December 18th, 1999

My first born, my son, is 19 years old today! He was born with a happy disposition. Truly; he never complained. Never seemed hungry, ill or wanting for anything. Indeed, to this day, he is not desirous of things. Rarely will you hear him ask for anything at all. So when he does, I stand to attention!!! Always compassionate; I’d witness this first when he’d wrap is little arms around my legs looking up at me with tears rolling down his face whenever he’d find his mother had been ill treated! I’d also seen this when systematically he aligned himself with the “weaker,” the “bullied,” the underdog.

As a young man, he is conscientiously caring, loyal and considerate, albeit more aloof, and undivided in the more hedonic preoccupations typical of his age. Adventurous and still seeking to dive into that which will give him a sense of purpose, that will move him with a compulsion that he desperately awaits. Still, emotionally he stays close to home…no one seems to occupy that space that his most immediate family does. Indeed, it baffles him that I should imagine that this could ever be otherwise.

Happy birthday, Θωμά μου! I love you more than you could possibly imagine! ❤ ❤

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Still My Little Girl…

16 years old today! She was in a hurry to get here, headstrong since birth and quite resilient. Funny she doesn’t seem to know this now. She’s attune to her fragility and often overtaken by a sense of vulnerability. Like most girls her age she’s wrestling with her sense of identity. Kierkegaard understood how women move into womanhood in a manner quite unlike boys.

“A young girl does not develop in the sense that a boy does; she does not grow, she is born. …a girl takes a long time to be born and is born fully grown up. In this lies her infinite richness; the moment she is born, she is full-grown, but this moment of birth comes late. …she does not awaken gradually, but all at once; on the other hand, she dreams that much longer, that is, if people are not so unreasonable to awaken her too soon. But this dreaming is an infinite richness.”

As a mother of a daughter, my daughter, it is a wonder to behold…the birthing into womanhood. My daughter has this elegance, this grace, this adventurous spirit, of infinite magnitude that when she walks into a room you cannot help but turn your head to see her. She doesn’t know this yet, making it all the more charming to witness. She’s preoccupied for now with the more clinical annunciation of that which I perceive. She is, as girls her age, brought to contend with standards – patriarchal for the most part – of beauty ….a body just so, eyes ..nose…lips…just so…. And so lost are these girls until they hunker down and allow this birthing to take full possession of them. Where, as a flower in bloom…red, white, purple…lilac, rose, or sunflower, the fragrance, the radiance is, when left undisturbed, formidable. Lord…lord…please just let her be…let her beauty come forth undisturbed!

That girl of mine is walking the walk of her talk. Self-possessed when she does so. Confident, assertive, and yet timorous at times also. She’s not so much a contradiction as she is young. As a mother I toil over her suffering but know that she has already acquired such depth, such fortitude, and a beauty I’ve never seen before, that leaves me feeling so God damn proud!

Happy birthday Kalianna mou. I love you more than you can possibly fathom! ❤ ❤

 

 

Kicking the Bucket in Academic Writing — James Rovira

I think that when students (at any level) are given a writing assignment, they sometimes think of the assignment as if it were a bucket. So a ten page paper is a bucket of a certain size and a twenty page paper is a bucket that’s exactly twice as big. In this way of thinking, […]

via Kicking the Bucket in Academic Writing — James Rovira

Feeling Cheap?

I may be a rebel in cheap philosophical clothing but whatever the truth is, it is hard won, through arduous, life transforming modes of engagement and delectable moments of peace. My son has best impressed upon me the transformative aspect of this mode, the often existentially costly, however self-deflectingly, self-defensively received by others. It is not my cost to bear. Moving forward as we all inevitably do, pay tribute to those lost, those suspended upon an inertial beam of light, those seeking a column upon which to perch their plight.

Is this a place of clowns  to be trivialized and grievously mocked? Clowns spook me. They create an odd sense of existential unrest. And this is odd to me for this unrest is often my home, but clowns? This is a psychedelic, potentially psychotic state, shared amongst the mentally compromised! Erred, no, ‘erried’ am I! Not a clown, but clown-like to your fragile existential sentiments that seek composure amidst the presumed uncompromised.

Cruelty is cheap, and of the ill-composed. Seek greatness in your self-composure and fly upon the wings of (y)our “happiness”.

Leap!

Believe as you must that for which your mind is thwarted to perceive; but indulge not convenience, or first order interpretative paradigms which come unreservedly, easily, and conveniently. Brace yourself for the inertial overhaul and the voice of veridical certitude that springs from “knowing”your beliefs are always also utterly false!

Authenticity comes not for wanting it so. It comes not for those who wait. It comes with that intra-subjective comportment negotiated within a context that will surely threaten to outstrip you! LEAP!

“…could blessedness in a technical term, pleasure, ever be a proof of truth?  So little is this true that it is almost a proof against truth when sensations of pleasure influence the answer to the question “What is true?”  or, at all events, it is enough to make that “truth” highly suspicious.  The proof by “pleasure” is a proof of “pleasure” nothing more; why in the world should it be assumed that true judgments give more pleasure than false ones, and that, in conformity to some pre established harmony, they necessarily bring agreeable feelings in their train?  The experience of all disciplined and profound minds teaches the contrary. Man has had to fight for every atom of the truth, and has had to pay for it almost everything that the heart, that human love, that human trust cling to.  Greatness of soul is needed for this business: the service of truth is the hardest of all services.  What, then, is the meaning of integrity in things intellectual?  It means that a man must be severe with his own heart, that he must scorn “beautiful feelings,” and that he makes every Yea and Nay a matter of conscience!  Faith makes blessed: therefore, it lies.” (F. Nietzsche, The AntiChrist)

Loss

Those gone by choice or fate, in life or in death, shall be irrevocably and deeply intertwined with those for whom mortal, earthly existence is, was, but one dimension. The visceral is brought to life with unimaginable magnitude wheresoever the slightest provocation is permitted entry. A sight, a sound, a scent, a word like an avalanche brings him to life. It is only in that insufferable state of oppression that he dies a sure and nasty death.

Epiphanic Ascent

People often wonder about happiness and how they can get them some. Sure I could, and do, throw some Aristotle and Nietzsche, in the mix, but ultimately it tends to come in epiphanic jolts which come to alter and make one’s mode of being brighter and more purposively, and intently lived. Of course not a permanent state, but without these moments, these jolts, often despairingly won, a simple state of inertia cuddling with hedonism, is all there is. Happy to be in an epiphanic ascent.

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