I don’t believe ‘enjoyed’ is the right adjective to describe how I felt reading Lapham’s Quarterly – Fear. What is the right word if you continually want to do something yet it causes anxiety and fear while you do it?
It is not that reading this edition made me afraid; it is that it called attention to the abundant anxiety in my own life which was exacerbated in reading about the anxiety and fear of others in this edition.
Jim Carrey shares the startling realization he came to after years of fame: it’s totally pointless to spend our whole lives creating and curating some specific identity for ourselves.
This is all ego: desiring to be important, to be someone, to matter. In reality, this grasping at a singular identity brings us only pain and suffering, for three main reasons. One, it introduces a separation between us and all other beings that dishonors our inherent, interconnected nature. Two, it deludes us into thinking that things are not supposed to change—that we are not supposed to change. Three, it leads us away from resting in our own basic goodness, as it makes us feel that we aren’t enough just as we are, right now.
Last night I saw the short film つみきのいえ, ‘The House of Small Cubes.’ It is of an old man whose village has flooded over may years and so he continually must build another level to his house to stay above water. In the middle of every cube is a trap door leading to the lower, flooded cube which continues all the way to the bottom.
LTMD: I address this to you as there really aren’t many people with whom I could speak freely regarding this subject. So, as I do with many ‘difficult’ topics I’d rather write it to you.
I’ve recently become fascinated with the ‘ancient world,’ which is defined as the time before the fall of the Roman Empire in AD 476. I was never taught much about it throughout my education and so I was intrigued by the amount of attention ‘ancient knowledge’ is gaining today.
Last weekend I came across two estate sales and decided to have a look around. Estate sales are much better than garage sales: at garage sales people are usually just getting rid of junk, things that are not very useful but at estate sales everything is for sale as the owner has passed away.
But for me, there is a eerie feeling entering the home and going through the belongings of someone who has died. Estate sales happen relatively quickly after a death and so I find my mind thinking of this person, who they were, why they collected certain things I’m now considering buying, if they had a good life and if they suffered a lot towards the end. I’m going through the material accumulation of their lives and I can learn a lot about them if I pay attention.