My Words Exactly

Thank you, Mr. Stanley, for explaining perfectly my west coast home and simultaneously describing how I feel in every new east coast place i visit.

“Many a Saturday during that year of our residence, my wife and I would load our car and take to the freeways, whose sprawling network placed a few hundred cities, the vast Mojave Desert, several mountain ranges, and the mighty Pacific all in an hour’s reach. We traveled throughout the area, seeing as much as we could, though only a fraction of what was there: downtown skylines and entertainment districts; train stations and ship harbors; farmers’ markets and world bazaars; public parks and botanic gardens; mountaintop villages and lakeside resorts; commonplace lodgings and luxury estates; towns in the desert and cities by the sea. There was almost no place we visited for which I did not conceive at least some small desire to move there. It was never as though I judged that this new setting would suit me better but simply that everywhere I went I saw life, and life attracted me. Driving through the streets of an unfamiliar city, with cars zipping by and taxis taking people places; residents out walking their dogs, merchants setting out their wares, and businessmen hurrying down the sidewalks; couples sitting on verandas, friends chatting in cafes, and surfers heading for the beach; people working in their yards, or on the roads, or on their romances, with the sun going round overhead—all in a place I had never been before—I would think to myself: how is it that life has been going on here all this while, and I not a part of it? Can it be that I shall live only in my own little corner of the world, far from here, and not walk daily down these streets or at evenings retire to those fine homes on the hillside? Know merely my own neighbors, and not learn the names of these people and listen to their stories? Life was happening in that place, and it seemed a shame that I should miss out on it. Though an actual move would have been impossible, I could not help daydreaming about it, not merely playfully but with real hope, for our imagination runs ahead of our reason.”

And thank you, dear Catherine, for always leading me to words that thrill me.

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a thrill like music

“Isn’t it funny the way some combinations of words can give you—almost apart from their meaning—a thrill like music?” – C.S. Lewis

Went to my favorite place with the padres today: The Library of Congress. These quotes never get old. I looooove reading them amidst the phenomenal artwork and stately architecture. I hold great esteem for each of these men and wholly believe in each one of these bits of truth.

BEAUTY IS TRUTH, TRUTH BEAUTY
Keats, Ode on a Grecian Urn

TOO LOW THEY BUILD WHO BUILD BENEATH THE STARS
Edward Young, Night Thoughts, “Night,” viii, 215

THERE IS BUT ONE TEMPLE IN THE UNIVERSE
AND THAT IS THE BODY OF MAN
Novalis, Philosophy and Physics

THERE IS ONE ONLY GOOD, NAMELY, KNOWLEDGE;
AND ONE ONLY EVIL, NAMELY IGNORANCE
Diogenes Laertius, Socrates, Sec. xiv.

A LITTLE LEARNING IS A DANGEROUS THING;
DRINK DEEP OR TASTE NOT OF THE PIERIAN SPRING.
Pope, Essay on Criticism, Pt. ii, 215

THE NOBLEST MOTIVE IS THE PUBLIC GOOD
Virgil

IGNORANCE IS THE CURSE OF GOD,
KNOWLEDGE THE WING WHEREWITH WE FLY TO HEAVEN
Shakespeare, Henry IV, pt. ii, Act iv., Sc. 7

THE TRUE UNIVERSITY OF THESE DAYS IS A COLLECTION OF BOOKS
Carlyle, On Heroes and Hero-Worship, “The Hero as a Man of Letters.”

NATURE IS THE ART OF GOD
Sir Thomas Browne

THEY ARE NEVER ALONE THAT ARE ACCOMPANIED WITH NOBLE THOUGHTS
Sir Philip Sidney, Arcadi

WORDS ARE ALSO ACTIONS AND ACTIONS ARE A KIND OF WORDS
Emerson, Essays, “The Poet”

THE FOUNDATION OF EVERY STATE IS THE EDUCATION OF ITS YOUTH
Dionysius

THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD IS THE BIOGRAPHY OF GREAT MEN
Carlyle, Essays, “History”

ALL ARE BUT PARTS OF ONE STUPENDOUS WHOLE,
WHOSE BODY NATURE IS, AND GOD THE SOUL
Pope, Essay on Man, “Epistle” i, 267

o sleep! o gentle sleep!

One of my favorite things in the world is climbing into bed. I can’t think of many more things that thrill me so consistently (although flossing is rising higher on the list).

I remember discussing one day with Catherine and Caleb lying in bed at night. They both mentioned that they will often remember something they want to think about in-depth and mentally save it for that time when they are lying in bed, waiting to fall asleep at night.

I had no idea what they were talking about.

Apparently they aren’t blessed with the talent I have. Most people crave the same ability that gives me grief– my natural ability to sleep. Like many natural tendencies, this is a blessing and a curse that affects me on a daily basis.

Blessing:

  • I never have sleepless nights.
  • I can sleep anywhere, anytime, and (almost) anyplace.
  • I can sleep through many distractions (light, earthquakes, sirens, phone calls, roommates).
  • I rarely have nightmares.
  • I can wake up early.

Curse:

  • I consistently fall asleep in movies and as such, I avoid watching movies post 9 p.m.
  • Pillow talk is rare with roommates since I can fall asleep within 5 seconds of my head hitting the pillow.
  • Late night reading is impossible although every once in a while I attempt it again thinking that perhaps this night is different. Inevitably, I find the book on the floor and the light on when I wake up in the morning.
  • No matter how interesting the conversation I’m having, movie I’m watching, paper I’m writing – I don’t function at full-capacity after 10:00 at night.* As a single young adult, this has serious ramifications on my social life.
  • I can’t stay up late to finish projects. Waking up early demands that I be realistic about my time-management skills (we’ll reserve that subject for another day).

I’m not convinced the pro’s outweigh the con’s but either way, I’m resigned to my fate and am consequentially trying to embrace my hypersomnia.

*Dance parties may be the only exception.