Friday, February 10, 2017

Friday morning things

* The more I think about the "firehose of kindness" idea, the better I like it. There's not a lot I can do sort of culturally, about everything that's going on, but I CAN sort of fold my arms and go, "Even if all y'alls are going to get down in the mud, I choose not to" and just continue to be kind and to do the right thing and be proper and all that. More of a passive-resistance sort of thing, which I am far better at than the active kind.

* I started reading another Louise Penny novel the other night - "The Brutal Telling." I'm not very far in but once again my feeling is confirmed that I *like* her writing and I find something worthy in her characters.

At one point, there is talk of Chief Inspector Gamache (the lead character and the main detective in the series) and the comment is made about the kindness in his eyes, and how he knew it was his strength and also his weakness. And yes, I think that is is a strength but it is also a weakness. Perhaps almost any "good" character trait (in the sense of "good" being moral or altruistic) is: I know my diligence is a strength but also a weakness, and I know my tendency to sympathize with others also is.

I think I need a book like this right now, where the central character is fundamentally, quietly, *good,* and it's not that there are supernatural battles to be fought (I think maybe the sense of "The Light cannot fail!" in the Susan Cooper books is getting to me slightly; the idea that if things came out slightly differently, the world would be overrun with evil, and I can't quite deal with that). But someone who does his best against "natural" evil - human selfishness, human passion - and tries to restore order. And who is fundamentally a good man who loves his wife and his grown children and who enjoys a good meal and who tries to mentor his younger underlings.

Perhaps part of this, the difference for me between Gamache and Will Stanton, is that - Will Stanton, because he is an "Old One," because he is locked in a supernatural battle against evil, he is doing something I could not do. And I think about that situation and I can see all the ways I could fail at it - that if evil co-opted someone I loved, and I thought they would die as a result, it would be very hard to keep fighting. But Gamache, on the other hand: he is doing the job he trained for. He is doing it to the best of his ability (which is really very good), but there is nothing supernatural or superpowered about him: he is a man. Yes, a good man, a man with ethics and morals, but just a man, not an Old One or an angel or anything else.

And I think right now in my mindset of "what I can do is so very small" that is more appealing to me. I can't fix the world; I'm not smart enough or strong enough or well-enough-connected. But I can fix some little things local to me, and maybe that's good enough, and that's what the Gamache novels seem to tell me: do what you can to make things better, but beyond that, enjoy life and don't worry if you can't fix the whole world.

* Still working away on the sleeve of Hagrid. I'm getting within 25 or so rows of being done so I've kind of shifted to working exclusively on this sweater during my evening knitting time. It will be nice to have this finished even if it looks like there will be no winter weather cool enough this year to make it comfortable to wear. 

* Talk of "Galentine's Day" on the news today. Yuck. Apparently this is the "alternative" Valentine's Day dreamed up for unattached women - that they go out clubbing or to a bar or something? I dislike this idea not just because the idea of clubbing or going to a bar makes me come out in hives, but I don't care for those sort of "we're going to force ourselves to have fun" idea.

On rare occasions I have a day out with a female friend but it more involves things like going to a yarn shop or going for tea or something like that.

I mean, it's great if some women enjoy the Galentine's Day thing, but I know it's not for me.

And anyway: Valentine's Day is on a Tuesday this year, who wants to go out on a Tuesday night when you have work Wednesday? (And I have a doctor's check-up that day)

* This is going to be a work-end. I have to finish typing (and do some revision on) that manuscript and I definitely have to put together the stuff for the science olympiad this weekend. Not fun, but I guess on some level I signed up for this.

Next weekend is both Honor's Day and the Olympiad, so I'm going to be tied up all Saturday with work stuff.

The following weekend is my birthday weekend and I have already decided I am not going to do anything work-related on Saturday but rather go to Whitesboro and buy some yarn. And probably swing by some of the stores in Sherman on my way back home (if everything goes well? Maybe Ulta will send me the e-mail about my "birthday gift" a couple days early and I can pick it up then).

* I'm not traveling over spring break; I had already decided this with the second set-up of the experiment. PERHAPS I could have got someone to monitor and water it, but that might be difficult to find someone to do that for me, as none of the students have keys (and, after the break in debacle of a couple years ago, I am sure not loaning my key to anyone) and most of my colleagues will be gone.  I may take a couple days and go do day-trips, what, I don't know. (There's so little close by any more, unless you like driving in and around Dallas, which I do not).

1 comment:

purlewe said...

I wish I lived closer and could spend one of your spring break days with you. I love to drive and would drive you wherever you wanted to go just to hang out with you.