April 6, 2021

When little people are overwhelmed by big emotions, it's our job to share our calm, not join their chaos.
L.R. Knost.
Just ran across the image of this quote Chas posted a few years ago. It has stuck with me ever since - not just in terms of dealing with toddlers, but just folks in general.

Like I dunno. I curate my emotions; try to live in a garden where I cultivate the things I like and snip out things that don't seem useful while they're still barely seedlings. To switch metaphors, I don't think it's good to let emotions snowball and then gain their own subjective momentum, only loosely connected to the objective reality of the circumstance.

But people are very romantic about emotions. They point out that maybe I'm missing out on certain forms of pleasures in life by being in the habit of being even-tempered (the flareups of frustration that still burst through not withstanding)... that I can't throw out the bathwater of stupid feelings without losing the baby of the good ones - ecstatic pleasure, say, or useful righteous anger. And of course I can't use this "it's my job to share my calm" thought in terms of grownups without risking sounding like a condescending jerk.
Certain forms of perplexity – for example, about freedom, knowledge, and the meaning of life – seem to me to embody more insight than any of the supposed solutions to those problems.
Thomas Nagel

I've been dabbling with Noom, a CBTish weight management program, though honestly it's not too different than what I'd been doing the months before.

Anyway, one lesson they have is, only slightly paraphrasing "we aren't born with a sweet tooth, our taste for sweets is learned over time. However, we are predisposed to like sugary treats."

To me that's a distinction without a difference. Like if our wiring is such that in developing in a typical environment we invariably develop a sweet tooth, then saying "we aren't born with it, yet are predisposed to it" makes little sense.

Some friends of mine are interested, or concerned, with my skepticism about personal growth / change. This is a decent instance of something I was trying to explain to them before; like the potential for everything that's part of us (a sweet tooth, say, or even the ability to manage a sweet tooth) is there from the beginning. We have some limited potential to mold that expression and develop some parts and diminish others, but it's all curation of the same base material we are born with, and our striving for personal development are set against a host of environmental factors, some positive some negative, that we don't have control over either.
Just downloaded Van Morrison's "Into the Mystic", since in a week we'll be moving a few blocks from the mystic river.

But the foghorn sound reference(actually pretty artsy!) in the song makes me realize he's probably not singing about the river.

Also, I understand his frustration with the past year or so in terms of live music and the impact on musicians, but can't really get behind his anti-Lockdown songs...
She had curves in all the wrong places - some of them cast a 3-dimensional shadows, still others hummed a low, discordant note as they flitted about like flies. She was nothing like other girls - she was an abomination from the 6th plane of torment

Kids these days will never know the beautiful sounds of dial up internet. It was like listening to a chorus of angels getting hit by a garbage truck