Quite a few of my posts begin with ideas that rattle around until research or mulling them over generates enough interest to get me writing. Time for contemplation and research have been in short supply recently and are likely to be for the next week, so grabbing this moment, I decided to mention a few things I am working on that may or may not get posts of their own in the future.
With the drought on everyone’s mind, I was tempted to write a piece on the symbolism of water. The problem is, (1) the subject is huge, (2) it’s already been done, and (3) a Star Trek episode keeps me from starting. Every time I remember the silicon creatures who called humans, “ugly bags of mostly water,” all my attempts to stay focused and serious fail. According to Mr. Data, it’s an accurate description of our species. Thanks, dude.
There’s another approach to discussing water in California that centers on economics and politics. I could discuss the millions of gallons we pour into fracking wells. Or I could mention the president’s three hour visit to Fresno, complete with a photo-op in a dry field before jetting off to Rancho Mirage, but I don’t think I will. If I want to get depressed over water, it’s easier just to rent Chinatown.
I’m writing a letter
Not just any letter. I’m writing a letter of condolence to someone whose dog recently died. It’s one paragraph forward and two back. Those who have lost a beloved pet will understand how this letter is siphoning off most of the emotional energy I’m willing to invest in writing at this time.
Too many choices
A chain of associations based on some of my own experiences led to a fascinating but huge subject, the difficulty of having too many choices.
In his 2004 book, The Paradox of Choice – Why More is Less, psychologist Barry Schwartz writes that seeking the “perfect” choice is “a recipe for misery.” Other researchers say, “The current abundance of choice often leads to depression and feelings of loneliness,” and “Americans are paying for increased affluence and freedom with a substantial decrease in the quality and quantity of community.”
This kind of subject deserves elaboration, but if you don’t want to wait for me to get around to it, just Google on “too many choices” and see what you find.
I’m learning Spanish
Yup, I started last summer on Rosetta stone, for a variety of reasons, including (but not limited to, or necessarily in order of importance):
- It seemed like a good idea at the time.
- Languages are supposed to be good for the brain.
- One night, flipping through the TV listing, it seemed like it would be fun to watch El Codico DaVinci on the Spanish station.
One of my Facebook friends who knew me back when, reminded me that in 7th grade Spanish, I was a class clown. The reason was simple. I believed I was “no good at languages,” and it became a self-fulfilling prophecy. There’s a lot of satisfaction in erasing that misperception. I came upon the Spanish version of book I have in English yesterday and flipped through it before deciding I’d better start in the children’s section. I wonder if they have cartoons on Saturday morning on the Spanish channels?
Meanwhile, I don’t know why mid-February should be so busy, but it is, and I have to move on to the next thing, so let me summarize this post.
- Water is good, though flooding is bad.
- Few things are harder than losing a dog.
- Choosing things can be iffy.
- Learning a language sometimes carries the kind of excitement that learning to read must have done when we were kids.
Feel free to quote me. Until next time, when maybe I’ll manage to write a real post…