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Buster Benson

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things I like part 6
bird poops on plum branch
buster
  1. Going to movies (Let The Right One In) in old college districts on rainy nights when nothing else seems fun
  2. Soft sweaters
  3. 50% off Helmut Lang jeans from Polite Society
  4. Ben, who works at Polite Society
  5. Planning potlucks, with and without guest nutritionists
Let The Right One was great.  I loved the low tech vampire trend.

Last night while walking home in the rain I played this game (that I've been playing a lot lately) in my head where I'm dead and have lost all sensation and connection to the 5 senses, but still have a soul, so to speak.  And I'm wherever I am and I'm really bored and I really all the sensations of real life.  I beg and beg to be let back to Earth just to experience the feeling of something, anything, and I get dropped off where I am, in the rain, cold, windy, etc.  But instead of being annoying, it's extremely refreshing and exhilarating.  It's a rush of sensation, and I also sense other things, like youth, and health, and mobility.  The feeling of being alive and free and then a big drop of water hits my face and I scream in delight.

Which makes me think, is our imagination capable of moving experiences from entirely unenjoyable to utterly enjoyable?  Is it a practicable option?  Or is it merely a forced thought experiment that doesn't actually work except maybe once or twice when you think of a new trick/game to play on yourself?  Also, does imagination rely on a base mood to work with and build enjoyment/unenjoyment from?  I was in a good mood last night, and therefore it might have been a lot easier to twist the circumstances into enjoyment.  But I've done the same thing several times when it was really cold.  Instead of tensing up and shivering, relax and let the cold in.  Pull it in and savor it, and the cold has a different quality that's outside of the realm of pleasant or uncomfortable.

Which then leads me to think, are things made more enjoyable by embracing them, and less enjoyable by resisting them?  If you hate the cold, and then find yourself in the cold, does hating the cold lead to even more dissatisfaction with the cold than if you didn't have that hate?  It's a little circular, I think, but the level of expression of our desires or repulsions can be somewhat controlled.  We can dislike something and yet experience it again with an open mind, I think.  A mind that hasn't yet made the final judgment on all things cold.  A mind that is open to seeking out other ways to experience the thing that has been experienced in solid detail before.

I mean, we go to sleep each night and are completely convinced of insane situations that are totally illogical in a million ways.  And yet, we wake up each morning thinking we're experiencing an objective world.  Our imaginations can bend our experience of the world in a million different ways, most illogical in some way.  I'm not saying that we can change the world with our minds, but only that we can change our experience of the world.  And, if that's true, why not spend our time changing our experience of the world to be the most enjoyable, rich, meaningful, appreciated, savored, loved world possible?


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I want to see Let the Right One In and don't want to see it, at the exact same time, because it sounds good but I am so afraid of scary things.

It's actually not a scary movie. It's more of an intimate drama and character study of a unique child vampire. It's more sad than scary. I think you in particular would really like it.

I'm very conflicted, because everyone really likes it and says it's not that scary, but the trailer scares the crap out of me, with the tense music and things jumping out.

I'll probably end up watching it on Netflix anyway, since everyone I know has already seen it, and I am NOT going to go see a potentially scary vampire movie all by myself. Which will at least give me plenty of opportunity to take a walk around my apartment if it scares me too much.

Yeah, I bet it'll be just as good on Netflix.

You could try the book.

"I beg and beg to be let back to Earth just to experience the feeling of something, anything, and I get dropped off where I am, in the rain, cold, windy, etc. But instead of being annoying, it's extremely refreshing and exhilarating. It's a rush of sensation, and I also sense other things, like youth, and health, and mobility. The feeling of being alive and free and then a big drop of water hits my face and I scream in delight."

this is a good example of Samsara, the sort of human attachment to "suffering" that keeps us in the reincarnation cycle.

I choose not to necessarily think of it as suffering, but more the way you describe, a sort of true desire to feel all there is to feel when you're a human. Life is fucking great big huge scary lovely explody woah! yay!

Ooh, that's true. That sort of summarizes my problems with Buddhism. What they call suffering, I call delight. I'd rather be in the world than out of it. Woo!

the book im reading that i told you about deals with exactly this idea. but they call it love, opening up to loving everything equally by giving every sensation attention and not judging your reactions to it. it's a seven step process sort of thing, you'd really like it.

HAND OVER THE SELF HELP BOOK AND STEP AWAY!

I loooooved Let The Rite One In

I loved all the snow.

And the scene in the pool where all you can see is the kids legs being dragged through the water!

And of course that scene when she enters the room without being invited!

This post is awesome. It made me think of two things. First, I have a process I go through when I'm depressed or really upset, which is basically forcing myself to do things that I don't want to do - I usually start by smiling, to myself, which sounds ridiculous but it actually does make me feel better. Then I go outside and to a coffee shop and talk to people. Both those things can snap me out of my mood, or at least diminish it somewhat. This is very different from how I felt when I was in my late teens and struggling with depression, when I thought you basically had to let feelings dictate what you did. Now I have to make a conscious decision, something like, it's okay that I feel this way, but I'm not going to act on it, I'm going to act in a way that is healthy (rather than the various self-destructive things like drinking, eating sugar, spending money I don't have, etc.) that are another option of dealing with bad feelings.

The second thing I thought of is this Victorian children's book called A Little Princess which I read approximately 100 times when I was a kid. It's a melodramatic story about a rich girl who loses all her money and ends up a maid in a garret. While she is starving and cold and miserable, she relies on her imagination to maintain her dignity throughout her ordeals. She visualizes warmth, food, and companionship to make herself feel better. The book strongly emphasizes the power of IMAGINATION, and paints this character as really out of the ordinary and wonderful because of her ability to engage in these sort of mind exercises.

Sounds like a neat book... is it still in print anywhere?

Ricecricket recommended that movie, too. I now have to get my ass to a theatre and go see it.

If only I can get my ass to stay awake while watching it, too...

My internal monologue

First reaction: YEAAAHHHH!!!! Totally! Embrace things! Attitude is everything! This is my life!

Second reaction: But, um, Tarv, what is the difference between embracing situations and complacency? Huh? Should you embrace the oppressive system you work within? Should you embrace being in a toxic situation?

Third reaction: Dude! It's a question of reflection and energy! Acting instead of reacting! We've covered all of this before.

Fourth reaction: You should totally write this internal monologue as a response anyway.

Re: My internal monologue

I was thinking about the second reaction too, and I think the third reaction is right... there's a HUGE difference between embracing and complacency. Say you're in an abusive relationship... complacency would be about disregarding your feelings, justifying them, or repressing them. Embracing would be about owning up to how you feel, expressing those feelings, and taking responsibility for them. Being the feelings changes the way you act. It creates an opportunity for meaningful work, true self-expression, and courage.

I think it's about embracing the sensations that come about as a result of the mix between your inner and outer worlds. Not justifying the outer world, but fully experiencing it for what it is.

Re: My internal monologue

Oooh, yeah. Well put.
Reflection, HONESTY, action, embrace. I'm gonna turn that into a t-shirt.

I loved Let The Right One In. It makes me happy that so many people are seeing it. It's such a weird movie, yet so satisfying. It hit a lot of my sweet spots: coming of age story, triumph over bullies, wacky townsfolk, unexpected tonal shifts. The snowy swedish scenery was perfect for creating a creepy atmosphere.

I think there are two schools of thought about the latter part of your post: acceptance versus change. Accepting, receiving, embracing versus realizing something sucks and getting the heck out/changing it. I think about this a lot this time of year -- do I wait it out in Boston through the winter & love the (limited) things that are great about it, or do I try to escape to more pleasant places more often. For me, the former strategy seems to work best, actually. I guess it depends on your personality.

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