Friday, October 3, 2014

just a few thoughts

"Only a sort of drunken flush pierced by voices, unimportant voices that did not know how much he was love."
--Tender is the Night, F. Scott Fitzgerald
  1. I went into this adorable little bakery in Tribeca. The moment you stepped through the old white wood doors, the entire air was permeated with the aroma of icing on a cupcake. It was utterly magical. The entire building felt like a cupcake. I fell in love at first smell. 
  2. We make too big a deal about falling in love. Being in love happens almost as frequently as springtime and sap rising and daisies blooming. It will happen when the tides and cycles of the moon converge, it's rather unpredictable and arbitrary and we're all so ridiculous about it. As much as Jazz Age novels are depressing, on account of the fact that they make me feel about as glamorous as a bowl full of sticks, and the characters are basically self-centered, shallow buckets of sentiment, instinct, and selfish impulse, at least they have the proper attitude towards "falling in love": Oh, you, too, have been "in love" once in your life? Glad to know you have an active endocrine system.
  3. Love, however, is much more commonplace and ordinary, and yet more mystical and transcendent than this rush of hormonal bliss. And yet, for some reason, we place much more significance on an experience where another human and ourself have had an experience of mutual hormonal attraction than the day-to-day sort of love which permeates our waking existence. For some reason, we overlook the daily experience of agape, denying ourselves the experience of an intimacy and a grandeur which we cannot even comprehend.
  4. I get that being in love is magical. It's the greatest, I know, I know. But it's also not the end-all-and-be-all of our existence. As much as it is a beautiful, and often enduring, season of life, it is not the telos of our being. Love is. And as much as being in love helps us to truly love someone, love is the real answer to the question that our being poses to us. 
  5. I am reading F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tender is the Night. Here's a new Healthy Living Tip for myself: don't read F. Scott Fitzgerald ever. It's beautiful and lush, but it's also so decadent, I feel almost hungover after reading it.
  6. Speaking of hungover, I can't drink alcohol anymore. I bought two bottles of wine last weekend thinking: "oh, what will go great with my slice of chocolate cake and my two seasons of Call the Midwife (DVDs courtesy of the New York Public Library)? Definitely some red wine." And then, my stomach flip-flopped at the thought of the dry taste of wine. And so I selected instead a glass of milk. Milk. I think I maybe drank milk a total of four times in undergrad, and averaged maybe a glass of wine a day last year. What has become of me? Whatever it is, I like it.
  7. I just saw a very Pinter-esque play this evening. Bizarre, abstract, heavy on the symbolism and highly dramatic sexual tension, light on the whole "narrative structure" or "coherent plot" stuff. One or two moments of absolutely shocking and unprecedented violence. Harold Pinter did many great things for the theatre, but he also wrote a ton of brilliant plays that make you feel like absolute shit while watching them. Seriously. I think the worst mood I was ever in during my time in London was probably the night I went to see a Harold Pinter play by myself. Can you ever know the truth about anyone? Does anything really exist? What do we know of other people except the lies they tell us? How can we ever achieve anything? Can we ever perceive the world beyond our own perceptions of ourselves? Two hours of those thoughts swimming around in your head makes for a pretty miserable evening. Whenever I see or read a Pinter play, it feels like there's a ton of last night's whiskey floating around in my stomach that I need to purge out of my body. I have this uncontrollable urge to vomit. Which I think is how Pinter wanted you to feel after seeing one of his plays. Rather cruel of him. But if that's what he's going for, it's highly successful art.
  8. Nothing helps re-align the soul like some chocolate cake, milk, and a couple DVDs of Call the Midwife. I feel positively spiritually refreshed.

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