I was happy to finish with December as the second best month — 149.5 miles. I went for 367 walks this year and walked for a total of 376 hours and 50 minutes. My goal for next year is 30 miles per week for a total of 1,560 miles.
This is a page I tore out of a notebook, put in a pile of papers, and then forgot about. I wrote this down at some point in 1996-1997 while student teaching. I am doubtful I was reading Foucault directly; I’m betting this quote was in another book (Ira Shor? bell hooks? Peter McLauren? ) How long before I started doodling?
I don’t believe that the question of ‘who exercises power’ can be resolved unless that other question ‘how does it happen’ is resolved at the same time.
My third quarter project in history asks students to do something like this extraordinary mural. Here you have two panels: one in Iraq, the other from a nearby park. How do you reconcile the two? How do these lives intersect? How do they connect? Can one exist without the other? Can we deny one and not the other?
I finished Meghan Daum’s book The Problem with Everything yesterday. One of her major points was that we stop trying to deal with complicated issues via social media. To stop, to think, to reflect, to talk, to deliberate instead of trying to capture things in 140 characters.
We read These Truths and I’m glad we did. I’m wondering if next year I might start the year with the 1619 project. And I’m wondering how I might use this debate as an endpoint for my These Truths project.
But the truth is that the longer I have lived, and the shorter my future, the less pursuing I have done. Some of this may come from a peculiarly Irish positive pessimism — be happy, things will get worse — more of it from the history of disappointment all artists know and the rest from a remnant Catholic guilt that says you don’t deserve happiness anyway. The point is, in my case, happiness seemed a thing that could not be pursued, only realized and chosen.
This is the ending of the article:
“I mean, what do you do to be happy?”
The question was a novelty to him and he considered it from all sides before answering.
“When I want a holiday,” he said at last, “I go over the road as far as the meadow. I go in there, take off my jacket, and lay down on it. I watch the world turning for a bit, with me still in it.”
He smiled then, and held me in his blue Atlantic eyes, full of the ordinary wisdom of a well-lived life, a wisdom that saw the many failings of the world but our still breathing and dreaming in it, and with a conclusive nod that defeated all arguments said, “That’s happiness.”