A Post in July


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.


  1. great post – the first part about going outside I agreed withjwholeheartedly and I wonder if that’s universal or just true of people who’ve dealt with anxiety disorders? Over the last month I think I’ve begun shifting towards “just no desire to go outside, really”, which must also be broken. I kinda got back into meditation recently, which has been a great return – except the world starts to border on a constant dream state.

    Me n the lady will have to make a visit to the Toronto Cousins at some point

  2. I’ve tried meditation but can’t seem to get the hang of it. The constant dream state thing doesn’t seem like it would really be that bad, hah. Maybe I am already constantly meditating.

    And you guys definitely should come to Toronto. It won’t be long before all of this garbage is cleaned up.

  3. What you’re describing is Husserlian wonder: the wonder at all things seemingly ordinary or commonplace. It’s very wonder at being in the world.

    Farley Mowat talked about we were turning ourselves into aliens on our own planet by dividing ourselves from nature. I thought that was especially apt. I do feel like a foreigner in the world sometimes, an intruder.

    I’m excited about the novella! And bone coming to Toronto!!

  4. Yikes. That was me. And also, an accidental link!! That is a confessional blog. Do not go there. Strip me of the link if you can.

  5. The link is gone. It’s lucky you said that, because I was so happy you had a new blog that it was open in tabs, though I hadn’t clicked it. Might want to change the address though. I could have found that by accident.

    But regarding Mowat… I’m glad you’re reading him. And I like that quote… it seems to me that I’ve read it before, although I’m not sure, and if I have read it before, I remember it resonating with me when I read it? Uh?

  6. Admittedly, he said that in an interview on CBC Radio.

    But uh, yeah, the address changed occurred to me much later, but I registered the domain ages ago when I was considering blogging again. It’s really freeing though. To be able to blog anonymously. It’s like releasing my Shadow into the world without fear of judgment.

  7. He’s said so many similar things.

    And I remembered later that I had been to that blog before, but after spending a lot of time on it decided it wasn’t you. I get the anonymous thing so don’t let that stop you. But you can start a new wordpress and just import the old one in, if you are really concerned about it. A lot of it is just personal perception so maybe I shouldn’t have said anything. It was a while ago though.

  8. Oh man, I’m not too concerned. I’ve already blown my cover by being careless too many times. Like leaving myself logged in just then. It’s definitely not “me”, but it feels freeing for exactly that reason. I would never normally be able to disclose what I write about, and I think it’s definitely a product of the future to be able to do that now.

    It’s surprisingly popular. And surreal to have people care about what I do. Some people write in and appreciate my bravery, and some people write in to be preachy. Still cool, though.

  9. Yeah, I know what you mean. I can’t say I don’t understand the appeal — especially getting consistent feedback. But whenever I think I should do something like that I realise I can post pretty much whatever I want here. This blog is invisible! I think I like it like that.

    Besides, whenever I write something that isn’t “me” I tend to blame it on heteronyms or something anyway.

  10. Sometimes I found that when I blogged for an intimate audience, i.e. me + five other people that knew me in IRL, it made me feel hyper-visible. I still liked it, but then I became overly self-conscious and ended up deleting everything.

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