Les Semaines


what I'm thinking and doing § what I'm listening to § what I'm reading
what I'm writing § retrospective: The Phonosnout


We work too hard against each other

I liked this line so much when I ran across it in this week's The Phonosnout section that I decided to use it as my title, but I'm not sure I have the right things to say to go along with a title like that.

We've had a good, relaxing visit with my mother this week. No sense of working against each other at all. In fact, it was distinctly harmonious, all except a little scrap Jim and I got ourselves into, but that was over soon enough. We talked, read, slept--and all of us, including Mom, got a chance to work on our writing.

I know how lucky I am in my parents--I know I've talked about them here before. They are quite sane and fun people, and I have a good relationship with them.

I know from many friends and acquaintances just how rare this is, and I've seen families working against each other in clear action. I've seen a friend's father shriek at her and tell her exactly how worthless he thought he was, another's mother pass on good news that she'd promised to allow the friend to tell, another's father undercut her professionally by telling her she couldn't produce the work, another's say he wasn't sure he ever wanted to see her again. One close friend of mine hasn't seen or spoken to her parents for years.

It's so easy, especially when you know someone well, to cause them deep pain, and so hard to figure out why a parent would want to do that to their child. It's so easy not to make promises you can't keep and never have any intention of keeping--so why make them? Why undercut a child when they're just learning their own worth? And why, when a child is an adult, continue to treat them like a misbehaving child?

People are only people, adults are only children with a few more years on them, everyone has their own insecurities, their own pain. But I really admire the people who have suffered and resolve not to pass their pain onto others.

A friend of mine was beaten by her father, who was beaten by his father. She has resolved never to hit anyone, especially a child, but her brother hits his kids. And so on down the generations. And the emotional beatings are just as bad.

It's so easy, though, when you're feeling bad to take it out on the people available, usually those you're close to emotionally. Sometimes you want to make them feel bad so you can feel better by comparison. Sometimes you can't stand that they are happy or have accomplished something. Sometimes you just want to share your misery. I watch partnerships where the partners tear each other to pieces and then wonder why their intimacy suffers, why one gets tired of it and breaks away--or we wonder why they continue to make each other miserable.

Really, we humans are ornery beasts.

I'm lucky. I believe in some senses I have made my luck but I still have luck to work with and I'm grateful I was born to the people I was. Lucky lucky lucky.

last week's thinking and doing § next week's thinking and doing


Basque sent a couple of discs to The Ectophiles' Guide for review, and while they didn't catch me too much at first, I've been listening to them quite a bit. Mellow, but also catchy soundscapes. I'm going to have to get these for myself (and send them along to the reviewer--heh).

last week's listening § next week's listening


Elizabeth Haydon's Prophecy is the continuation of the story began in Rhapsody (see my October 31, 1999 entry for a very brief assessment). It concerns the further adventures of the three companions as they battle the ancient evil F'dor and find out more about their world, their place in it, and their powers and themselves. Like Rhapsody this feels rather loosely plotted but that's a quality I actually like--it feels as though we have a chance to get to know the characters better than chasing them all around their world, though there is plenty of that, too (perhaps a little more than is clear why the travelling is happening). I enjoyed reading this but am withholding judgement until the series is finished. Several people have commented that the main character, Rhapsody's, perfection and beauty (and her obliviousness to them) drives them a bit nuts, but I think it's part of the intriguing nature of this story. It all made sense to me when I read somewhere that the author was thinking of Princess Diana when she first created the character.

last week's reading § next week's reading


Despite having my mother here this week and staying in my study, I managed to get quite a lot done on the novel. I had planned to work in Jim's study for a couple of hours during the day and then an hour after everyone else had gone to bed, but what I did instead was go into the study shortly after Mom went to bed and wrote with her reading and dozing behind me. It worked surprisingly well.

last week's writing § next week's writing

Retrospective: The Phonosnout

About the Phonosnout

April 1977

802. Still

I'm still me, and God is still God and the world is still walking downhill. Quiet is beautiful to bask in, as are daydreams. Not to push anything, but i know i can't wait much longer--i've got four days to do it all, and then some more. Ah, well. Time and i are going to have to become better acquainted. We work too hard against each other.

803. Mornings

Another morning! They've done it to me again! (This is getting to be a bit too much. I've had it up to here and back again.) Pretty soon, if they're not stopped now, they'll be trying to give me two in one day. They're pretty sneaky--we probably wouldn't notice the first several times they did it. Oh yuck! Mornings!!

804. What is happening here??

I have the feeling it's nothing. Nothing is happening here. How can nothing happen? Nothing isn't something, and only something can happen. I can't be bothered to take notes; i'm too busy trying to find out if nothing is really something. Must be if it's busy happening. Nothing is a kind of a vacuum, and how can a vacuum happen? Somehow in this class a vacuum is occurring. A lack of something is happening. Descartes is/is not being racked over the coals once again. I guess it doesn't really matter, i don't think Descartes exists anymore, at least not here, on this planet.

805. A Tuesday morning philosophy

Everything he thinks he knows by means of the senses is false. Does it really matter? As long as he copes within that false reality and that there is no other reality, what difference does it make? If that's the only possible (though false) reality he can come to, it must be the true reality. Logically speaking there can't be falsity unless there is truth. The clock outside the door says 8:30. But inside the door everyone's watches say 10:30. Philosophy class is happening, and philosophy class only happens at 10:30. Therefore, we can safely assume it is in fact 10:30. But if there was no philosophy class, and no other watches (or perhaps other watches said 8:30) we might just as well, and safely and happily say it is 8:30.

806. Carrying

Carrying a Larry Norman record around to give to Judy. Most interesting doing that today. Carrying yawns around to throw at profs. Carrying lack of energy around so i won't get rewrites (creative writing and English) done on time tomorrow night!! Rankin just caught one of my yawns.

807. Larry Norman's Song (but not one of the ones i'm carrying)

[Lyrics about the Christian rapture omitted.]

808. What a pain! (Another complaint)

I really pushed it to get my essay rewrites done on time. Managed to, and guess what--the class gets a five-day extension. All that time i could have been working on my creative writing for which the deadline is definitely tomorrow. I could have been working on it all this time it's taken me to make this complaint.

809. Got to

Got to stop Phonoing and get writing. I wish i could. Phonoing is so much easier. And unnecessary. Therein lies its greatest attraction. I love doing the unnecessary things. The necessary things are such a drag and such a pain to handle. Of course, the answer is to count necessary things as unnecessary. And of course the unnecessary things as necessary. Somehow i think i didn't really say anything in this chapter. Too bad.

810. No more philosophy

I missed the last philosophy lecture today to finish one of my essay rewrites. The end of philosophy will be an end of Phono, too. The end of an era. Phono's era of philosophy. Phono is 728 times happier than the philosopher king. That means Phono is 529,984 times happier than the tyrant. (Actually, i'm not too sure my math is accurate, but you do get the general drift, don't you? Don't you?)

811. Last day

Last day of classes, and i'm laughing my way through Hayley's latest poem. What a day, sunny, but seeing too many 2:00 ams have left me with clouds all over my eyes.

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