Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Profit/Loss Statement of the Self: All in the Family

Much of your life is lived within a bubble.  On any given day, the individuals you are most likely to contact have something to do with writing and/or publishing, themselves engaged as you are engaged in writing, editing, publication, and education.  If these individuals have other interests, say politics, these can provide some wedge of entry of the outside world into your bubble.  Nevertheless, yours is a bubble of relative smallness.

There are occasional chores and what you've come to think of as maintenance activities, such as routine shopping for groceries, routine visits to doctors,(which includes dental maintenance) barbers, auto repair facilities, laundry related activity, and exercise related activity.

A look at the Balance Sheet gives you a range of friends and students from about twenty years of age upward into the nineties, all of whom you have some common interests relating to reading, writing, and understanding the Self and the human condition

To keep the bubble from being too constricting, you are alert to what you've come to think of as cultural wedges such as concerts, lectures, political activism, drama, film, and travel.  You bring into the bubble numerous publications, many of which inform you of other publications, with which you attempt to maintain contact.  

The last item on your laundry list, travel, reminds you how easy it is to start with a map of your home state, then extend your vision to the entire continent, only to see the extent of bubbles everywhere, within and outside.

By reminding yourself with some regularity that you are in a bubble, you attempt, and are sometimes successful in bringing into your range discussions and visions you might not have ordinarily had.  To date, this has brought you the awareness that your opinions, like your memories, are resources you do not always think to declare when compiling a Profit/Loss Statement of the Self.

It is your good fortune to live in a setting now where you have relative privacy from your neighbors.  Thus the occasional sounds when there is an event at the nearby Santa Barbara Bowl, the occasional traffic snarls when the two yearly parades, The Summer Solstice Parade, and the Fiesta Parade, turn the downtown area near you into chaos.

Thus you are free to hear the neighborly squabbles of your own multifariousness, the you within the bubble of your choice, invention, and intention.   Lacking a better approach even in dealing with the varied aspects of yourself, you content yourself with the reminder that you don't want to evangelize any of them, effect any changes among them, not even patience with the You who has become a parental if not authoritative figure.

The best you can hope for is patience with them.  Once, years back, when you had a neighbor with whom you shared a contiguous wall, you developed a dialogue about the volume at which you both should play music and the times where such playing was neighborly.  Even now, thinking about that arrangement, you find a measure of satisfaction when you realize here were two individuals attempting to be considerate of one another.

You do not want your inner neighbors to stop playing loud music or change their tastes.  You do not want the Inner Sceptic to stop thinking all your ideas are crazy.  You do not wish for your Inner Introvert to suddenly become gregarious to the point of wanting to go on picnics with you, nor do you wish your Inner Editor would come to grips with the things you're attempting to discover through your writing efforts.  They are a noisy, self-absorbed, inconsiderate bunch, but they are after all family, and as you know from your outer family, they are not going to change.

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