There are always a few days of self-consciousness. But then I come back to the routine of normal life. I require whatever it is I’ve abandoned and have now taken up again. This could apply to anything. If one stays indoors for too long, one begins to fear going outside. But when a trip outside is finally ventured, one sees that going outside is nothing to be afraid of.
Two weeks ago we were in the country, and all was green and ephemeral. Roads twisted and curved through fields of long grasses, low scrubland dotted with rocks, and stands of claustrophobic sumach. In the sky clouds formed, heavy white portents of the week of rain to come. Looking at a finger jutting down from the stomach of an impressive cumulus cloud, I thought it sad that few look on such formations and feel fear or wonder; that clouds are often ignored, being natural, known and categorised. It is sad because for those whom science is their superstition — not scientists — anything natural and known is looked on with scorn.
Except in cases where one side has clear motives — court-mandated psychological evaluation sessions, for example — therapy is the development and presentation of personal narratives. I’m not sure the therapist has much to do with it. If this sounds too obvious, it is.
Today I wonder about “right conduct”. I admire those who, from an early age, had a relatively clear picture of who they were and how they were to act. In my case, without examples, direction could only be gleaned from trial and error, mostly error. If a character on a television show you liked said something that jarred with your internal morality, it wasn’t that the character was wrong, or even that he or she may have been wrong. The character (and whatever action) was, to the child who didn’t know any better, probably correct, and now had to be slotted into a personal belief system that included that action and the action’s antithesis.
It is good to be challenged, but the system I’m describing is mostly dictatorial. For a child left to his own devices, without guidance, the media is a trusted friend to be understood and decoded. What do children who are left to interpret Ashley Madison commercials by themselves think, I wonder? Someone should really think of the children, because in the Western world they are, unless blessed with vigilant parents, largely without an Almanac. The brain can be re-trained later in life, if one works hard enough, but it is better if the brain doesn’t have to be re-trained.