Gratitude

My mind has a bit of a mystical turn if I allow it such leeway. When undergoing a great personality shift, in hindsight it often seems the entire universe has conspired to facilitate this shift. The right books happened my way. The right people and experiences.

I owe a lot of who I am – though currently I am so displeased with myself that who I am is largely an embarrassment to me – so let’s say, who I was and hope to become, to the people and books that were in my life at those junctions. To people who altered my views of self and widened those of the world, to books that strengthened it. And vice versa. It has been vice versa, too.

Wider view

I saw a quote of Marlon’s on Instagram the other day which resonated with me. I later researched Brando to figure out what his life was like, and what he had been like as a person. I did not know much about him apart from the myth and while I had seen and liked him in some roles, he seemed like a person who I wouldn’t have anything in common with.

But then there was this quote: “I suppose the story of my life is a search for love, but more than that, I have been looking for a way to repair myself from the damages I suffered early on and to define my obligation, if I had any, to myself and my species“.

And I was mildly intrigued. It snowballed since and I now count him as one of my blood group. The unlikeliest of the bunch, definitely. If someone had suggested it to me a week ago that I had certain things in common with Marlon, I’d have thought they had a screw loose and might have taken mild offense, depending on context of the remark.

But my instinct was not wrong when it got hooked on that statement. Even his suggested MBTI type is the same as mine. I am just outwardly very different, and I’m not talking of good looks and charm but being in charge of oneself.

 

Drivel

So I was watching this mafia series and had a thought. In most films, everything aligns with the general vision: the music, the scenes, the costumes, types of actors used and so forth. When someone is waiting at the airport and hears their child has been shot, you get appropriate background for that sort of news to align with the emotion you want to convey. In real life, you might have I’m a Barbie Girl playing in the background. So what I wanted to say is, I’d like to do that kind of thing in writing. Set the scene and then add a touch of jarring realism AND then reign the thing in again, so it won’t turn absurd or grotesque or banal. Not just to disrupt, but to bring back home and pull off a serious scene with I’m a Barbie Girl playing in the background, metaphorically speaking.

I don’t know if the ability to do that is sufficient for good writing, but one has to learn to compensate for one’s weaknesses with one’s strengths.

 

Medicine

It is quite sad how conventional medicine and alternative/herbal medicine oppose each other more than they cooperate.

I could sometimes really do with the help of a qualified herbalist/alternative practitioner who a) has had as much medical training as any doctor, b) has an open mind and c) a willingness to keep informed of the most up-to-date research and to think of alternatives for patients not helped by conventional treatment choices d) who isn’t against conventional medicine.

Because what happens right now is that people like me go online and do their research on their own. But us without medical training aren’t really qualified to do that kind of thing. I certainly feel very unsure and incompetent. Alternative is to go to one of the self-taught people who are also unreliable.

But what can I do? There isn’t anywhere I could go with my questions. No specialists I could consult about dosage and possible side-effects. They’d think I’m one of the trouble-maker flat-earthers. No doctor I could take the results of a new study to and ask whether we might test it on me as well. In my dreams, that doctor would then do more thorough research and figure out the best treatment plan or tell me this is too risky to try. That kind of thing is what I’d really like.

I wish that if it became quite clear conventional treatment is not working OR if the patient prefers herbal treatment as a first option, they would be provided with alternatives. You don’t actually need to start the treatment of depression with selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, for example. The doctor could ask the patient if they might prefer to try natural remedies first (like with many diseases you start with the milder stuff first if it is possible) and if these don’t work, gradually get more aggressive.  St. John’s Wort has been studied sufficiently as far as I know. 5-HTP seems more innocent as well and appears to have sufficient evidence about its effectiveness.Why not these over SSRIs?

Reality is that if you want to try either, you got to go to Doctor Google, unless you are very lucky and your doctor is open-minded.

And so, as the world polarises in every field, both sides lose and are stupider for it.

I wish one of the epic heroes of Charlton Heston’s would descend and fix the world.

Idiocies

Would someone please, please tell Google not to give me endless pages of Chinese (and other) machine-translated websites when I search for things in my native language. A filter, please, for omitting machine-translations from the results.

#2019 #sucks #googlesucks #discrimination #money #pleasestop

Politics

Elections are coming up. So I’ve chanced to read other people’s reasoning for why they vote for a particular party or candidate. It has been very eye-brow-raising. I don’t even know what to make of it. I’m not a political person and don’t understand or know much of politics, but reading these opinions makes me feel like I’m one of the few people with the right to vote who actually has some idea of what they are doing. And while this here might be phrased like a boast, the truth is I’m very confused and alarmed. I’m stupid about politics and yet most people manage to be even stupider. How does that happen?

Even people I thought intelligent, more intelligent than me, and who truly are so, cross my heart and hope to die they are, have confused me with their poor grasp of these things. Their arguments like “I vote for this nice person who was my teacher” or “This party has too many celebrities, I won’t vote for them”.

I was pleased to discover

…that there is a term for my affliction:

Analysis paralysis is when the fear of potential error outweighs the realistic expectation or potential value of success, and this imbalance results in suppressed decision-making in an unconscious effort to preserve existing options.

Things photographed in 2018

The time of ice departing is always quite photogenic at the seaside.

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Spring was early and very warm. I spent it romancing this book.

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I also discovered a solitary daffodil at the seaside.

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….and had an all-around good time there. They hadn’t fenced the meadow in yet for the cows, in spite of it being early May, so there was ample space and practically no one else there. I got to run barefoot and all.

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Then came summer. It was very hot and uncomfortable.

I stayed in this old-fashioned room.

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Then came the best autumn my eyes have seen. It was the warmest. I went exploring the woods and discovered an egg up the tree. It’s not chicken. DSC03090

Then I made this composition with my forest finds.

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Some creature liked me.

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Some creature had died at sea and been washed to the shore.

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Then it finally stopped being very warm.

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When November came, I was very cheerful about it. So much warmth and sun made dreariness a novelty.

Also, my cat did some modelling for pet products.

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Favourite lines

Who wants to be consistent? The dullard and the doctrinaire, the tedious people who carry out their principles to the bitter end of action, to the reductio ad absurdum of practice. Not I. Like Emerson, I write over the door of my library the word “Whim.”