the life of the mind

I’ve spent long stretches of time over the summer writing & reading & thinking & studying–seated in front of my computer, sometimes moving from the couch, dining room, office, and back for a change of scenery.  I may have a vitamin D deficiency.  I’m more impatient with my children.  I must exercise everyday or else my body will forever be in a seated position even when upright.  I said I must, I don’t actually. Every little chore is a diversion from precious time needed to write, read, and think.  I don’t know how to hold regular conversations anymore–the weather, the children & their shenanigans, complaints about the hubs.  They bore me.  My mind wanders.  I want to be polite, but I’m plotting story, and moving around chapters, and creating dialogue in my head.  I’ve become (even more) cerebral.  This is what they call living the life of the mind. 

We have no regular TV, just a smart one (to mimic our own intelligence, I guess) that’s connected to WiFi so we’re not at the mercy of primetime programming.  Nevertheless, I must say I’m surprised to hear that about 52 percent of people don’t feel like they are missing anything after removing cable or satellite TV from their lives (source here). I crave mindless crap, myself.  In my fantasy world, a neighbor would stop by and we’d talk politics and I’d share the latest progress on my work.  But, alas, Facebook and Twitter will do.  But I just want the sound of a real intelligent human voice.  Not all the time.  Just sprinkled throughout the work day. 

But there must be cafes?  Yes, there are.  This is Brooklyn, after all.  But it’s not that, it’s just that this all makes absolutely no sense.  This work is still isolating, no matter how many people are around, it’s the individual scholar/writer/artist and the mind. I highly respect anyone who does this kind of work and doesn’t become narcissistic and self-absorbed.  That’s where the fine line is drawn.  The individual artist verses the collective vehicle.


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