It ‘s as though I bought a frame only to find the picture looks so much less colorful, so much smaller, so un-real when affixed. There ‘s really no one thing missing from the picture; it’s just I thought the frame would highlight it differently.
There ‘s been a sharp drop-off in reading for any purposes since the end of last term. But I feel a little freer from ‘reading for’. Some justification can be derived from Schopenhauer’s essays: too much of my thinking may have been mis-colored by my readings. I ‘m no less bibliophile than ever, but I can almost see that books are worthless if I ‘m not a prepared dialogue partner.
Elsewise I leave the dinner table filled with someone else’s erudition, spilling out aphorisms I half grasp and can use to impress but not to leave an impression. Has anyone meaningfully conversed with a tape-recorder ever? I have enjoyed learning new ways to say things I had never conceived of, but was n’t the goal to catch concepts useful for me? Who is my discourse for?
In discovering reading afresh, and finally the necessity of writing, I felt afraid of ‘not reading’. But at last ‘reading for’ can be questioned — while I ‘m unable to lend full energy to a non-productive task I at last have to be selective. I ‘m reading almost always, recalling little, and becoming, by such a small margin, a little more connected to what ‘s in front of me and less connected to the peripherals.
Anxiety remains: will I cut off the possibility of the thoughts I want approaching because I have n’t supplied the correct material — an Odysseus bidding the useful dead with gestures when he should use haemoglobin — if thoughts step into the light without our willful consent, what is the value of practiced thinking?
For no thinker I care for is so isolated as to be without peers.
So whenever I come across energy which can justly be spared, it shall be first employed in reflection, and only then in finding conversation partners (live or merely breathing).