Methods

Nine thirty.

Cloudy but not raining so far. Does reading books clarify things or only muddy the waters? It certainly adds new language and associations. Last night I was considering the Unitarian church on 13th and Chambers, but now I don’t know. I’ve been through a lot since 2009, when I last thought about the Unitarians. It could be like a regression to old ways. Wisdom is important, however it is gained. Les Miserables is a painful book to try to read, but I think I’ll attempt it. Virginia Woolf seemed rather shallow by comparison. Hugo shows how people can slip through the cracks from wealth to poverty in a heartbeat. Woolf floated on the surface among the wealthy… Still, I miss the way it used to be, having Kate for a friend. My life was more enlightened then, at the same time that it was drunken and deluded. I was poor, of course, but I didn’t admit it. I remember my reaction when Kate said I didn’t sound very well: anger and resentment, followed by perverseness. I broke away from her empiricism and dove into intuition, reading Unamuno again. Spite drove me to join the church. But I also just wanted approval from someone. Criticism from three people cut me to the bone… I plan to help with the food pantry Saturday. The walk to the church will be good exercise. Sunshine right now. I think it will be a good day. Aesop had his breakfast. The ants have returned, so I doused them with more vinegar. Everything works out for the best.

Noon hour. I’m in a good mood today. Suddenly I am very thankful for my training in cognitive behavioral therapy. It saves me from a lot of anxiety and feelings of guilt. I had a friend long ago who cherished what she called insight. It was really intuition, I think. But it didn’t work for her very well. I actually knew a handful of people who trusted gut hunches to tell them about reality. They didn’t realize that peering inward only informs you about yourself. That was a long time ago. Everything was different then. I can now pick up a book of Emerson or Whitman and easily perceive the fallacy of their method. It’s very interesting to observe the ways people gather information. My sister can claim how she just knows something in her heart— and then be dead wrong. Emotional reasoning simply fails as an epistemological tool. So that Kate was right all along.

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