I had a few dreams that are lingering with me. Family ones, of course. That’s not all that strange. But the portion dealing with my one uncle from my mother’s side getting remarried and having to be part of the deception to keep him from getting gunned down by mafia hitmen while he put a Trumpesque amount of care into his own protection… well, that was kind of weird.
The part that lingers with me is that I was paired up with a former student for the wedding. For four years that girl sat next to another girl whose wedding I’m actually going to this summer. For the life of me, I can’t remember the non-real-wedding but dream-wedding girl’s name. And that’s what is nagging me. Weird.
My dog is mugging me. That’s normal.
I’m just a bit off this week. I have a hard time saying that because I’m not really sure what I mean since I don’t have a frame of reference for “on.”
I’ve gotten engrossed in a Sci-fi series of books. The first collection is called Wool. It began as a series of stories self-published on Kindle when Kindle was first catching steam. It got some really great reviews, so I picked it up. I started it a couple of times over the past few years, but didn’t get past the first few “pages” due to other distractions.
One of my goals for this year is to read 24 books. I used to enjoy reading so much, and I’ve got this memory of my father saying, “All I want to do is lay around watching movies and reading books.” So, having nothing more pressing to accomplish, I thought I’d make that my great aspiration for this year. (Except ‘play video games’ instead of ‘watching movies,’ although I’ve done more ‘watching movies’ than playing any of those video games I splurged on during the holidays.)
Anyway, the series has really sucked me in… one of those that I have a really hard time putting down so stay up all night reading.
And that’s what’s got my mind rolling about.
First, the fact that I can look at the clock at 3:12 am and think, “I should really put this book down and go to bed!” A Pavlovian response, I suppose, because then I ask myself, “Why?” And end up getting lost in the ramifications of the non-response before the book sucks me back in.
Second, I start reflecting about the act of reading itself. Why did I read so much when I was younger? If I grew up in today’s culture of technology, would I have spent so much time reading? Why did I stop?
Then I think about how those questions and answers have been colored by seventeen years of being an English teacher, and the paradox of my reading hiatus largely matching that time period.
The spinning thoughts of those two trains of thought are the basis for my feelings of “off.” Though, I suppose getting lost in those reflections is no real reason to feel “off.” Maybe it’s just a realization that I’ve been too much inside my head rather than viscerally interacting with the world beyond my thoughts.
Of course there’s also the thoughts that erupt from the themes and events of the book itself.
One example is the game of solitaire. Winning and losing is already determined when the cards are shuffled. Playing the game is merely the act of uncovering what’s already been won or lost.
Whoa! Bring that into questions of Fate, Determinism, and Free Will, and damn, there’s a whole land rich for exploring behind my eyelids. For some reason most of my philosophical musings end up incorporating quantum computing… or, rather, quantum theory.
Thus the days bleed by, and the moments I look around to the world beyond my thoughts, I realize I have nothing utterly tangible to display as a product of my recent existence. Hell, I can’t even really point to the books I’ve read beyond a few characters in a database that have less weight than the phone I’m holding to write this message.
So, I guess the “off” feeling stems from the disconnect between the internal explosions and bustling of thoughts that scream out, if “I think, therefore I am,” is my measure, then I AM… and, if “the measure of a man is the produce of his actions,” then I have no measure.
Anyway, I’ve got some recycling to get into the bin, a trading journal to update, and a book to finish. I’m also going to see Black Panther tonight at 10:00 pm with Dana and one of her friends.
So goes February.