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Cross post: Menthol, Sunshine and the possibility of human potential

Cross post from my other blog.

So the other part of my birthday gift from a friend of mine was enough iTunes money to buy myself Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I bought it to prepare for one of my exams for uni and then watched it last night.

I missed the class in which the movie was shown and yet on being shown that the biggest question (worth 40%) centres around philosophical reflections on this movie, it jumped to the top of my “to watch” heap, which to be generous is not that long.

I watched the “trailer” on iTunes a few days ago and worked out this was what I would term a gritty movie; and deep content (fine), ensemble cast (fine, though I didn’t recognise the two actors in the trailer) dark lighting to go along with the dark themes.  It was going to be a word film, a concept film. Great. Being a wordy thinker in a philosophy class that works well. Psychological shows you leave thinking about.

I tend not to read much about films before I see them. I like to see if they can absorb me without preconception playing a part. Besides, in this case, I had to watch it for class and I hasten to add I like my lecturer and the way she thinks so would trust her judgement. This was just as well.

Apart from films like The Green Mile, or the early Harry Potter movies , where the science fiction is more conceptual than visual, as a rule I don’t like science fiction. I think I was traumatised early by watching one that was out of my age range or something. I don’t know. I think I also really really get how scary some of that stuff could be for human existance if it came off. Ask anyone that has tried to watch tv with me, any sort of  morphing, even cartoon mophing of any sort, or the butter menthol ad below where even after treatment she still makes that noise have me hiding in the nerest armpit or pulling the face of a 2 year old!

This is where the idea of walls disappearing as you walk around your memory as you’re trying to notify distracted medical professional that you changed your mind about getting your memory wiped really gets icky. But hey that’s the point, right? That stuff should be icky. Yet I can happily watch reruns of the gory bits of medical docureality and not bat an eyelid, even though that stuff does happen to me!

Maybe that’s the thing. Maybe it’s the unknown potentiality that freaks me out. Particularly the unknown potentiality of human beings. In many ways potential is meant to be a positive. But if mere carelessness can cause the heartache and trauma it causes, much less Hilter, ISIS or the like, then what else is the potential is others are not just being  careless in their neglect.

The other reason I’m glad I didn’t pre-read on this movie: Jim Carey. I have not been a fan. At all. For me, his slapstick is hard to watch, even in Bruce Almighty.  Although I would have watched it anyway, I’m so glad I didn’t recognise him in Eternal Sunshine until 25 minutes in. The humour was much drier and to my taste

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A new commitment I make unto you

So I’ve become a member of stickk.com and recommitted to writing daily and more scaringly publish some of what I write somewhere 3 times a week.

I’ve been writing plenty; and in a sense publishing in a way too – mostly for uni. I find that by the time I’m done with those esays and everything else I don’t really want to publish anything else. But I still find I want to write privately. But I get shy.

But then I met a friend who I know from uni for the first get to know you type coffee. I discovered she is a beautiful blogger that i have quasi followed for a while http://www.lauramcalister.com/. After I’ve shared my blog name I thought I’d better post.

Then just last night I discovered another friend has started a fresh blog over at http://accessarration.wordpress.com/ and already got great interviews.

So check out these lovely ladies and lets hope to “speak” to you soon.
 

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Back

I plugged back in on Friday, officially. It was as I expected a good experience in which I learnt a lot.

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For those that know me offline

Hi

I’ve taken a self directed modified vow of silence for a few days. I just want to slow my mind down a bit and slowing my speech down will help me do that. I need to reflect and grow. I want to develop some more discipline even in just keeping this commitment. I enjoy feeling safe enough to be quiet and I want to now reinforce that I can be my own safe space. I want to choose the words that go through my mind. Time with fewer words will help.

Yes there were a couple of situations that triggered this, but right now they aren’t important. This is gaining peace, not running from pain.

I intend to do my life as normal. This is not a retreat so much as a practise. But neither am I wanting to become a Trappist monk. This is a modified vow.a vow of no vocal chord use, even on my own while still leading my life in public.

As such,
I will write notes, on paper, ipad, SMS. Email and phone (iMessage/SMS) will still be on and checked and replied to but probably phone will be on do not disturb a little more.i have noticed just by typing or scribbling one chooses how to speak differently.
If you want to avoid me in this time ok, but I would still like to see you if we have plans or a practise in doing so. I hope to listen well and show you without noise that I am with you. I have predetermined three situations in the next 14 days where I will speak if I’m still not but they aren’t social events and if you are reading this then it’s safer to assume I’ll be silent till I’m not.
I’m not doing this to annoy or embarrass or avoid you or the world. It will be a discipline for a predetermined number of days to slow myself down, lower my guard with myself and develop mindfulness, grace and clarity among other things. Iits not a game nor is this a spur of the moment attention grab. I’m ok all things considered.
Music, movies etc will be a part of my day still

This website gives the closest description of both the how and the why. But it is not a replica.
http://www.highexistence.com/my-vow-of-silence-and-why-you-should-try-a-silent-vacation/
Like her, I don’t really want to talk about the process much. Not till later. I hope to hear from you (better) or see you around.i hope to smile and nod a lot.

Love

Joanna

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stewed ant

Edited repost from elsewhere written by me.

willowdove blog appears to be looking strange and has done for a while. Another reason I’m scared of it. (now fixed — the blog, not the fear)

But who knows. Writing though might be (was) the boost I need.

I know, there is something of a contradiction of private blogging.

I’m reading more. That was the idea behind going back to uni, even if I don’t finish. Give my life and my brain more structure. It is certainly doing that. It is nice that the topics are generally outside my work area, but inside a long-held area of interest. I’m keeping up with the readings on top of everything else which is good. I am not sure how well I’m retaining information though and for this week it all seemed to go quite quickly and easily into my head. Therefore, I’m worried that I’m missing something huge and am really quite dumb. But it is giving me permission and the space to think which is what I wanted.

Philosophy of the Human Person is one of the subjects. Last week was on the right or not to have a post birth abortion if the child has a severe disability! Ouch. Bit early in my relationships with this new self, these new classmates to go there for me, although I gave an opinion. I struggled not to as, real or imagined it felt like the elephant in the room was a whopping great wheelchair in the room, with me in it and the preconception, again real or simply in my head, that I would have an opinion.

The content and its implications was scary enough without the social baggage and memories of my own.

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Just quietly

So while laid up I've been reading, thinking and researching. Whatever took my fancy really. Plus dealing with a couple of bits of people related drama

In preparation for resuming study next week I've been trying to build-in some routine and allow specific times for reading and writing especially which is good. Hopefully unlike when I first started studying I won't be alarmed by how much extra I suddenly had to do along with the disability and time wasting “very important stuff” that a teenager out of home for the first time has to deal with. Of course very little of that very important stuff was actually very important but that is very much the perspective of youth.

I'm trying to consciously read more. Speak less. Listen more. Solve less. Be quieter. I'm not finding this hard at all. In fact it is as if the peace that passes all understanding has landed. I'm leaning back into it and myself. I'm less exhausted in one sense because I'm not giving away so much. I'm calling stuff as I see it, if not aloud then consciously but silently

I have decided I don't like Sydney. Too busy and way too aggressive.

I'm learning to like myself I guess. Again, or for the first time at this new level I'm not sure which. Another stage of the getting of wisdom perhaps?

 

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Just quietly

So while laid up I've been reading, thinking and researching. Whatever took my fancy really. Plus dealing with a couple of bits of people related drama

In preparation for resuming study next week I've been trying to build-in some routine and allow specific times for reading and writing especially which is good. Hopefully unlike when I first started studying I won't be alarmed by how much extra I suddenly had to do along with the disability and time wasting “very important stuff” that a teenager out of home for the first time has to deal with. Of course very little of that very important stuff was actually very important but that is very much the perspective of youth.

I'm trying to consciously read more. Speak less. Listen more. Solve less. Be quieter. I'm not finding this hard at all. In fact it is as if the peace that passes all understanding has landed. I'm leaning back into it and myself. I'm less exhausted in one sense because I'm not giving away so much. I'm calling stuff as I see it, if not aloud then consciously but silently

I have decided I don't like Sydney. Too busy and way too aggressive.

I'm learning to like myself I guess. Again, or for the first time at this new level I'm not sure which. Another stage of the getting of wisdom perhaps?

 

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Maybe not just faiths but denominations too?

From LivingBuddha,LivingChrist10thAnniversaryEdition” target=”_blank” title=””>Living Buddha, Living Christ by Thich Nhat Hanh

People kill and are killed because they cling too tightly to their own beliefs and ideologies. When we believe that ours is the only faith that contains the truth, violence and suffering will surely be the result

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Me again

So someone said something useful to me yesterday.

Well, said might be the wrong adjective here. It was more like wrote something. Although it felt like it had be written solely and directly to me and not in a online email marketing kind of pseudo way, but in a chills up your spine kind of way. As I sit here now prepared to type it I feel silly but here goes.

You are a writer when you write.

Right.

D'oh.

So I guess the next logical extension to that is: You are a blogger when you …… post?

So I am Joanna. I am a writer who has been afraid of the page, but writing at 750words.com for a while. I am a blogger who was afraid of posting. Afraid of not having a voice. Afraid of having too strong a voice. Afraid that people would run away

Less afraid now though so I'm trying to come back. With courage. Because I do love to write.

Thanks

 

 

 

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Raw, mild updates

I have been writing lately, just not posting. After losing a post this morning I wrote the following on 750words as a head empty. Step gently as you read this but to prevent me from losing the nerve to post I will post unedited, typos, mis-capitalisations and all. The idea at the time  was that my fingers didn’t leave the keyboard and that I didn’t pay any attention to how it looked .Hence the raw title. There are probably the germination of three posts here. I won’t promise, but if you see me repeating myself in future posts, forgive.  

The only thing I did edit was I turned a few specifics that I won’t name into “various reasons”.

A bit frustrated. After months of avoiding the blogging thing because of various reasons I woke up this morning and, after listening to the 3d audio thing, decided i’d start working on the post to introduce the new wheelchair that actually and finally arrived yesterday. Then I had the whole “which writing tool do I want to use here?” internal debate, which led me to reading the article about Obama’s decision minimising (to avoid decision fatigue) which in my own mind led to a blog on its own about that whole process as a phenomena linking to the fast company piece. So i wrote it it was casual, without being too draft-y, explained that now seemed a good time to reboot the whole blogging thing again, and was just saving the post from the draft screen to be able to add the link and was sure I had saved it but something went wrong and I think I’ve lost it. I was in the zone, it wasn’t my best piece of work but I was definitately doing something and re-vitalising. I was useful.

But interesting, i’m not really that far off that feeling now and maybe the previous post,  this decision making tree stuff isn’t that valuable on the blog especially as an re-intro but might it has served its purpose as a free write or something. I’m still writing now aren’t I? I have overcome the whole question of which program to use and maybe just use this as a cut and paste starting point. I like the fact that I seem to be able to see the resistance ok, even yes feel it and work through itr even here. I’ve always noticed when the various self-help gurus would talk about letting thoughts go, float away and thought that meant ignoring them or just being disciplined. I’m sure that helped. I think it was better than nothing and certainly better than sinking into the feelings, but it wasn’t quite the same as the thing I’m talking about. Choosing different without the denial but in spite of feelings and perhaps better before the feelings can have an inpact because it will feel better each time I choose won’t it? So if I want to be a writer, yes I should do it because I enjoy it. Because I feel time and even words fly by but I can’t afford quite literally to wait till I feel like writing, or not just then. I should fill my time with the activities that improve or could improve my writing regardless of how I feel at the time, and pear back on the other stuff. seeing myself as a writer is more than a romantic gesture here. As that muscle of deciding gets stronger I will feel the flow more likely I’m guessing. I’ve slowed down a bit in the last two hundred words I’ve noticed distracted by leg cramp, noise and word count and grabbing too hard onto sentences that now are long gone, but i do think the flow is actually better and so yes I’m getting some reward for sticking with it.I must write more regularly anyway to capture thoughts like some of the people moving stuff i noticed yesterday driving around in the new chair, how people saw me just a little bit differently i think as being a person not a point of pity, how I was struggling to find a speed that felt right. How I felt like more of a person and strangely more part of the action and more visible. People were a bit more anxious. I was more anxious. How I’m over how torn up the footpaths are and what that does to the camber, and how everybody seems to want to use the flattest bit for themselves be they pram, shopper trolleys, street furniture, slow walking couples meandering right down the middle, the footpaths can’t handle all of it and leave enough space for me to apply the breaks when I need to because every time there is a gap that is a safe gap to leave it is intercepted. this means going out is painful as people don’t like me to inter up their flow or look like I’m going to hit them but I need to assume that the camber will throw me into someones shins! I should go out for a long roll to help condition the battery but I’m not sure given pre-existing decision fatigue and the prospect of the above or thinking where to go will keep me in bed and the chair today unused.

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