whether, if I follow my New Year goals, I can actually work on my life’s work here in Maringouin. Keep sight of the feeling of liberation I had when, discussing this here with someone else, they said, “It would be much appreciated.”
6. In other words, be who I am — and I am research, writing, analysis — without apologies.
7. Fnish my novel and publish it, ideally well.
8. Take the boat out regularly.
9. Really learn to run.
10. Regularly go to Pilates/similar, regularly sleep, and find ways to regularly get all the facials and eyelash tints I want. These are the things I stopped doing to weaken myself, because Reeducation wanted me to be weaker.
11. Regularly take time for recreational reading and film. Be relaxed enough to do these things.
12. As long as I cannot move away from Maringouin, be gone a lot. Also, all time in Maringouin must be spent in structured activity — ideally there will be no contemplative time, nothing that will allow me to see where I am, and every weekend or vacation day will ideally take place somewhere else.
13. Language immersion: Arabic in Cairo, German in Berlin, Icelandic in Reykjavik, Russian in Petrograd.
14. Last, but also first, regardless of field or employment status, for life: research and writing are every day, because I am now to be myself again, every day, and to be in charge of all my days.
From this you can tell things about me: I am in the role of a rural educator and sometime prison activist with an art habit, recovering from this failed psychoanalysis that has been concisely described as the opposite of Bildung.
Before this cataclysm I was an urban research professional, politically oriented, with outdoorsy interests and athletic habits. I am so much more comfortable with that self-description than the first, it is amazing.
The ultimate goal for 2013, for today, forever: forgive myself for having undergone this cataclysm. Every day that I do not find a way to set the horror aside, prolongs it.