i feel like desperation is emanating from me in waves, palpable and unmistakable, laid bare for everyone to see, and i can’t shake the feeling that i have to transform this body into something stronger, harder, quicker, more solid, and i have to do it now. i’ve been restless, and when i’m not literally pacing back and forth, i’m retracing my steps along the same old mental pathways.
i’m fairly sure that today was my first time back on a bike since taking a two-week cycling trip four years ago, and i know from hard-earned experience that running fitness does not translate to cycling fitness (and vice-versa, although i do think it’s easier to go from running to cycling rather than the other way around), but it’s still always a bitter pill to swallow. we did a 35-40 km trail ride along an old abandoned railway line, which would probably have been fine except that about 50% of the ride was on sand. it was difficult and my expectations of myself were too high.
and i’m in a lot of pain right now, but it was a very good day, i feel good about myself, but i’m also feeling ambivalent about feeling good about myself, because i’m tired of not being able to do things in moderation, to have to push past my limits before anything feels worthwhile. i want some peace, i want to not be fighting with myself all the time. i’d like to take things slow, or more accurately be the kind of person who can take things slow. i’m worried i’ll replace the fucked-up high of researching & writing 12-page papers in four hours or showing up to class running on empty, skipped meals and little sleep, with New and Improved Unhealthy Habits. i should probably start meditating, but after the “may i be well and happy” fiasco of last winter’s buddhism and psychotherapy course, i’m not exactly eager to jump back in. i’m tired.
the other thing is whenever someone asks what my favourite book is or what i’ve been reading lately, my first instinct is always to just be like, “i don’t read”
that ‘top 10 books that have stuck with you meme’ has been going around for years and back when i was like 18 or something i literally had camus and kierkegaard on my list (lol, loooolllll) but five years later i am a much more honest and self-aware person and i know that as much as i did really genuinely love exile and the kingdom, my true top 10 are:
1) from the mixed-up files of mrs. basil e. frankweiler
2) franny & zooey
3-10) eight books by tamora pierce
Museums, de Botton believes, would be more energetic, unpredictable, and useful places if curators thought less like professors and more like therapists. Instead of being organized by period—“British eighteenth-century painting,” say—galleries could be organized around human-scale themes, like marriage, aging, and work. Rather than providing art-historical trivia, wall text might address personal questions: How do I stop envying my friends? How can I be more patient? Where can I find more beauty in my life? We walked into the next room, where an annunciation altarpiece by Fra Fillippo Lippi shone inside an elaborate, columned frame. (Like everything at the Frick, it was captionless.) “Right now, in this city, where people are worried about jobs and money and getting on, we don’t need an art-history lesson about this painting,” de Botton said. “We need something to get the ideas flowing.” He looked intently at the face of the Virgin, which expressed a mixture of joy, surprise, and sadness. “Seeing this painting is like seeing a child in a city,” he ventured. “There’s a sudden tenderness here, which is so far removed from the harshness outside. If I were to put a caption here, it might say: ‘Our world, for all its technological sophistication, is lacking in certain qualities. But this painting is a visitor from another world, where those qualities—tenderness, reverence, and modesty—are very highly valued. Take it as an argument against Fox News and the New York Post. Use it to find the still places in yourself.’ ”with the sincerest apologies to helen oyeyemi, the line that kept running through my head while i read through this new yorker profile on ‘art as therapy’ was, “the worst thing was that it was all really happening”
the de botton shit at the AGO was DISGRACEFUL
wait say more! i didn’t go because well, i mean, it’s alain de botton
anyway my therapist announced at the beginning of august that he was taking a social media break until september but then came back on twitter last week to rip on alain de botton’s ‘art as therapy’ and i feel a real fellowship with him right now