Always remain curious

Current study

This is probably going to be an informal post. I haven’t been great at keeping track of what I’ve been doing, over the past four days, although looking back at my Reading Notes, I started reading Understanding Eastern Philosophy by Ray Billington (1997) on March 6th, and am presently (as of March 9th, not having read today at all) 122 pages into the main body of the text. Obviously, I’ve been reading a lot.

If I think back on it, I’m fairly certain I got started on this while I waited for the next module of classwork prompts to go live. I also remember gathering books which would be good for an upcoming Cataloging project. I expected the latter to be due at the end of this week, but they’re actually due at the end of next week. I’ve got a head start…and a new distraction.

As I’m reading this stuff and am being exposed to the news, I have started to think about how people’s spiritualities were impacted by the onset of the Nuclear Age. I still haven’t found a good answer to that…though I just thought of Existentialism, which seems to have arisen after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (the end of WWII on the Pacific front).

I wasn’t alive during that time, so the whole zeitgeist is unfamiliar to me. (Surprisingly, it seems less familiar to me than the late 1800’s–early 1900’s, when Spiritualism, Theosophy, and the, “Western Occult Tradition,” were more active. I’ve studied these in relation to the [online] New Age and NeoPagan movements, though of course that also ties in with the history of Christianity [mainly Protestantism, if we’re focused on the US].)

I may be better served by seeking out information on how philosophies changed after WWII and the Manhattan Project, than I would be in searching the vagaries of whatever could be called, “spirituality.” The term, “spiritual,” itself, in contrast to, “religious,” I have a feeling may be a recent split in definition…but I haven’t looked it up yet.

I’m thinking, for one thing, that this may be a, “History of Consciousness,” question…and the answer may be found in studying History. Of course, studying History will also bring me a lot more information that I don’t have, now. It’s just an interesting question…and one well-served by my practice in surfacing texts. I will, however, have to be more critical about those texts…it doesn’t help to try to be, “nice,” here.

Again, I’m led to wonder just what discipline’s methods would best assist in understanding this. It may be History, or it may be something I’m unfamiliar with…and of course, there would be a lot of crossover between different departments studying the time periods in question.

Hmm. Always remain curious, I guess?

Building a life I want to live

I also need to get all my ducks in a row where it comes to figuring out what to do with my time. Reading is not time wasted. Writing probably isn’t, either — even if a lot of it won’t see the light of day (at least, not in rough form).

Restarting Spanish language study is also going to be a good thing for me, even though it falls by the wayside, these days — I have a relatively strong base to work from, there. If I want to become a Cataloging Librarian, I’ll likely need a second, fluent, language: and I’m much closer to that in Spanish language, than I am in Japanese language.

So there we have Language and Language Arts: reading and writing (and, in practicality, editing). I already have a good direction set for myself where it comes to my reading. I have things I think I want to write about, but I just have to see if that’s what really comes out of me, when I write for myself.

I’ve wanted to get back into Art, though I’ve found myself hesitant. I am pretty sure I know why I’m hesitant, and it just means I need to follow what I feel is the best route for myself. Courses of self-study can be altered if they aren’t working out; and just because no one else is doing what I want to be doing, that doesn’t mean that what I want to be doing has no value.

In particular: there’s a sketch based on a vision of a cenote I did a while back, with completely made-up vegetation. I haven’t been keen on making it into a painting for the sheer fact that I don’t want to do to Central America what the Orientalists did to the Middle East. (Am I going to have to explain that?) Maybe I should do it, anyway: just to get it out of my head and onto a canvas.

I guess that’s what’s called artistic license?

I’m at peace with exploring the visual arts, writing/reading, language studies, and cataloging, for the time being. I’m also thinking about trying to become employed as some type of Editor, though from what I can see, that job — even though it looks good on a resumé — doesn’t necessarily pay a living wage. I just have the attention to detail needed, even though I might not have the people skills.

Otherwise…I need to seek out whether there are any jobs within the Publishing industry which are not people-centric, and do pay a living wage. I did get into Libraries because I loved books…


I had to force myself to free-write today for 15 minutes. Like, actually had to tell myself, “I’m only going to do this for 15 minutes.” Then I held myself to that, and stopped after 17 minutes…I don’t want to be dishonest when making bargains with myself, here. (Along the same lines, maybe I need to give myself permission to draw something that isn’t final — draw or paint, every day.)

I did find an empty notebook (a Kokuyo Campus MIO 80-page booklet), which is — surprisingly — much better where it comes to the glide of the writing implement, when using pencil as versus fountain pen. So right now I’m using an art pencil (today I used a 4B, which is great except for the crumbling of the lead and need for frequent rotation of the barrel — and the transfer of graphite to the previous page when writing, though it’s light) to fill out this notebook with free-write material. A very good thing is that although graphite is subject to erasure, it also doesn’t fade by itself over years. I can’t be as certain about my fountain pen inks.

I have one archival fountain pen, which is a Platinum Preppy with a Platinum Carbon Black ink cartridge installed. I’ve found the “sweet spot” of the Preppy (where it doesn’t scratch the paper while writing) to be a bit fiddly for me, however…and I’m not sure how long it will last with pigment ink in the feed. It hasn’t dried out yet, though, which is a very nice departure from my Pilot pens (Metropolitan and Prera).

The Pilots write very smoothly (at least after the sweet spot is found), but the ink in the converter just gradually evaporates and concentrates down, which means the nib and feed need to be soaked every so often, if they’re going to work reliably. I’m not sure if the following is true for both the Metropolitan and the Prera: but I read somewhere that Pilot suggests only using Pilot inks with Pilot pens.

All the Pilot inks I have are Iroshizuku; dye-based. This means that when I do soak them in water, the dried ink comes out relatively quickly and cleanly. However, it also raises questions about how long the ink marks I make will last, as dye-based colorants are prone to fading (when contrasted with pigments).

I wouldn’t know that, except someone who had taken Art at University, told me (although this happened so long ago, that I was still a teenager, at the time).

And yes, I am amazed at how much writing has come out of me, tonight. Well, tonight, and earlier today, I guess. There’s more I have to talk about, but I should probably get some rest — and maybe the reader should give their eyes a break, after this. What I have to get into is going to take so long that I will easily be up until 3 AM, if I try to tackle it here and now…though it only surfaced through free-writing! Magic, huh?

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