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Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Default to bum

When I am not looking at my cv or directly engaged with writing something, I tend to default to bum. If I have a bad day or week or month or season, with less than ideal productivity, I tend to think of myself a lazy. But, even though I might appear lazy if you followed me around for a few days, I believe I am not. I have the Lorca and Me book almost finished, am well along the way with the Things to Do to Poems book, and with Lorca: The Musical Imagination.  I did abandon some other projects, it is true. But my five published books is more than respectable, even apart from the contents of my files of unpublished things. I have three books of poetry I could publish, if I had a publisher, and I have taught myself to write music.

It is curious, though, that I have to get out my cv in order to convince myself of this. My default state is to consider myself to be somewhat of a bum. I wonder why that is so. I do hate arrogance, in myself and others, so perhaps it is out of mistaken fear of that. Perhaps it is because people are not constantly heaping praise on me. Of course, that would be pretty ridiculous too. We aren't supposed to need constant approbation. We are supposed to be content with extremely sporadic or perhaps nonexistent positive reinforcement for our efforts, and it seems childish to want more than this. Perhaps I am extrapolating from my low salary about my status in the university, or exaggerating my own numerous failings, which are far more visible to me than to anyone else, I'm sure.

In any case, through meditation I've learned to be curious about emotions. If you are feeling an emotion you have to examine what it feels like in the actual body. What is it like? Also, you become aware of an emotion almost before it arises. This does not prevent the emotion from manifesting itself, but it helps.

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