Recently, I was emailing a long distance acquaintance and very busy animal rights and welfare advocate and we were talking about what we do to “decompress.”
In my last email, I found myself rambling on about animal issues, realized, and wrote, “I’m rambling and obviously need to decompress.”
For those of my friends who don’t know, my mother just finished her last round of chemotherapy. It has been a very emotional time. She actually started feeling much better after the second treatment.
As I described in my email:
“Decompressing happens when it happens. Walking dogs for a couple hours a day is very relaxing! I feel guilty that I love my job. Photography. Writing in my personal blog, because I can be more personal and emotional in my blog than in my column. Reading both fiction and non-fiction. And film – particularly documentaries and foreign films. Hanging out with my cat, Star, and listening to Swing music.”
Pretty much that’s how my entire days have been going: Work. Decompress. Work. Decompress. Work…
Since I am having these extraordinary and unusual fluctuations of brain power and lack thereof, my mind wandered back in time to a decade old recurring topic that comes up in my life quite frequently again and again, brought to light by the philosopher Shlomo Sher, who is according to Linkedin, currently Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at California State University, Fullerton.
In his early work, Shlomo wrote an article called, “The Myth of the Dedicated Artist.” The work asks several very important questions about how we define ourselves ultimately challenging the reader with the underlying question: Are you a good person?
Shlomo continues his journey into the mind asking the reader what makes you a good person and asks us to consider the difference between “what a person is” and “what a person does.”
Example given by Shlomo: I love Charles Bukowski’s writings, but the man was a prick.
As Shlomo muses about “What impresses me about people as they are?” and speaks about values, compromise, and priorities, I will let it go right here and give you time to think about these things on your own.
With all due respect for my former mentor and spiritual guide of the early 2000s, I just want to end with my one thought:
There is no “underground.” There is no “mainstream.”
United we stand. Divided we fall.