I have just come back from a visit with one of those friends that it doesn't matter how long it's been, you just pick up where you left off. That is one of the rarest treats in this world. I am a sociable person, I work with people all the time, and I enjoy it, even when people make me insane (or I them, I've done my share of driving people over the edge.) It's essential to me. But a friend who knows you over time and trouble - and values you, and who you value. That's to be valued and treasured.
i have a really puzzling amount of self confidence- honestly and I am an honest person, it's really not warranted. I am a reasonably accomplished - competent - person, it's fair to say- I've managed. But its not the stuff of legend, it's just regular living. I have a good time, I work at a very usual profession, the most important thing that I've ever done to help create a family that is loving and strong enough to have something to spare for the welfare of others. And all of that makes me happy and content -but It isn't the resume of a person who is tearing up the world at large- still it doesn't prevent me from thinking I may well be one of the most fortunate people who ever lived - even knowing that everything can change in an instant
Here's another thing I like about M DM, he owns who he is. Not claiming to be an expert on anything really, except maybe his own self, but even then he is quick to say he doesn't even know himself that well because things change, things like circumstance, opinion, facts he just becomes aware of, stuff he didn't know or notice before. And he doesn't beat himself up. or anyone else really not in any strident sort of way. It's related to that contrast between him and the many pundits, bloggers and talking heads that are all around us today. He doesn't give up the right to opine on anything he feels like opining upon. He just lays it out there for us to look at and wonder about with him, if we feel like it.
Ok, Montaigne is famous SORT OF. Lots of people have heard OF him, (including me before I embarked on this madcap endeavor.)
I knew, for example that he is credited with the term essay, from the French essai Merci beaucoup, Michel, said millions of High School English students,never. . I do have one friend who is Canadian by birth. When I told her about this project, she was gleeful. "I love Montaigne, my sister and I always used to ask ourselves < What would Montaigne do?> when we were puzzled. "
So there's that. But mostly he seems to be one of those DWMs that people now are relieved of guilt about not actually reading. According the recent bio I read, many great minds have been much affected by his writing. but they are great minds that are also left to the specialists and academics to ponder. Most of the people I spend time with, who are smart, well read, and have lively minds, don't think of Montaigne much one way or the other, At least they don't talk about him wit me. Nor I with them to be fair.
Social media is an odd thing, because it isn't really social. It's the individual speaking to the universe of other individuals. A celebrity has millions of followers, what does that even mean? Note the stats below for the singer, Taylor Swift.
That is 56.1 MILLION people who receive messages from her. She gets messages from 189. I don't think that's social, not in the sense of
pertaining to, devoted to, or characterized by friendly companionship correlations:
It's something else all together
I live in State College PA and work at Penn State. Town and Gown are a Universe- City, really, with costumes and customs and traditions and troubles all of its own. No different from Ithaca, where I have lived, and any of the other college towns where I haven't, but individual in the particulars. One particular is the rallying cry at sporting events. We are... Penn State, a call and response chant that goes on for a while and ends with Thank You..You're Welcome. When I first head it I was attending a football game, an event that is so spectacular that it can draw some of my relatives away from Long Island to visit the wilds of Central PA. It was upsetting to me at first, I would mutter to myself
I am.. Pam State. But after a while I gave that up. Too much negative energy to unleash into the world bucking the enthusiasm of a crowd, that, in the end, is just hoping to have some fun. But still
I just took a trip to epiphany city. I have figured out one piece of my connection to Montaigne. He loves his SELF. Just as much as I love my SELF. Not myself, but my SELF. It's a key difference, not sure exactly how to write it yet, but it's key. I think everyone would be better off if everyone truly loved their selves. whatever that means. Me and Montaigne we're going to be thinking about all that. Well, Montaigne already DID think about it. I'm going to think some on my own.
I was happily singing the Rainbow Connection to myself, planning my grocery list, figuring out timing of my errands- gym, chauffeuring David, walking dogs, grocery shopping , shower, back to work, when my foot landed half on the pavement half on the flower bed and down I went. Broke my fall with the palm of my right hand. I leapt right up, nothing serious. A kind young man who witnessed the mishap inquired after my condition. I'm ok I said, which basically I was, but any time you fall on your face it takes some recovery. In my case, I wonder, is the is the beginning of what I know to be my inevitable end? Maybe. time will tell. In the interim, I will continue to go about my business (See above list) as if it actually matters.
I haven't pranked anyone in decades. Why not? I don' really miss it, in fact I don't even think I ever did like it. Pranking is mean, only funny to the pranker, not the prankee, most of the time. Sometimes people deserve to be made fun of, humor is a way to take down a bully. But if the bully has power over you, then it's also an act of bravery, and a cool early spring day at the end of the semester in the middle of the week is not really my bravest time. Just wanting to wrap things up without fuss. Poking sticks at the big cats for no good reason is not high on my list.
I had a glimmer of an actual reason why I want to do this. AH, here it comes- I read things online all the time, for work and for my own entertainment. And I was struck with how many people are pronouncing things ALL the time. Sometimes it's very smart, other times really dumb. ANd they state things so definitively- This TV show is tanking, that politician is bound to lose, this diet works, this child rearing strategy will turn your kiddies into quivering globs of gluten free macro organism who can code!! And really no one seems to go back and reflect about their hits or misses. It's state emphatically, with a healthy dose of snark and move on ! Montaigne doesn't do that. He has opinions and thoughts but he doesn't wave them about like a battle flag. He mulls, and admits to being fallible. No need to pose.