Thursday, October 4, 2012


Contentment is lovely, is a lovely word, is a choice that's at once easy and hard to make

Words spill out, circle around, stake out positions around the drain but
When finally the water clears and the suspended junk settles at the bottom then there's a decision to...decision to...

Worst thing is that we get taught about contentment in exactly the wrong way, right? Eat your veggies, there's kids starving in Africa. Quit being ungrateful. True, but the means undo the end. If all it does is make the recipient of this wagon-fixing lecture feel like a lout, then the message has failed. Because if you're told over and over that you're a lout and come to believe you're a lout even though you try to be good, how can you be content? (Sociopaths excluded) That's backward. You're not happy because you're comfortable or successful or virtuous or have less external suffering than some people halfway around the world you'll never meet. You're happy because you see the world and yourself that way. If you are conditionally content, you are not content.

Content doesn't mean sitting on your ass and turning away from the good fight, either. Of course we want things to be better, ourselves, others, the world as we can make it out - but if we can't ever appreciate what we have, then hello treadmill. No amount of goodies or ego affirmation will ever be enough

How to spin the code so the young ones have it tattooed?
Youth is dissatisfaction and hope mixed in confusion
Adulthood is the habits of youth blown up to battlecruiser size
More weapons for the light side, more weapons for the dark side, higher stakes
Therefore contentment cannot be a flag to plant; the ground
is shifting

so if ego is the enemy they say then do good works and self-sacrifice to the utmost
nothing bad to say about that of course
but we all know it's quite possible to be a compulsive do-gooder and a judgmental egomaniac at once
(and yes martyrdom is egomania, perhaps the ultimate egomania)
while those with much more modest contributions to the fund can have it sussed
nope, not that simple
why would it be?

This is the part where you illustrate some platitudes by weaving a tale about some farmer and his three-legged cow and the sun, writing with nouns and verbs in an established folk-narrative style. I say you'll have to do it, because I'm not into it at the moment

or crack a sunny joke, which I do a lot but mostly to myself and not always sunnily

Contentment, then, is not an objective but a practice; 

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