I’ve successfully read pages of books assigned that I don’t remember much about. Functionalism, mental computations, materialism and shit. So many things, so little time. Or maybe I’m just lazy and the task of understanding requires more effort than I am willing to expend.
“You drive a car, not knowing how its engine works. You ride as passenger in someone else’s car, not knowing how that driver works. And strangest of all, you sometimes drive yourself to work, not knowing how you work, yourself”.
– Marvin Minsky
This is too accurate. Literally. Without even having to talk about minds, I’m floored. I don’t even know how to drive. I don’t even know the rules of street navigation. I think they’re called traffic laws. I don’t have a well-defined framework to understanding how buildings are constructed, how an iPhone works. And I’m entertaining a switch from Psychology to Cognitive Science? Maybe I have to rethink this.
It’s weird to me how I will have an aching desire to do and know yet I am unable to sustain the motivation to do the research necessitated by the level of understanding I wish to obtain. Why can’t knowledge be implanted in my mind? Imagine if all we had to do to know anything complex is to transfer information from a chip to our brains. Catching up to the latest knowledge without having to read/ re-read years-worth of research would allow us to come up with new hypotheses at a faster rate. We could uncover connections that we’d never seen before, based on cumulative knowledge accessible to us at any point in time. But then again this would be too easy and I value intellectual challenge.
I’m all over the place. I want life to be easy but I value hardship- or rather, what one can learn through it. I envy those who “love the grind”. Our limitations force us to work hard. As annoying as this is, perseverance and discipline are admirable. I’d say, more rewarding than the actual content that is learned… Which should in theory transform the way I approach anything I do not yet know. Sometimes, knowing how or where to start is the most difficult part.
Before we fuck,
anoint my faithful heart;
thank you, heart, for your persistence,
study the configuration of my soul;
thank you, God, for your gentle breath,
cherish my thoughtful mind;
thank you, mind, for minding.
Touch me with compassion and
caress my misfolded thoughts.
Know me, love me, honour me.
Then, use me because I love you.
To the one who has given me everything, I will hold back nothing.
My life is no sacrifice in light of your goodness. Thank you for every blessing I do not deserve.
Your vision is perfect. You are my song.
‘By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me– a prayer to the God of my life’.
– Psalm 42:8
Swing dancing is so interesting. A conversation with a partner. The lead speaks through the subtleties of movement, a gentle release or a push, prompting a step to the left, a pivot, a twirl. The follower anticipates a shift in balance, attentive to the flow of motion. Experts of bodies, they transfer energy to and from one another. When it works- when the legs do not twist awkwardly and the rhythm takes over, it is magic. Like lovers kissing.
My recently-graduated statistics professor sounds Canadian. “Any questions? No? Erright”, she says. In a hood, framed black glasses and a variation of the short man bun, she looks slightly boyish. Her arms move just as I’d imagine Kristen Stewart’s would: stiff but sufficiently enthusiastic. Today, I couldn’t help but smile as she embodied the mean, pretending to be the center of balance, tipped over towards an outlier with her arms outstretched. Adorable. “Good question”, she always says. I can listen to her talk forever. I’m also surprised by my appreciation for statistical measures which have such a simple yet profound impact on data interpretation… This won’t last, I don’t think.
I fight for this: I do not regret caring, although I am hurt. One moment, I wish you never happened and the next, I wish it all over again. But now I just am and I do not want. Call it hysterical strength, but love -only love- makes me fearless, impenetrable.
Your feelings are real. Your happiness was real. Nothing and no one can take away from that, independent of what happens next. Like, that time when touch felt like music and gazes fell like syrup. Laughter erupted and swept across the room, a moving monsoon. Drenched in the warmth of the lamp (that smile too), you felt perfect, adored. You were. You were.
You made me feel grand for blinking.
See, I am a spectacle when I breathe.
Even when you’ve forgotten why,
or you never really thought so,
it is true that I am something else.
I do not belong in your vocabulary
I am not yours to describe:
a thing out of the wilderness.
I’m sorry that you’re a murderer
of fanciful thoughts
but I have never changed.
Why does the end have to ruin the middle? Now I know that most of it was in my head. But it isn’t my fault that people are messy and feelings are lost in translation. I’m grappling, left to my own devices. Not naive, just hopeful.
What then, was the story for you?
Also, I love the movie Lost In Translation.