Patejtas patatas

I would like to continue exploring the topic of perception – how feelings affect it and how it affects decisions. I have no specific desire to document my current state, but for the sake of the exploration, I can say that I'm slightly tired, that the run I took didn't particularly lift my mood, that I ate enough to feel sluggish and that I am feeling fine. Today was a warm and sunny day, one worthy of spring. I like spring, because I get the impression I have more energy, more initiative and more opportunities to attend events that are popping up left and right. I'm also much better with warmer weather, although I've begun to make friends with the cold in preparation for disappearing into some far north European forest.

My current mood could be described as neutral. The day is slowly coming to an end, so the energy is low and calm. The only conflict I'm dealing with right now is how to play music and still hear the sound of my keyboard as I type. While the sun was still up, however, I felt playful. I cracked jokes about things that would have worried me yesterday. I felt possibilities in the air and a bold promise of good things to come. The two thousand and nineteen I had faith in ever since two thousand and eighteen was here. There were no problems, at least none that are a match for someone who is as cool as I could be. I had been dealing with personal limitations recently, but that had been flipped today. Today I remembered what lofty goals and discreet megalomania were. The thought that I'm entering one of my loops of jumping between extremes crossed my mind, but I figured, if the lows insist on happening and I cannot prevent them, I might as well not cripple the highs. The highs are not something I can maintain, but they might be something I can hit for a brief moment. I won't always be ready for everything, but there could exist a flash of a moment when I am ready and able for everything. The actual ability might not even matter as much as the feeling.

narcissus flowers more flowers received for being a woman and it being daffodil day. it also has to do with breast cancer, but it works as a metaphor for narcissism, too

I get frustrated when I cannot understand something. Or when I cannot connect to something, unless it's something I am not interested it. On Thursday I went to see Choreographic Fantasy No. 3 for the second time. I like revisiting content, especially performances, as they are variable, even when they try to be very precise and clean. I had no qualms with it and while I could understand it, I again couldn't connect with it, not knowing why beyond speculating it's simply not something that excites me. A flash of connection happened during the first time the dancers started expanding the space onto the stairwell, but otherwise I was watching and trying to let the performance enter me. Beside that flash it hadn't and instead, regardless of all the ways in which the space and the movements function as a single unity, the active work of the dancers, the interesting particularities of their bodies, relations and decisions, the invested time and effort from the whole team, the music and the changing compositions, I couldn't connect to anything except to how much psychological pain I was in. I saw their gazes, I saw their clothes, I saw their energies, my focus was decidedly on the performance, but all of it was nothing against an overwhelming need to cry. I fought it, leaving crying on people's events in two thousand and seventeen, but the overwhelming feeling of dread was still louder than anything else. One interesting tidbit is that during the first time I saw the performance last year I felt similarly, minus the crying. It begs the question, is it the piece? Is it how the audience is set up to sit? Is it what I'm carrying with me? Is it my cargo in interaction with the piece? I don't know.

white dance studio with a stairwell, lights and many lines lines lines lines

The only thing I knew in that moment was that I felt psychological pain on par with an untreated migraine or gallbladder attack and that I wanted to cut off the offending part. Ignore it. Talk to it. Not be distracted by it. Refocus on the performance in a different way. Trivialize it. Treat it. Embrace it. Taunt it. Rationalize. The only thing I consistently refuse to do is normalize it. And so, throughout a piece that I may even now say I enjoyed, I was in an unbearable state which remained unaffected by what I did, how I conceptualized it and where my attention was. I generally try not to entertain thoughts about death, because I want to die at an old age, but when all else fails, the fantasy of dying and the assumed relief it brings seems like the only exit. Even with the clear and available knowledge in my consciousness that the pain will pass on its own. Yes – a couple of hours later I was fine. Dazed and lost, a bit thrown back by the experience, but much better. The following day I was better a smidgen more, but still not well, until the evening after which I felt quite good.

How am I supposed to be able to have consistent opinions about things, see or understand anything with these large oscillations of state and/or perception? Because guess what. As much as I enjoy spring, last year I was dampening the painful states with a lot of alcohol and rage. It was fine because I hid the alcohol that exceeded social norm levels (might have been visible regardless) and because the rage was pointed towards people that were doing a really bad job, so it was 'justified'. And yet, great things managed to happen at the same time. Friendships, meetings, artistic accomplishments, experiments, activist gestures, new experiences. So do I enjoy spring because it's so full or do I feel overwhelmed and stressed because it's so full?

Offering one decision, one solution, one conclusion or one opinion about something is zeroing in on a specific aspect of a thing and not viewing it fully. That is not a bad thing, those kinds of reductions and simplifications serve a purpose, but then there's people like me, who want to understand and see things as fully as possible, while at the same time keeping the benefits that simplification brings. My motivation is clear – I don't want to make conclusions based on current states, in case that state is one that's arguing that the solution is to stop existing, but I also cannot stay in a perpetual 'it depends' or 'it's both' or even 'it's everything' because my physical and psychological human capacities can only handle so much content before they shut down. Plus, it halts decision-making. Sometimes I think I see people who can make meaningful decisions and keep things simple without making them superficial. Mirage, mistaken perception or actually real? I have no idea, but the myth is stimulating.

Post scriptum

The actual best strategy for living my life might be to completely focus on the enjoyable aspects of something that has a lot of it, while taking a bigger picture approach when I'm feeling an overwhelming amount of pain, because all states might not be created equal. That is as brazen (bezobrazno) as it is difficult to achieve, but it sounds very sexy.