March 11, 2020
It's like being in the ocean when the waves are really rough and high. They knock you over and you find yourself on the floor of the ocean with your face in the sand. The sand is getting in your nose and your mouth and your eyes and the waves are holding you down. But then the wave recedes and you stand back up and you walk until the next wave comes in and knocks you down and the same thing keeps happening. And each time you just stand back up and after a while it seems to you that the waves are getting smaller and smaller.
Whyte, David. The Three Marriages (p. 167). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.
Like everything which is not the involuntary result of fleeting emotion but the creation of time and will, any marriage, happy or unhappy, is infinitely more interesting than any romance, however passionate.
All disciplines have crucial testing thresholds, thresholds that ask us if we are serious or ask us if we want to turn back and do something else.
Every marriage is probably the meeting of two equally compelling stories, if they can be but told properly.
To find out our partners' desires, we must sustain a conversation with them that helps to bring those wants and desires to light. Sometimes we have to do this even when they are afraid of discovering them themselves. The deep, abiding fear is that we will stumble across the desire in them that wants a life different from the one we are capable of giving them.
The café in Edinburgh where J. K. Rowling wrote now has a small plaque on the wall outside to explain who sat there with such private, unsung courage. Most likely the place in which we sit and struggle to bring our work back to life will have nothing to commemorate it except a little window in our own memory that opens onto the small stage on which we appeared during difficult times.
Perhaps each of us should go back with actual plaques and place them in cafés, on walls or in office cubicles with little notes of private courage for the inspiration of others. "This is where I kept my faith alive during very dark days," "This is where I found the courage to leave my marriage," or "This is where I realized that I couldn't have everything I wanted and so felt the freedom to request what I needed." Such puzzling, intriguing and inspirational signs everywhere might bring us to an understanding of the constant enacted dramas occurring around us. How every chair and every corner holds a possibility for redemption. The plaques that said things such as "This is the table where I gave up on my ideals and took a very large bribe" would be equally instructive for the reader.
There is no path that goes all the way.
Two podcast episodes on procrastination:
one was Alie Ward's Ologies: Volitional Psychology (PROCRASTINATION) with Dr. Joseph R. Ferrari - one repeated phrase was "everyone procrastinates, but not everyone is a procrastinator", that only 20% of adults are truly chronic procrastinators. I was surprised he didn't take more of a spectrum. He also claims that time management is a myth....(also can I say he has a delightful voice for a doctor, a bit like a toned down Dr. Marvin Monroe on the Simpsons - but I also appreciate that the Ologies podcast has written transcripts available.)
For the 80% of us, or whatever, Adam Grant's WorkLife had The real reason you procrastinate, including some talk with Margaret Atwood. This podcast said that the challenge is primarily emotional - that procrastination is very often veering from negative feelings of insecurity etc - but didn't veer away from some Time Management advice.
WorkLife also gave another word to the rational-aware/emotional-intuitive split I've been thinking so much on lately: "Should Self" vs "Want Self". I think in this model, the Should Self has logic and language, and so can outthink the Want Self... though clearly Want Self has its own tricks. (Grant introduces the concept with Atwood using two names for herself: Margaret who does the writing, and (based on her childhood name) Peggy who does everything else. Peggy lines up with the Should Self, roughly, but the metaphor doesn't seem to quite hold up IMO.
I want to make an infomercial where it's not clear what the guys selling. Like hes demonstrating how powerful this vacuum is by sucking up a bowling ball but then he starts showing you how strong the bowling ball is by dropping it on some knives but then hes showing how the knives havent been damaged at all by using them to cut through some shoes and it goes on and on for two hours then just loops back to the start while a number flashes on screen the whole time and if you call it it just echoes whatever you say back to you.