Tuesday, December 29, 2009

“love” of unhappiness

I’m enjoying a synopsis of good parenting by a couple of child development specialists, and my experience tells me that they’re very enlightened. Let me share a little from a Webpage by them (linked at the bottom here) that I find especially important, before focusing briefly on my subject title, inspired by their page.

Monday, December 28, 2009

4 reasons to have children
and 1 reason for philosophy

2/12/2010 — 9:45 pm

This week’s Science is a special issue on “Food Security,” i.e.: how to feed 9 billion people (the estimated upper limit of Earth’s carrying capacity).

Deciding to not have children, or to adopt instead, is like voting: One vote has to be part of a mass preference, for one’s vote to seem important. But one vote is all one has.

Anyway, population growth is out of control, particularly among the poor and illiterate. Last December, I took an eccentric perspective here on having children.

the horizoning child

Somewhere in the late 1970s, a profound little cartoon that I treasured appeared on a magazine page. I believe it was a New Yorker cartoon, but I haven’t found it in available anthologies of New Yorker cartoons.

Like the Russian doll within a doll within a doll, the cartoon on a black background is firstly, in the center of the frame, a little white-line drawing of a very old man sitting cross-legged on the Earth. (He covers the entire Arctic area of the globe), taking up 10% maybe of the space, his back to the viewer, as we see him over his right shoulder, with some profile of his face, as he is looking up, as if into the black horizon (which is speckled with stars). He’s sitting inside a larger line drawing of a middle-aged man in the same cross-legged pose, who is sitting within a drawing of a young man, sitting inside a boy inside an infant. The old man sees the cosmos through the eyes of the middle-aged man seeing the cosmos, etc., etc., through the infant.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


I know you love me.

Would I dare write about love—without feeling to be on a stage of so much tired rhetoric that invisible quote marks would be on everything?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

a constellating garden party

Back from my evening hike—tonight under a starkly black sky, crystalline stars, half moon, Venus soon to disappear over the Western horizon this time of night, this time of year (and wintry cold—glad to be warm again), I see my bookcases (300+ books) as if I’m a guest here.

It’s amazing, intimidating to think he’s all that.

But I’m not. That gathering, distilled over years from thousands I own (stored away)—that aggregate bet on the leading ideas, issues, etc., of Our Time (all published in the past decade or so), an English estate—
that somewhat sequenced concert, is what I aim to understand and integrate, not where I’ve been.

I’m happily surprised by my own audacity, anewed by it, making me laugh.

Monday, December 14, 2009

a perpetual project

Thursday — 12/10 — 10 pm

President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize address provides an ostensible sense of our evolving as a perpetual project—The Perpetual Project of our species.

Monday — 12/14 — 4:20 pm

Remarks on the Human Rights Agenda for the 21st Century
Secretary of State Clinton
Georgetown University

Friday, December 11, 2009

eros of a collaborative prospect

Twyla Tharp has a new book out, The Collaborative Habit: life lessons for working together. Flipping through it (just bought), I find this:
Intimacy married to creativity—it’s hard to resist, this idea of working with people you know and like. Especially when you’re having dinner with friends. There you are, everyone relaxed, and the conversation shifts to How It Might Be if you could only spend your days doing something worthy with people who share your ideas/politics/religion/values.
In such a marrying, interplays of intersubjectivity are untranslatable
into the interactions of interpersonal life, such as a dinner party itself
(as normally experienced). A thrill of the “shift” in conversation is
an anticipated ecstasis of generative rapport, thinking in sync, a synergy, a love of entwined sensibilities that deserves to be called an eros
that makes the sexual meaning of ‘eros’ irrelevant.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

days of letters

My comment yesterday about intimacy and letters (middle: “There are intimate letters...”) had implicitly in mind a recent book I came across: Yours Ever: people and their letters, by Thomas Mallon, so lovely—about the art of letterwriting in the 20th century. Remember the 20th century? I so remember regularly spending hours a week writing long letters with a fountain pen. (I kept a copy of everything, packed away.)

Here’s a random passage from the book (truly random): “Probably no one who’s held the job [of U.S. President] before or since [Theodore Roosevelt] has left behind a more spontaneous bundle of correspondence—with the possible exception of Woodrow Wilson, who for months on end would neglect his job to type besotted love notes…to a woman across town” (111).

Maybe I’ll shelve desire for intellectual legacy and become an expert at besottedness.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

psychological self-implicature

Noelle Oxenhandler shows a lot of courage in Eros of Parenthood, 2001 (hereafter: Noelle), by candidly expressing the energies and the exuberance of parenting, but also the ambivalence and darkness. None of it has to do with sexualizing parenting. Though her courage is especially in confronting the boundary between healthy feeling and abuse, her topic is about the intensity of feeling in healthy parenting that others easily (and self-incriminatingly) sexualize, when there’s nothing “erotic” about the energized innocence of children and about being attuned to that openly (which she at times very poetically expresses).

Align your life with leading trends in innovation

days go by... 7:15 am

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Hunger is spreading while the number of homeless families is increasing as a result of the recession and other factors, according to a report on Tuesday.....

All I can do is put time into understanding reality, impress on others to not forget the importance of understanding reality, endorse endeavors that appropriately address the reality, and do my best to live a life that is congruent with evolution of a better world—a life which is also fair to my own talents and opportunities I have or create.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Jim ’n I

Praise refreshing validity of an ordinary day—dailiness as simply beautiful. Friendship, kindredness, intimacy are vitally integral to the natural validity of dailiness in all the common ground and experience we have together and may share to make our lives go well.

I’m proud to say truly that I was born June 16, Bloomsday (the single day of Leopold Bloom that Joyce’s Ulysses narrates), so I’m a Gemini.

Ulysses and Us
Friday, 12/4 — 8:52 pm

Waking, Learning, Thinking, Walking, Praying, Dying, Reporting, Eating, Reading, Wandering, Singing, Drinking, Ogling, Birthing, Dreaming, Parenting, Teaching, Loving.

—chapter titles of Ulysses and Us: the art of everyday life in Joyce’s masterpiece, Declan Kibard, Norton 2009.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

discursive art

“Many visual artists working today appear preoccupied with how to integrate literary or discursive content into their work,” writes Kenneth Baker, Art Critic for the S.F. Chronicle.

I wanted to email him (but didn’t) to ask what caused him to say “many...appear,” because I’d love to believe what he says is a trend,
since I have high interest in discursive and “literary” things.

How about integrating what’s discursive and literary?
Literary discourse as discursive Literature?