It should be noted that the following Blog entry is more for my internal reference than for anyone to actually READ it. I like to keep track of the various meanderings that my mind takes but from your perspective it’s of no interest whatsoever. So, read if you like but don’t feel obligated to and don’t say I didn’t warn you.
On June 11th, I declared the 5 big goals of the moment: learn Spanish, write this Blog, do something with the coin collection, finish the Bible and get the outside landscaping done and garage properly cleaned up and organized.
As I open on August 1st, I find a few updates are in order. The Spanish goal is officially dead. After four books, 1000 new additions to my Spanish vocabulary and scores of hours spent on this I return to the fact that there wasn’t any real point to this in the first place. Even if I were completely fluent I’m not sure what I would actually do with this skill. More realistic levels of proficiency leave me only the option of watching REALLY poor quality Spanish television of reading classic Spanish literature for which more accurate English translations already exist.
The Blog goal has foundered somewhat but since I’m writing it now it must not be completely dead. My posts have hovered around a somewhat more pictorial style due to a still-valid theory that the commonplace, everyday visuals of our lives all too soon pass out of the sight of our minds eye. This still strikes me as a valuable, though boring to witness, record-keeping system for the mundane bits of one’s life.
The third item on the list is an item of no small contention. The coin collection represents for me the last example of my urge to collect, to grasp onto meaningless material goods. Starting on the 28th of June, I loosened my grasp by beginning the process of eBaying the whole stinking mess. From a purely numerical perspective, I’m a tiny fraction of the way through but from the standpoint of releasing the ‘suffering’ these coins represent I’m well on my way. The problem with any collection is that it’s a “sink” for resources. Sure, you may enjoy the collection but in the end, the only way to get more enjoyment from it is to contribute more resources to it. Collecting is an infinite spiral of suffering as you grasp for more and more and contribute more and more resources. All the while, you look back and see how much accumulated money you’ve spent and the waste that it represents. The only way to stop the suffering is to reclaim the squandered resources. Thanks to someone out there (you know who you are) who made this obvious truth… obvious.
Number four… ahhh, that illusive number four. The Bible, that most controversial yet most powerful document on the planet. After the past couple days, I find myself strangely motivated again to read this book but not for the reason anyone HOPES you read it. For the first time in a while, I was involved in an argument, an argument with a conservative. There is something eerily powerful about being able to argue with someone using their own source literature against them Well, at least until they claim that their Christian Faith doesn’t actually have its foundations in the Bible. When that happens one must just raise an eyebrow and walk away slowly…
The fifth goal represents… well, it represents a lot of things I’m really not all that great at. Goal number five in its most basic form consists of all the ‘manly’ household arts. The end of goal three has contributed greatly to the advancement of goal five since I now have the free capital to put together a pretty decent woodworking shop. And whereas collecting is a ‘sink’ of resources and energy, woodworking results in actual useful stuff from furniture to lots of miscellaneous items that can be used as Christmas gifts. As an endeavor, goal 5 contributes to the positive karma of the universe while goal 3 merely sucks karma out of the universe.
Unstated even in the June entry is the mystical goal six. Those who’ve been watching for a while will probably guess that this is the ‘reading list’. The Spanish goal effectively killed this goal but since the death of goal 1 I’ve blasted through ‘Brave New World’ and half of ‘Alexander’s Bridge’. Very entertaining pursuits in their own ways and very worth their own Blog entries… eventually.
To summarize, goal 1 is dead; it died a dreadful and pointless death under the weight of its own meaninglessness. Long may goal 1 be dead. Luckily, I have plenty of other goals to fill the void it leaves behind. I’m forced to wonder though… what are the rest of you people doing out there?