radfrac_archive: (john simm)
Whenever I imagine winning a lot of money in The Lottery, which I do whenever my real financial circumstances become uncomfortable to think about, or roughly once a day (often at lunch), one of several things happens:

1. I imagine starting a charitable foundation and having to endlessly adjudicate pleas for money which escalate into public accusations of stinginess and poor fund management

2. I imagine giving away money to people I know, becoming overwhelmed by the logistics of how to decide who gets what, and having all of my friendships degenerate into bad feeling

3. I imagine taking a large group of friends on a trip, during which they criticize the arrangements I have made and become annoyed with me for not paying for all the food and entertainment as well as the tickets and accommodation, even though that's what we agreed

And other variations on the theme money will make everyone hate me even more than they already secretly do.

This is not unlike what happens when I try to fantasize about dating someone.

I think I've mentioned this before. It comes up again because I've been thinking about this lottery problem of mine in the larger context of perception and memory--I was listening to a Radiolab rebroadcast where they interview Oliver Sacks about time. He talks about how he once did a memory exercise, recalling out loud one year after another.

I couldn't think of a year I'd want to remember in that detail, because they all feel tainted by things I don't want to think about. Not terrible things--it's just that I can't think of a year that doesn't feel sadder to remember than to forget.

Or if I try to think of a best moment--even when the thing is good, something that happened afterwards, or something I didn't know at the time but that changes the sense of it, injures the memory in retrospect.

It's only objects, or works of art, things that don't involve direct contact with human beings, that feel neutral or good to remember. There should be something, though, some overwhelmingly good moment. Logically, I must have some really good memories. I just can't remember what they are.


short form

Feb. 29th, 2008 10:25 am
radfrac_archive: (hunnybear)
I get to see a neurologist!

Don't know who yet. I'm holding out for Oliver Sacks.

They took a bunch of interestingly-shaped vials of blood yesterday. I had to fast, so I went to Lady Marmalade afterwards. When did it become the perfect place for breakfast? I am entirely in love.

I might even get to have a CAT scan. How cool is that?

radfrac_archive: (Default)
Today's Bookworm shows: Allen Kurzweil, Curtis White, Jonathan Dee, Oliver Sacks (all from 2002).

Sacks and Silverblatt talk about science writing as phenomenological poetry, which reminds me of the little book about geographical topography that I bought at the now-vanished-beneath-gentrification Oak Bay Bookstore, every line of which reads like thoughtful natural poetry.

It seems to me that the brief moments of transcendence I get from encounters with natural beauty in this town are something like the GST cheque. A small allotment of a thing needed in much greater quantities, coming at intervals just close enough to forestall complete despair, keeps you going on just enough that you do not have to consider the changes necessary for you to go on with joy and satisfaction.

In my youth, I used to find out about authors not by reading their work, but by reading biographies of them. In this way, I learnt about the details of their lives, and usually some aspects of a critical analysis of their body of work, but I had almost no contact with their actual style. Instead, I became intimate with the particular voice of biography, which actually may have made the literary work -- more complex in style, less immediate in detail -- more difficult to engage with.

I'm all about the mediation.



radfrac_archive: (Default)

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