Posts

73) On Academia (part 2)

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-djmm7-bf61e2

…Although academia remains for me what death was for the Ophelia of Bob Dylan’s song “Desolation Row”: “quite romantic,” in hindsight, it occurs to me that treating academia as a field of holy and religious “Ivory Towers” first of all, in its dogma and myopia contradicts the truly “academic” spirit…

…When I failed to both receive funding from an MFA program and employment from a nearby university after graduating with my bachelor’s degree… I panicked, raced away from my dream, and grew convinced that academia would inevitably fizzle out from the global economy in the midst of such a rich world of cheaper information exchange across the internet’s digital media platforms…

…one beautiful, early September day, about two weeks ago now I think it was, I was walking in the development where my wife and I live, enjoying the refreshingly cool and breezy air. I thought about how much energy Ashley and I put into figuring out where we wanted to live (about 8 years!) We had a long list of potential places in and out of state and we researched the job and real estate markets in virtually every area of interest to us: places in Texas, California, Florida, New Hampshire, Illinois, Iowa, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, South Jersey, North Jersey, the Jersey Shore, et cetera…

72) On Academia (part 1)

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-au2hc-bf61bf

I call the university my temple, holy place, sanctuary, haven, oasis, paradise, Shangri-La, et cetera…

…It seeks (seeks!) an honesty whose nude body radiates bluntly with fitness, and beauty, exploring its sexuality, or dressing in clothes with a style of elegance that offends only offenders…

…Knowledge and critical thinking, in theory, preserved and advanced…

71) On time (part 2)

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-g3atm-be7870

*For Robert Musil who inspired me to get a little creative with subtitles *

A) Time Resides in the Upper-Class of my Hierarchy of Values

Time. I value it more than money. Which doesn’t say so much for money actually. Yes, money stands high as one the most powerful and unique resources and forms of energy and power a human can possess…not just because by flashing it around you can buy, attract products and people to you and thus appear powerful, because with it you can compel services, start and win a war, et cetera, but more abstractly what money represents is the act of enabling…beyond its quality as “capital” it is raw, pure resource which directed in this or that way leads to milestones in medicine, technology, the spreading and preservation of art and culture. Used to its full potential it’s like a genie in a magic lamp though you may be limited to more or less than three wishes. Similar to  Aladdin’s genie it cannot make someone fall in love with you. It can’t in itself kill someone or bring someone back to life, though it can try to buy the corrupted or merciful and gracious efforts to bring someone back to life. My point is that it is that time outdoes money and thus its meaning towers over money’s...

…B) Time and both experiential and corporeal mortality

I hate to bring mortality into this discussion. It is my least favorite subject…

 

C) Borrowing Heidegger’s title ‘Being and Time’

 

Sometimes I think of reading Martin Heidegger’s Being and Time simply because the title is so captivating (how wide and all encompassing it seems— mortality of the living and conscious, eternity of the universe?). It had been my recollection that nothing more than the book’s title ever grabbed my attention…thus far in my 33 year life, but as I flipped through Bertrand Russell’s The History of Western Philosophy to read up on Heraclitus and change I rediscovered an annotation I made who knows when that I thought Heraclitus was “Like Hiedegger” (yes, I capitalized my L and misspelt the man’s name). I do not remember in the least why I wrote this. 

 

…D) Why I think the ‘week’ is my favorite unit of time lately and how I loved my Saturdays

 

Over the past few years I sought out time management advice from professors and mentors. The only novel word of advice I received was to keep lists which I now do. Actually one professor complimented my basic approach, saying I appeared to have it covered and that when I finally graduated my to-do lists would simmer down. I appreciated it but it is now a year or so later and the subject still makes me feel as though I am slightly neurotic….

71) On the summer of 2019

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-ef35n-bd9ac4

The summer of 2019 is almost over now and the air, to my immense pleasure, throughout this last week has significantly cooled down…almost unseasonably so…

…Overlooking the sadness or nostalgia we sometimes feel in response to our awareness that life simply happens then ends, and that thus, experiences do not and cannot “happen again” (except within memory, the perception of its audio or visual record)… I enjoy the seasons changing. One aesthetic benefit of living in a “temperate” area as opposed to, say, a tropical one, or a desert, is that you get not just the changes of temperature and weather, but also, the visual changes—leaves turning yellow, brown, orange, red and then falling to the ground, eventually snow and ice, and then a burst of green and other flowery colors! Mental stimulation!

This outlook is relatively new for me…

…in a very panicked fury, I said to my mother: “fuck you!”

Before I proceed I must make emphatically clear my shame and regret about this. Of course, who among us have not said at one point or another to our parents some version of “I hate you!” or “fuck you!”—? Not that this coming of age and rites of passage thing justifies such a traditional adolescent vitriol and angst but I don’t imagine my own gracelessness here that I unfairly subjected my mother to was exceptionally unique or even personal. I imagine even the most polite teenager demonstrates a capacity for critical thought if he or she at some point contradicts his or her parents to his or her parents’ profound dismay. I understand though this always deeply upset my mother….

…My mother should write a book espousing her views on motherhood. It would make the world a better place…

…(On the matter of my connection to my feelings I should like to bring up that individuals occasionally offer in the bodies of their critiques that I may come across as detached from feelings. A few people mentioned to me that I come across to them as “pretentious,”  “condescending” or as though I were hiding, even if only inadvertently, my more “human” layers…

…Contrasting that awful burnout feeling and context with the peace and quiet, especially in Durham, New Hampshire and that surrounding area, which was significantly less built up and less populated than central New Jersey, and how that refreshing vibe was so accentuated by the snow…and not a fierce, blizzardy snow, but a calm, soft kissing kind of snow…

70) On anxiety (part 1: hastiness & impatience)

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-ajsup-bcdfb1

I’m beginning to understand some of my anxiety’s nuances beyond the constantly striking panic attacks, insomnia, night time alcohol abuse, and obsessive-compulsive thoughts of death that used to consume me. The more blatantly obvious symptoms now curbed, courtesy of Effexor, and a wife who devotes herself to conceptualizing and practicing a philosophy of what I believe it means to thrive (like seeing a doctor for a check up, “for starters”), certain other symptoms, previously overshadowed, now capture my attention—for example: impatience and hastiness…

69) The Skyscraper, Not the Cold, Bitter Wind

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-dd77u-bcdf9f

Mark Holland, he owned the hostel where I could no longer afford to lodge; with grace, he insisted I stay.

Mark treated my poems like hundred dollar bills; If I read them to him, and listened to his lectures on music, I could stay, and food was on him…