This, too, can be sacred: Feb. 2022 notes

There’s something deeply satisfying in my letting go of thinking that I’m publishing writing for others (where I get disappointed if there’s not a big reaction), and, instead, I am starting to appreciate my blog as a reader, too (especially the older stuff I’d kinda forgotten making).  People who write for others (at websites, say) are paid to (in part) follow, work within, those familiar forms — so as to please, ease readers. But I’m doing my own style and I appreciate reading my writings and I am satisfied by writing these — the whole project is valuable to me! This is the overlap I mentioned! (in note dated 31 Jan. in previous notes post). [1 Feb. 2022]

The outdoors seldom demands much of me. There’s rain, cold, sure, and my body’s hunger, sure — but mostly it’s relaxing to go outside. [1 Feb.]

How fun my mind is (usually!). I like most (not all, but most) of my thoughts, observations, jokes. I just don’t need to tell others — that’s about my ego. I can just watch my own mind for, well, entertainment! (a deeper kind of watching?) I’ve had a thought like this one before — but I don’t think I was as pleased by this thought then as I am today. I’m not feeling needy (now!). I’m self-satisfied and self-sufficient!

[later the same morning] I’m not always an agent, one who acts, but I’m an experiencer — watching as a big part of being alive. Keep experiencing. [1 Feb.]

I make writings that interest me, for various reasons : recording, amusing, palate-cleansing, etc. [1 Feb.]

My Exquisite Corpse statements are not palate-cleansers but mind-treats! I have said for weeks, months, that I like those surprising statements for clearing my mind, my usual thinking patterns. Today, though, they seem like a treat to my mind, an entertainment! [1&2 Feb.]

We take in others’ ideas to forget ourselves. But what if it’s my own work from before — it’s new and not-new to me? [1 Feb.]

Intersection of Chana Road and Brick Road, Pine Rock Township, Ogle Co., Illinois, 13 Feb. 2022.

I’m not always able to watch/observe my mind’s voice, right? Say, if I’m feeling strongly or if I’m interacting with others (yes/no?)? And it’s not really me watching a tree, say, it’s me watching me watch tree? (Sounds Sartrean, with his self-awareness component to each bit of consciousness — I’m not saying he’s wrong — I’m also not saying I agree). The point of being alive is to watch my mind (?). [1 Feb.]

But why should others entertain me? (They do it — or offer to — for money.) “Entertain yourself,” adults tell bored kids. [1 Feb.]

RE: Watching my mind: Of course I’ve learned from others — allusions as memories of that. But also, repetitions (as songs on FM radio) and dumb messages (as from ads) — I’m tired of seeing common ideas (the limited range of ideas one usually hears) in common forms. [2 Feb.]

Driving, showering, dog-walking: These are partially engaging actions. My mind is not deeply engaged when doing these things. [2 Feb.]

I noticed yesterday that my Byfest posts contained moments (or descriptions of moments) of things I found silly, weird, and also, dumb. I used to think I was cynical (and I don’t want to always be looking for dumb things everywhere). But maybe there’s more to this: I expect things to be smarter or more aesthetically interesting than they often are? Maybe? But it’s not just disappointment that I note. I also note absurdities, like frog seeming to float over police department. I also seem to just write observations when I’m, say, writing at home or at a cafe. [2 Feb.]

I heard a DJ on an FM radio channel say, “There is such a thing as a time machine, and it’s not a DeLorean” — it’s repeats of Casey Kasem’s Top 40 countdown, DJ said. But then my journals are time-machines, too — they’re written at a point in time, showing the image of my mind at the time of the writing. [2 Feb.]

Looking north from Brick Road. 13 Feb. 2022.

I looked at leaves shaking in snow and thought how essays (like that E.B. White one about cabin) are artworks, are not trying to represent reality, are polished as artworks. There wouldn’t need to be a polished moment in lived experience — as if there were any polished moments in lived experience!

“My groin felt the chill of death” from “Once More to the Lake” essay — that’s the line that surprised me when I read it. Now, after seeing comments online about how essay compares E.B. White’s childhood to his son’s, I see the tidiness of conclusion — it’s tidy and not real, by which I don’t mean that E.B. White didn’t feel it. But in the essay, it’s too damned tidy, as if he wrote essay in his mind during this trip to the lake — which would be distracted, inauthentic, living. [3 Feb., 11:09 a.m., 5th hour]

Essays aren’t where writers work out their ideas — freewrites might be. I feel shock and joy at realizing a deeper truth — and the insufficiency, or, the false artifice, of a common definition or belief. Artifice in essays is false, but it’s also overly familiar (to me). I go artless (in my journals) to find new ideas. [4 Feb.]

Cat got so close to my face as I lay on couch last night that he looked like he had one eye — cyclops cat! [9 Feb.]

There’s the event (the Super Bowl, say), and the publication of stories and opinion articles about the event (a column about the Super Bowl) is another event. [14 Feb.]

I don’t write much about my time spent sleeping. [14 Feb.]

Sunset along Limerick Road, Ogle County, Illinois. 18 Feb. 2022

Photos don’t convey a consciousness (not like writing does). I look at the sun rising today — If I took a picture of it, viewers of that pic wouldn’t know that I feel different about it on different days. It annoys me today — I can’t appreciate it when I’m tired and stressed. [15 Feb. a.m.]

Traveling to see things is passive — I don’t have to go anywhere in order to have engaged, active experience. [18, 19 Feb.]

I’ve been seeing tree glints this morning as I drive east. Frozen water drips off tree, lots of mini-icicles. [23 Feb.]

This, too, can be sacred. It’s so easy to think that Midwest locations are on flat, farmable (useable) land so that no spot seems sacred. So it seems a bit of a revelation to realize, yes, that the Midwest too (not just the shore or the mountains or deserts) can have sacred spots. [28 Feb. 2022]

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