Monday, May 7, 2007

30 years ago: Baby philosopher massacres punctuation

Omigosh, did I make an interesting (to me at least; grin) discovery last night. My executive assistant came over to have a cup of tea & visit & borrow a cell phone with lots of extra minutes available for some morning calls. We were talking about keeping things you wanted & getting rid of things you didn't & occasionally getting rid of things you did want--for example, every one of her school papers. So I grabbed a box that we'd unearthed (or unboxed at least) last week, to show her some of my old treasured papers. In it was this, which I will reproduce, occasional funky punctuation & all. (I apologize in advance for the lengthy post.) Note the date: this was written when I was a senior in high school, a month & 2 days past my 18th birthday...

5/24/77 read "Lost Horizon". am fascinated by the philosophies. am intrigued by the tea ceremony. moderation is the key.

I have read several philosophies "Walden", "Siddhartha", "Lost Horizon", "Walden Two". parts of each one capture my own longings. I would like to put together, write, and live my own philosophy. It would be a lifetime chore. I'm sure I could do it, but in places it would go slow. That is good for the writing of a philosophy anyway, and especially for the living of it. A beginning, maybe not the beginning, but a beginning.

A Beginning

Avoid excessive worrying; almost any worry is in excess of what is necessary. Also, deviate from the normal, accepted path if it serves your purpose. Use time wisely; enjoy it; savor each second. Train not only your eyes and other senses, but your hands and mind; you need to do and appreciate what your senses give you; to accept it fully; to get all out of it and put all into it. Do not be afraid to change--your life, your philosophy, your home--what was important to you even five minutes ago may not be as important now. Accept people as they are; be wise to the fact that they may not be as they seem. Take no one for granted, not even yourself. Be enough of a fool to learn and not to stagnate in your wisdom. Show feelings, but mostly, feel. If there is nothing to show you are living an empty life. Do not dictate your life to the standards and expectations of others; live well enough that you can live with yourself comfortably. Define success as it is to you, and seek it, not everyone can be happy in the same place. Tolerate others madness, they are powerless to change yours. A bit of madness makes the world easier to live with. Do not force your opinions on others or allow them to influence your beliefs. Make allowances for the humanness in people, both others and yourself. Nobody's perfect. Don't however, use imperfection as an excuse or pass off a fault.

So, there you have it--what I was thinking when I was 18. Sounds a lot like what I'm thinking now. Funny.

Also yesterday, I put my shelf together. It fits perfectly in the designated space & now Howard (my World Fantasy Award) has his own little shelf to peer myopically from. I set a bottle of wine beside him, which gives him more of an excuse for his bug-eyed expression. Before tackling the assembly, I poured myself a glass of Bison Chocolate Stout, which I first tasted at my friend Amelia's house. That got me thinking fondly of my visit with Amelia & her husband, so I called & told her so. This leads into--

--the Blog alternative:
43. Call an Amelia equivalent (after experiencing a Bison Chocolate Stout equivalent) just to let her/him know fond thoughts were floating around in the ether.