Swimming

I haven’t been able or willing or un-lazy enough to post much of late, and I am somewhat sorry about that. I have had a fair few thoughts that probably deserved their time here, but I am sure they’ll visit me again. Until they do, I’d like to say a few words on swimming.

I really like it. I can’t even tell why any more, I always have as far as I can remember and I do hope I always will. It’s not that I am willing to swim anywhere, quite the opposite. But whenever I do decide it is time to go for a swim, there is purpose behind it.

I was remembering the good days back ages ago when I used to go swimming with a friend of mine. That didn’t last very long, probably because we took it up far too late, and there just wasn’t any time left but it was good while it lasted. And I’ve been back to that pool once after, which was before a rather important event and it allowed me to relax and rest.

Because I think that is what swimming does. In a way it allows me to rest. I might go so far as to say that the rest I get is of a better type than the rest I get from sleeping. But maybe I’m trying to delude myself there.

In any case, I want to swim. And I think that at the present, that means I will swim when I see the opportunity to do so. And I might post something again then. But hopefully, also before that time.

Curiosity

Do you know that moment when you see something on the mind of other people? And your inner curiosity is so kindled that you have to insist of getting to the very bottom of it immediately?

I am very easily taken in by such thoughts, but then again I am also very much on the other side: not mentioning it at all until people are willing to talk.

The second option, however, is by far a better one — and I managed to confirm it yesterday when in a show I watched, a line went: “Hey, you look as if you have something troubling you… Oh, you’ll tell me when you’re ready.” and the guy was off. No doubts, no need to ponder about it.

So I’ll be trying to conquer that curiosity within me in a permanent way, leaving only the other option. We’ll see how that goes.

The Hannya Shingyo

I find that I enjoy listening to a chanting of the Hannya Shingyo. Sometimes as much that I half-consider going through the lines to memorize them — I believe that something in my mind says that chanting that sutra would be a perfect accompaniment to a walk of half an hour where I really do not want to take my player out.

And, yet, there the sutra remains: in that tab I opened a month or two ago. I see it there and think, ‘I should probably say something, post a few words.’ And now I am that far.

But why?

On that link in the beginning of this post is also a translation of the Hannya Shingyo. One of the pairs of lines reads “Form is precisely emptiness, Emptiness precisely form.” and despite the meaning moving on from there to its counterposition, I do like those two lines.

And I realize that more important than memorizing it would be to understand it.

On Locations and Songs

It has made me most curious to find that it would seem lyrics for songs (to be fair, maybe also movies and books), have a better effect on people if they are close to the area mentioned therein. I am not entirely sure, but that is quite what it looks like.

And I have tried to think back and to see whether similar effects have applied in the past, but it is difficult for few things I listen to deal with places/locations, so I am not sure if I can attest to this being entirely true.

[Probably have to be in the States to enjoy the full effect of that. =P]

I’ll close my eyes and sleep, sleep, To the sound of London rain.

People Disappoint

People disappoint is the heading of this short piece of writing (and it will be short).

People do disappoint — and in so many different ways. Yet, the best way to get over it is to laugh.

What has made me embark on this specific train of thought is how (and what) people use to describe themselves… or others. And from what I see, so many fail to live up to their words with their actions. But that does not matter for now. What matters is that the self is strong, so that very little (or nothing at all) can shake it — say people disappoint you, people let you down, or something on a similar line : it matters not at all if one just says that the sun will rise tomorrow, and look forward to that with the same eagerness of the sun of yesterday.

So, people can still laugh. 🙂

Concepts of Beauty and Elegance

I also thought it might be worth to introduce a few concepts of beauty and elegance, just so it would be possible to spend a fraction of that time (that time that we spend doing nothing, or maybe… maybe, not doing nothing, but say, looking out of the window at the clouds passing by) understanding what makes that cloud, passing by, worth looking at.

  • miyabi: aspects of beauty that only a highly refined taste could appreciate (the pale shades of dye in a garment, the fragile geometry of a dew-laden spider web, the delicate petal of a purple lotus, the texture of the paper of a lover’s letter, paly yellow clouds trailing over a crimson sunset)
  • en: beauty that was more obvious and sprightly
  • aware: a pleasant emotion evoked unexpectedly (what one feels when one sees a cherry blossom or an autumn maple)
  • yugen: the foreboding of aware (at a brilliant sunset one’s mind feels aware, but as the shadows deepen and night birds cry, one’s soul feels yugen)
  • shibui: the studied restraint that might be described as knowing when to stop (in a sense, the absence of all that is not essential; a sense of disciplined strength deliberately held in check to make what is done seem effortless; the absence of the ornate and the explicit in favor of the sober and the suggestive)

These were the main concepts that I have managed to identify thus far; I am sure that there are many many more, but I felt like they would deserve their place over here, so they are here.

 Full disclosure: Explanations of the terms from Thomas Hoover’s ‘Zen Culture’

So Far Away in Time

A few days ago I had the chance to say that time doesn’t matter. In the sense that it doesn’t matter whether something happens a few days earlier or later — if it is meant to happen, it will happen.

Why I came to say something like that? I was discussing (or rather, discussing is a term implying we actually spoke of the matter while we actually just touched it, lightly, not mentioned what it was but just *when* it was not) with a person (a person, not a friend, not something else, just someone I know) whether he had undone himself due to delaying.

“Time does not matter.”

I was convinced of that then.

And yesterday, I myself thought that time had destroyed me, stopped me. I contradicted, in my mind, something that I had been so very certain in just a short time ago.

And today, I woke up. I realized I had been wrong the second time, and right the first time. It is never time which is to be blamed, but how to use that time.

But what is it that makes people doubt themselves and their own beliefs? And will it happen again?

The Loss of Reason

I was surprised a few minutes ago by my thought that said in relative terms that I could be saddened by the fact that I can reason everything in three-four words in terms that mean everything to me (and possibly, less than nothing to someone else).

Why saddened ? Seems that this is one of those things that you most want to come to pass while at the same time not being really sure if that is the best course for everything.

But, certainty, that is something I have never lacked : so, indeed, onwards I go, every doubt (as always) hidden under ten thousand layers (this post here being a theoretical test of thoughts 😉 ), but as was said in a movie that I watched today : “You are more willing to lose a war than admit a mistake.”

And yes. I would lose a war… the war… but mistakes never happen; and that is actually the truth, for what is a mistake but a thought that it could have been done better by our own actions — and yet, if we had known that at that moment we would have so done : therefore, either all of our actions are mistakes in retrospect or none of them; and for an optimist (an extreme optimist) such as me, that means we make no mistakes at all.

But there are a few “questionable actions”. And those will remain for the eternity until humanity manages to surpass its… humanity.

Hmmh. Been listening to British music for the last… mmm… for this evening, I guess. And not any music, the modern kind. Which I generally do not like, but there are a few good artists.

And reading. Blogs, news, articles, caricatures. I started out with economics and political news, continued through a wide range of issues (linguistics included) and ended up in psychology (I am as surprised as anyone).

It does seem that with the modern media of communication being the internet, we’ve got a large quantity of stuff being pumped out daily (hourly?) that most people pay no attention to. And I would say, that in a large part it is, pardonnez, crap. But, if we never try, how do we know the best from the worst ?

So, I will continue on the same track (at least for this evening I’ve pushed my re-watch of SGA into the future) and read new things, share some of them on FB (there’s always someone interested in the most obscurest of items, so even if the own wall is not the most suitable place then someone else’s might be), think of others, enjoy the moment, and carry on.

These evenings of little consequence (silly to say that given I’ve made important decisions again that will affect me in the future) are very enjoyable — I would call them a purification for the mind of the usual noise that we see in daily lives (and therefore a very necessary environment) yet I don’t think that minds can ever actually rest : it more continues thinking on all the new topics along with the old ones, and yet I feel invigorated, newer, with a better (questionable) outlook on items.

The question which inevitably arises is… Why do we actually need to take conscious effort these days to concentrate on ourselves (resting ourselves from the daily “noise”; preparing ourselves for the daily interactions with scores of people; etc, etc) ? Should it all not be as… easy as it seems to be ?