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Ex Tin Panther

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Hydrotherapy [Mar. 21st, 2010|03:45 pm]
Ex Tin Panther
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[Current Music |CBC / Jesse Dangerously]

Hello friends,

Spring is the thing. I've been on this quest lately (pretty passively, but I do most things pretty passively, and that's kind of the point here) to awaken my passions. Yeah, I said passions. Rebalance the humours, if you prefer, to get some mojo a-flowin'. Because I've felt myself getting pretty stagnant lately, and y'all know that that only leads to bad feelings and deep creatures.

So I made an impulsive decision (under a small amount of pressure, which is how I end up doing most things) to buy myself a plane ticket to Portland OR, which is a town in a state which is a conjunction. The purpose of the trip was mainly to visit with the west-coasty folks who inhabit yet old American Pacific Northwest - specifically Jordatron, Chris & Akiyo. It was something I'd been meaning to do for a bunch of whiles, but it was never convenient to take time off work and spend money. But last month, something changed. Actually, nothing changed. In fact, work has gotten busier and more complicated, but I figured I should do it anyway. Particularly because Jordan decided that he was tired of this not-being-in-Japan crap and that he should really do something about that.

Anyway, I won't go into huge detail about the trip, because that's not really the point. It was crazy brief and ridiculous in a few ways, but entirely worth it. Besides bringing back a lot of memories and reconnecting important conjunctions with important peoples, there was a lot of input from the ocean. I saw a lot of aspects of the ocean - big waves, tidal explosions, pouring rain, brief snow over mountainous passes, exploring octopi, shipwrecks, erosions, milkshakes, etc. The milkshake might not have actually been that connected with the ocean, but it was nonetheless important. There was also a lot of frivolity, which was also quite nice.

But yeah. Passions and humours. I think it was somewhat successful. I find myself getting more softhearted lately; more affected by certain things without warning. I watched three movies on the planes, and two of them made me cry. I found the particular bits which provoked these reactions interesting. First was in Milk, which was overall a decent movie, well-made and all that. Dude gets shot in it. That wasn't particularly emotional, though. What really got me were the scenes of people getting really pissed off and marching in the streets. For some reason, every time that happened it triggered something that I can't really describe, but should probably try to (given that one of my goals is to write more), but that I don't think I will. Is that description enough? Anyway, it was sudden and powerful. The very end of the movie has one of those "here's the deal with the real people who are represented by actors in this movie" bits, and that was pretty affecting too, actually.

The other one film that really got me was Creation, which I'd been meaning to see anyway. It's about Darwin. It's very direct and even obvious about some of its points, but so many of its themes are some of my favourites that I knew I'd be into it. And about two minutes into it, I was nigh in tears watching images of fish schooling and birds flocking and butterflies migrating and galaxies growing and waves crashing. Bam.
Later, there's a lot of tragic melodramatic (and apparently pretty historically accurate) stuff which was pretty potent too, given its context. A nice little confluence is that Darwin (apparently in reality, as well as in the film) believed in the merits of "hydrotherapy" in treating his chronic illness.


All of these little connections and jolts from the everyday were at least a bit successful in making me feel a bit more connected to my own existence and that of everything else. Lately I haven't really allowed myself a lot of goofy "spiritual," for lack of a better word, imaginings. But I'm not a hundred percent sure that's the right way to go. My reasons for this are much more related to psychological philosophy than religious. See, one of the biggest themes of my life in the past five years at least, is the idea of whether it's best to doubt and question everything, and resist being affected negatively (or strongly at all) by things around oneself, or if it's better to just attach oneself to ideas that seem to resonate with some kind of truth and take the tangible benefits of being self-assured based on that. For as long as I can remember, my view has always been that you can't know anything and shouldn't pretend to be sure about anything, and that no pain or difficulty is really too much to tolerate. Sounds good, but now I worry that this combination of skepticism and stoicism just leads to laziness - if everything is tolerable, and nothing is ever certain to be better than anything else, why bother trying to do anything? Maybe I oughta be even less rational and see where that takes me.



It's kind of funny that I haven't felt the need to write anything in this box for a long time, and now that I do have something to write about, I found it challenging - not the writing part, but the selecting of a "user-pic" to go along with it. The problem is that nearly every picture I have in here seems terribly appropriate. This one's best, though. If you care to, I invite you to look at it for a while and consider why this is so.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: linzday
2010-03-21 09:06 pm (UTC)
Hi Joe! Nothing meaningful to say, except that I wish I had been in Portland when you went!
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[User Picture]From: witnessing
2010-03-22 12:14 am (UTC)

it's joe's pomo entry!

So I'm inclined to believe, from your coy hints, that you got it on with an inukshuk during your Oregon adventures. This entire entry invites one to read between the lines, so I can't be blamed if I come up with some curious speculations.

I think it's completely possible to simultaneously doubt and affirm any given idea or 'worldview' at any given time, and to do it with assurance. How so? Well, if you insert in time and specificity into your philosophical dilemma. I think doubt and skepticism are vitally necessary, especially if it pertains to truth. But that we will be affected, negatively and positively, by varying approaches to knowledge, each of which contain validity. Everything is tolerable, but it is tolerable in a DIFFERENT way, thereby forcing a different response from us. I do believe that no view can be possibly be 'better' than another, because it will evoke such different things from us that we can't generalize over the benefits of what we might receive from it. The best modus operendi I've come up with so far is that our submersions in different experiences is necessarily time-limited (and don't forget, also, that each of those picture-windows/ideologies are going to affect views we already hold, or ideas we might gain later. There's a reciprocity and dialogism that is going on, for instance, your reaction to rationality is going to inform whatever view you take on next, and in a sense, germinates from your very turning away/progression from that particular view). It's kind of like those clear sheets our teachers used to use on overhead projectors, layering up. No layer is more important than another, and they're all related, and they all form a part of we who are.
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