Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Positive Attitude, Camus's Negation, Myth of Sisypus, Leonardo DaVinci

Positive mood, we finally got some really cold weather. I'm looking forward to ice fishing with Landolfi and possibly bringing my son along this Saturday afternoon. It's perfect how with all the positive episodes I enjoyed all summer and into December, towards the very tail end of them--no one enjoys such fortune without respite--I was reading Albert Camus, Notebooks: 1942-1951. The key idea I focused upon while life was still glorious, these great series of personal events that soared right through everything, was negation. And while I was in a much better state than negation, I noted to myself that this idea was what hooked my mind more than any other of Camus's. 

And what's that? Negation is just ordinariness. There's no mysticism to it really. But you can certainly take the ordinary a couple of steps higher than cynicism and despair.

By the second time I photographed Camus's book with my fishing rod for this blog, I think I was coming back into the ordinary placement of life. His idea of the Myth of Sisypus is that inevitably you get in a routine--like rolling a boulder uphill each day and letting it roll down when day is done, only to push it back up again the next day. And at first you hate it. Of course you would hate that. And if you don't choose to learn to love it, your life is inauthentic, nasty, cynical, despairing--because if you don't learn to love what you do, it will ruin you. That's just the nature of human life. But that doesn't mean every day must be heaven, and every day can't be. Challenges always crop up. But in general, I think no one put it better than Leonardo DaVinci: "If you can't do what you want, want what you do."

Negation just dropped out for a short while tonight, and I remembered perfectly how I soared for much of six months because that's how I felt again. Not that I'm blowing sunshine. I don't need to do any of that.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Joanne, I didn't remove your comment, so feel free to post again. I don't know why the machine kicked it back. I'm not very good at the mechanics.


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