Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Lots of Books, Some Thoughts, and a Sketch

It has been a long time since I've felt a desire to write. Something about today moved me to it.

Over the past year I've been feeling an increasing desire to mature. Mature in every sense of the word -- to outgrow my vices, forgive, grow happy, and cultivate virtues (virtues sounds a little bit grandiose here but I can't think of anything better to call it.) Someone lovely once told me that the game of life is to mature as much as possible in as little time as possible. At the time I hardly believed him, but he's right isn't he? The more I think on it, the more sure I am. My immediate thought was that the elderly always lament the loss of their youth, and so youth must be the most pleasurable period of life. Plato saw through this; I can't remember which dialogue it was exactly, but he points out that not all the elderly are so senile. The pessimism I always associated with old age is undeniably voluntary, if somewhat widespread. So perhaps old age isn't the worst thing possible, but what is it that's gained with maturation which is so intrinsically valuable as to seek it even before the bud has bloomed?

I catch glimpses of it sometimes -- in women like Frau Eva, Charlotte, and the coffee-shop woman who impressed me so much. It's manifested differently in them, and in others like them. When I say I'm seeking to cultivate tact, it's what I'm really seeking. There's a mannerism common to the mature that enriches experience. It's a calm, happy, peaceful feeling that just flows from them. I can feel it when I'm with them, and I believe that everyone has some idea of the energy I'm describing. It feels to me as if mature people are fundamentally okay with however reality unfolds. It's not a jaded sort of attitude that they hold, nor is it cynical. They simply accept how the world has revealed itself. That's almost Eastern, isn't it? Perhaps, and then the meditation and the yoga that I've been doing seem extra important.

Anyway, that's been on my mind -- and certainly occupying the largest spot of real estate there. I've been busy with midterms and school, etc. So far I'm a bit disappointed with my marks. Mostly As, but I did make A+ a goal this year, and I know it's attainable if I stop being so lazy. And hard on myself. Gosh.

It's been a while since I've written a reflection on something I've read. To keep things curt, I'll list my recent reads.
The Rubaiyat of Omar Khyyam
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
Poetry by Irving Layton
NurtureShock by Bronson & Merryman
The Alchemist
Pardon My French
A Wrinkle in Time
(others which I can`t recall at this moment)

I picked up Carl Rogers again to facilitate a real internal growth experience for myself. Alongside him are Covey, Carnegie, Hansen, and Savage. I plan on taking detailed notes through each of their works and emerging with a significant gain in self knowledge and empathy. I'm ready to grow up. I want to do it in the best possible way.

I`d like to leave you with my most recent artistic venture. I've picked up the guitar again and I play everyday -- always classical music these days, which is sometimes challenging but always beautiful. I still feel that some of my most pleasurable experiences with creating art are done through drawing. I've nearly completed one of my new year's resolutions this year -- that is, to work my way through a book of Michelangelo's (mostly male) figures. I absolutely love to draw figures now and I plan on dedicating a resolution next year to drawing faces.

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