Tag Archives: life

One less hour

The sun via wiki/public domain and old political allusions.

The sun via wiki/public domain and old political allusions.

The complications from the loss of an hour to due to daylight saving time are — and let’s not mince words or sporadically used punctuation here — mammoth!!! One hour of rejuvenating slumber traded for more time with the sun? Psh. What has that thing or Congress done for us lately?

So all right, maybe the sun has its moments — but to be just a tiny bit more serious, it really is interesting to ponder the loss of an hour. Is it just a loss to how much sleep we could have gotten, or, if one doesn’t have to work, would that lost hour have accounted for more escapism? Sleeping and escapism both share a disconnection from the present, though one is obviously a biological necessity, and the other — like vegging out on TV — would generally not be considered in the same vein. Of course, life as we know it has always been padded by escapism, and in a society in where there’s more perennial fear-mongering and increasing anxiety over both that and more corporate demands on what essentially amounts to breathing, escapism has become something nearly all-consuming. Beyond sleep, extra time rarely goes to the kind of personal development that doesn’t just keep one in a self-satisfied bubble and instead makes one, like, a part of the overall world where there are also people who are downtrodden — and hopefully makes that world just that much better. Sure, that’s probably as customary as anything. I don’t know. It’s just, you think there’s an hour that is now gone, but any extra time we have as a society usually goes to disconnecting or keeping up the right funhouse mirrors for ourselves anyway. So, hey, the concept of one more hour in a given day may not be all that fruitful, and not just in a corporate way (but not in a tie-dye kind of way, either).

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lightness

Have you ever started a post and thought, Nah, this is really not substantial enough. (?) The idea that everything needs to have the utmost weight can be pretty counterproductive — at least when it comes to blogging, which in the long run seems to do well with the occasional sense of lightness.

So in the vein of lightness, this post is partly to show the cover of the first edition of Emily Dickinson’s collected poems. Dickinson’s poetry was, of course, extremely lighthearted. I think one of the original blurbs for this book was “In these pages, the glass is always half full … of delight!” And okay … probably not, though it isn’t at all uncommon for her writing to have this whimsical approach to wisdom — like, isn’t it funny to be wise in this particular world?

I was surprised by the kind of craftsmanship and design that went into the cover of something published in 1889. While this particular publication of her work featured tweaks to Dickinson’s poetry she didn’t sign off on, the cover really does evoke a sense of her poetry. Flowers that are a bit wilted, but hanging on.

I think she was a great writer, but I don’t think all of her poetry successfully communicates beyond herself (and not just because of the difference in vernacular from the late 1800s and now).  Some of her poems are probably a bit more tentative than others, and yet they’ve all been around long enough to be part of the canon and blindly esteemed as Literary. Apart from that, it’s pretty cool that someone can be a great writer and not always be great at creating work that clearly connects with people.

emotional support

© pinero and me

While I was in this store that sold a few supposedly natural remedies for various ailments, there was a bald woman wearing a hat — likely undergoing cancer treatment — browsing with a friend of hers.   Even for the few seconds that we passed each other, it was hard not to notice the look of optimism and lightness the woman had. I just simply hoped she got better and didn’t think much more of it. But they could have easily been erroneous, is the thing — the woman likely having cancer and any sort of positivity. The emotional support she had, even just in the friend that was with her, had to have been a vital part of that.

 In the ad-driven world of media, emotional support seems like something of a commodity. But I think the kind that helps us the most doesn’t care if we’re coveted consumers or not. Having someone trying to relate directly to the way you’re feeling in a positive way (and no, “whatever you do rocks” doesn’t quite count) can simply be quite a boon. It may not make the world any more fair, but maybe it can make it just that much more livable.

Sentimentality and the work of Shinichiro Watanabe

Some of Watanabe’s greatest influences are from American culture – the elements co-opted by ‘cool’ specifically, and shows like Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo are often appreciated along that line. But I think this minimizes Watanabe’s particular kind of sentimentality, which in and of itself is sort of the opposite of cool. (Read more of my piece at Den of Geek: http://www.denofgeek.com/tv/anime/30651/sentimentality-in-the-work-of-shinichiro-watanabe)

divergence from dreams

If you’re watching the “Divergent” trailers and you replace the word “divergent” with “special,” the appeal of every big YA property is pretty much summed up — though it’s unusual that the metaphor is so thinly veiled. And now that I have your attention(ha!), I can write about something that matters more to me.

Most people have dreams, and while some people never work at actualizing them in any long-term sense, it’s surreal when you see people who do give up on them. I feel cheap for even writing “dreams,” with shows like “The X-Factor” having made that term even glossier than the old Disney trope. Those dreams seem to require some combination of luck and specialness, or lucky specialness. We all have them at some point, but the more realistic kind of dream, in which perseverance and skill can get us to some better way of living, often requires a bit more luck than we’d like to think.

Never mind that some dreams depend on how much you can fit into some template, and that, if you don’t, you have to reconcile with such. It’s hard to time to develop much of anything without some kind of inspiration; it’s a luxury, for sure, and the conditions that are conducive to such are more support than some people have.  I suppose sometimes working at one’s dreams feels like you’re one of those donkeys with a carrot on a stick extended just beyond your reach — except you’re a bit more self-aware.

It’s hard to be self-actualized when the world doesn’t really work with you a whole lot. I once listened to someone talk about the art that people who had (and often were considered) nothing created, in contrast to privileged calls for a need for this or that to properly do anything. The point was clear, but there was no consideration for just how more appreciated the privileged perspective would obviously be on their own venues. And the new venues — they’re often a popularity contest.

It’s unfair that you have to work with a world that often doesn’t work with you, but the gap that you fill as you do so makes for something with a lot more substance/heart. I’m not going to conclude this with some super optimistic bent, because it can be harder to maintain any real sense of heart when you’re not privileged. (And yet, often the privileged just manage a semblance.) All I can do is tip my hat that you keep making the world a better place to be, working at your dreams or not, just by being in it.  I hope that you can keep producing art, though, and that we find ourselves laughing at those “Divergent” commercials and then laughing a little harder when we see that someone else gets how funny they can be.

double-edged sword

Thinking too much is a double-edged sword.  Wait, aren’t all swords double-edged?  I’m no expert, but … never mind.  You see, thinking too much.

Understanding the world is vital, but thinking too much about its unfairness and myriad of hardships  — not a great time.  And yet, if you think awareness is the point of being conscious, that’s just par for the course.  A double-edged sword — though qualities do seem to have more depth the thoughtful way.  Maybe that’s a silver lining.

Get thee behind me, Cupid

R. Pinero art

R. Pinero art

Almost time for Valentine’s Day again, which means it’ll be hard to avoid all the wuv: the schmaltzy stuff of destiny as portrayed in movies like a well-timed “Winter’s Tale.”  In such epic tales of romance, love is the virtuous domain of a dreamer — a handsome dreamer who dares to love a woman in the prime of her beauty!

And you thought there were no noble dreams left.

Truthfully, those of us plugged into most cultures have been influenced to have a similar dream, with the same flimsy sensibilities.  Cupid would have us happily fluttering around a glowing light, oblivious to anything else — until that light doesn’t quite glow the way it used to.  Any love worth celebrating isn’t so fickle or shallow.

So if you haven’t bought into wuv, maybe being single on Valentine’s Day is kinda sorta noble.  Or at least, knowing you shouldn’t care if you happen to be.

Happy Valentine’s Day.