Diary, 6/9 to 6/11/19

Copyright 2019 by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved

Yes, it’s Alex Trebek

{6/9/19}  Weight 223.8.

A dream:  it’s Final Jeopardy, but the middle contestant says that he doesn’t have a pen.  Alex Trebek springs into action, going behind the contestant’s kiosk (lectern?) and pulls things out from underneath, including a ring about as large as a soccer ball.  I think that he’s looking for a pen, but apparently not:  he then rolls the kiosk away to allow another to be brought in, and I am surprised at this, um, extravagance?

The ring is an unusual shape, as though you took a sphere and drilled through it, removing almost all the material, leaving behind a symmetrical thin ring.  It seems to me that some bearings are of this shape.

I went to Dagny’s yesterday to do dictation and possibly play chess.  But when I got to the back room, there were several people occupied quietly and I couldn’t see starting my dictation and annoying them all.  So I got on the Internet.  I left the chess set sitting out, supposing that someone might ask about it, but no one did.

After a while, L showed up and gave me a book that I had expressed interest in, Steven Pressfield:  The War of Art:  Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles.  He said that I could keep it, then spoiled his gift by saying that he’d bought it (he kept his copy) but “I could buy him a couple of coffees or something.”  I have no intention of doing so because he clearly has plenty of money, though that’s not the reason.  If it’s a gift, I don’t owe him, and so it would be inappropriate to repay him that way.  I got the impression that he’d said that because he thought I might feel abashed about taking the gift.  I was not, however.  Yet, since he now has that expectation, I suppose I’d better buy him a couple of coffees.  Or give him a copy of The Encyclopedia of Doris.  Indeed, that sounds like a brilliant idea.

Later, Pablo arrived (I’d texted him) and he was greatly taken with the book.

As it turns out, the book is not useful to me, so I’ll be taking it with me to the HC and giving it to Pablo.  It is worth thinking about why the book isn’t what I need.  Well, Esquire calls it “a kick in the ass.”  It’s about how one might overcome inner resistances to pursuing one’s creative goals, resistances like procrastination or “fear of success” or whatever.  Is that “the problem with my writing”?  I don’t think so, because, as this diary shows, I write easily whenever I have something to say.  As for Kick Me, I have low motivation which sometimes troubles me, and still does to a degree, but I don’t want Mr. Pressfield’s “kick,” thank you.  I suppose I sound snippy, and maybe I am, and maybe there’s a little resentment against Larry behind it all (since I feel that he spoiled my—for once—genuine gratitude), but the advice the book offers simply doesn’t fit, as best I can tell—and there’s nobody here to judge better for me, though Pablo will likely do that regardless of how I try to stop him.  He already offended me over this book, which I will explain.

The book has three parts:  1) Resistance:  Defining the Enemy; 2) Combating Resistance:  Turning Pro; 3) Beyond Resistance:  The Higher Realm.

This clarifies my problem with the book:  I have no desire to “turn pro.”  When I was twenty-six and claiming to want to be a novelist, that might have been good advice.  But my approach to writing essentially became professional while I was in prison.  But these days, I have no desire to write novels (though I may yet, since I keep toying with the Fynn story), no desire to “be a professional writer,” my whole mind set is different.  There is, at present, only one book, KM, and I’ve begun to think that it’s irrelevant to today’s world.  Anyway, that’s a subject to be explored further.

Now, after Pablo read a bit of the book, he said that I might find some value in parts 1 and 2, but “You’re not ready for part 3.”  Because it’s “spiritual” and I’m a skeptic.  As though, some day I might grow enough to get beyond my skepticism and embrace crystal healing.  Yeah, fuck that.  So I told him off, calling him arrogant and so on.  In fact, it seems that he pities me because I cannot see, and I pity him because he sees what isn’t there.

“Turning pro,” for me, would take the fun out of writing.  I write this diary primarily for my own purposes.  If it ever becomes “work,” I’ll give it up.  That the words can be repurposed to fill a blog is just so much the better.  Since I no longer “believe in” KM, or not much, I no longer need a “platform” to support eventual publication.  It might turn out to be a good book in the sense that some readers will be influenced for the better.  So maybe I’d better finish it.  Unfortunately, it has become “work.”  So I’m looking for excuses not to do the work.  As I said recently, I’m “addicted to not working.”

Now I need to get moving, because the Hemlock Club approaches.

{6/10/19}  Weight 223.2.

Watched Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet last night, and spent the rest of the night dreaming scenes from it.  I liked it a lot—it was a very pleasant surprise.  I had looked through most of my DVDs and everything seemed stale and uninviting; I’ve seen most of them too many times, but this one I had never gotten around to watching.  I find that I have little interest in Shakespeare these days, but this version was different enough to be exciting, from the inspired opening to the lavishly beautiful “tomb” scene at the end.  It is a much shortened script, but if I missed anything, it was only some of Juliet’s Nurse’s lines.

I got up this morning wishing I had a copy of R&J that was manageable—all I have for all but three of the plays is the Riverside Shakespeare, which is unwieldy.  This makes me want to buy a Yale Shakespeare in the individual volumes, even though I know that I’d “never” use it, and don’t have shelf space for it.  I could probably find it on eBay for $100…

Carl R. Rogers and Barry Stevens:  Person to Person:  The Problem of Being Human, Real People Press, Lafayette, CA, 1967:  “When I lose touch with life, and the life and goings-on in me, I can trust myself to regain it through my dreams, which are good advisors.

“When I was small my dreams, even when I was terribly afraid of them, were helpful.  When I acted on what they told me, I didn’t have them any more.”  Barry Stevens, p. 204.

Dreams are not just random, because they arise within a body-mind that has been molded by one’s experience.  As do all thoughts, they arise from the unconscious, they are the unconscious, which is the largest part of what we are.  What is my Romeo + Juliet dream “telling me”?  I don’t consider this a serious question.  I see nothing there that I don’t also see in my consciousness, and that is expressed at the start of this entry.

{6/11/19}  Weight 223.2.

Something to consider, a thought that came to me after a nap and after reading Barry Stevens (a liberating force):  You are with friends when you need to take a bathroom break.  When you return, say to them, “I made a dookie for Mommy.”

The Yale Shakespeare set is available (40 volumes) for as low as $40 from eBay.  I haven’t bought it yet, but likely will, because when do I ever not?  Perhaps that’s unfair to myself, but that’s okay.  Should I, then, get rid of the Riverside Shakespeare?  Given that I don’t even want to lift it, I’m never likely to make use of it if I have the Yale.

10:30 am and 98°.  If I’m going to transfer my bank account to the credit union, I should do that today.  Obviously, I don’t want to go out, but the temps are going to be similar for the next week at least.  However, I could conveniently go on from there to the Southwest Library to do some dictation.  I discovered that the mall isn’t as ideal as I’d hoped.  (The Beale atrium would also work well, though not on such a day.)  I can distribute some HC business cards, too.  I’ll take the little battery-operated fan with me.  At 72 and feeble, it wouldn’t do to “take chances.”

I’m on the last few pages of Person to Person, a book I have enjoyed greatly and consider valuable for something or other.

Reading David Wallace-Wells:  The Uninhabitable Earth, and getting all bummed out and hair-on-fire anxious.  Climate catastrophe:  it’s always worse than I thought.  Clearly, we’re going to experiment on our only home, trying to compensate and mitigate, trading (probably) sulfur for carbon dioxide, while the oil companies continue to get their subsidies.  Something like that.

Copyright 2019 by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved

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