Content May Shift During Transit

It’s a difficult thing to practise contentment; not only do you have to keep reminding yourself of it but there’s a tendency for discontent to creep in everywhere; so if you’re not careful you can end up in the somewhat ridiculous situation of being discontented about the practice of contentment. (I’m too discontented.  I don’t have enough contentment.  I must be more contented…)  And then your head explodes.

So the trick is to be contented with the degree to which you are able to practise contentment – and then, with a wave of the wand and a cry of riddikulus! you’ll be doing it anyway.  Discontent really is a Boggart pretending to be a Dementor – we need to laugh at it and it will go away.

Contentment is a necessary antidote to a society where work of all kinds becomes increasingly demanding: a society where you hit one target and are immediately presented with another.  This is sometimes seen as a virtue but according to Yoga philosophy* it’s anything but.  Discontent is the thief of life and the destroyer of satisfaction.  What is the point of achieving your goals if you never enjoy it?  I could go on and on about the need to avoid end-gaining in yoga but that’s enough for today.

*and not only yoga philosophy: Buddhism also emphasises it and it is implicit in the practices of Christianity (here‘s a blog that makes the link and also has a really good quiz to test your own level of contentment).

This is a very short blog post and doesn’t say as much as I’d hoped.  Nevertheless, I am contented with its contents…

Kirk out



Doing What They Want

It is frequently argued when people respond to terrorism in a certain way, that you are ‘doing what the terrorists want.’  So, for example, in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo murders, people have argued that we shouldn’t pay so much attention to the events ‘because that’s what the terrorists want’ – or that we shouldn’t rejoice in the magazine’s success or go on marches or wear Je Suis Charlie t-shirts – or whatever it might be, because ‘that’s what they want’.

I have two reactions to this.  First, it’s impossible to know exactly what the killers wanted.  It seems that they wanted to kill the cartoonists, because that’s what they did; and it’s logical to assume that they wanted to spread fear and to silence people in order to promulgate their horrendous vision of Islam.  But beyond that – whether they wanted to destroy the magazine or build it up; whether they would laugh at the subsequent demonstrations or gnash their teeth at them, we cannot know.  We can only surmise.

Secondly, the idea that I am doing ‘just what the attackers wanted’ and should therefore not do it, does not sit well with me, because it means I’m still being manipulated by them.  What I want to do is to weigh things up and do what I decide to do, respond in the way I feel moved to respond and to do what I think will help.  Of course this leaves me open to the charge that I am naive and well-intentioned and playing into the enemy’s hands.  There may be a tactical argument here, if my actions are ultimately going to harm my cause, but there isn’t a moral one.

Likewise with trolls the argument is usually to ignore them, because giving their comments the oxygen of publicity is ‘just what they want.’  (Incidentally, what about the nitrogen of publicity?  Or the hydrogen? * I think we should be told).  Up to now I’ve been trashing my trollish comments on this blog.  But yesterday’s comment was so funny I decided to publish it.  I had a highly critical comment on my Mslexia blog post, too – and approving that led to me getting lots of support.  Besides, I can’t help remembering that in the Harry Potter books, what finishes a Boggart (a creature that shows your worst fears) is laughter.

So let’s all have a good laugh, like the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists…

Kirk out

* I think the helium of publicity would be good fun…

It’s f-f-four in the morning

Actually no it isn’t, not any more but it was.  About four hours ago, I’ll have you know – and I wasn’t happy about it.  Oh no.  I hate waking up in the night, especially to worry about money.  I did eventually get back to sleep but felt terrible when I woke up.  And now several limericks are pounding my brain, including the following;

Of course you’re not jogging and tired

that horse that you’re flogging’s expired

the system’s unjust

you boom but we’re bust

— I haven’t got a last line yet but something about your brain needing to be rewired.

Re-reading this blog yesterday; it’s astonishing how much I’d forgotten.  Have broached the blackberry wine – it’s much too early but the strawberry was too sweet so I needed something to counterbalance it.  It’s not too bad but has a slight saccharine after-taste which is somewhat mystifying as there was nothing remotely sacchariney in it.

Holly is doing well at college; working hard and producing good stuff although she complains about having to start before 9 am most days.  Though Mark went on his inaccurately named ‘away-day’ yesterday, I didn’t have anything on so started to clear out the shed, chop wood for the fire; then went for a walk along the canal.  Then we watched Dr Who – great episode I thought; I want to know what would have been in the Doctor’s room.

A lot of stuff keeps recurring; similar to Orwell’s Room 101 and Boggarts in Harry Potter.

Apparently Rowling is getting into digital media; that’s fine for her and it may I suppose be the way to go for some writers but, dammit, she’s already famous.  When I look at The Way Things Are I am tempted to despair – it gets harder and harder to be published and soon books will be obsolete and blah blah blah and at four in the morning it gets to seem like a total bloody disaster.

Which is where we came in.

Hey!  Remember when you could watch films at the cinema until the point where you came in?

Today I will be mostly… going to church and getting my Explorer’s cupboard key back from Richard.

Oh, and going to Peter’s for vegan food

Kirk out