March 31, 2017 (Friday)

by Yule Heibel on March 30, 2018

I wonder what my mind did – what I thought about – during the “rusty nail” incident, before I passed out? There must have been a rising sensation of fear, and then pain, so what would my mind have done? How would it have reacted? We know that eventually, at some point, it blacked out completely. But what of those moments before then? And where did it “go” once it …went? Today, during meditation, while focusing on the breath, my stomach did one of those funny turnings-over one’s gut is susceptible to. It was just the water I had drunk before sitting down, making its way from one spot to another. But linked with the breath focus, which happened to be in about that part of the body or just above (diaphragm), it made me feel a bit sick. Only momentarily. Long enough, however, to make me wonder what mind does, where it goes, when confronted by the truly unendurable.

I have, for a time now, wondered about joining an ancestry site and whether I would, through them, be able to get access to European records, whether I’d be able to search police and court records. If so, maybe I could get some additional information – or maybe I’d find nothing at all. Whenever I think of it now, though, I think it would be like moving into some kind of Agatha Christie-type tale, wherein everyone – most especially Miss Marple – warns our heroine to let sleeping dogs lie. It would be ironic, say, if I found nothing about “nailers,” and instead found court records with terribly unsavory details of my father’s bankruptcy or something… A sort of sublime-to-ridiculous story arc.

Yesterday I went to Facebook for the first time in a while. Aside from checking on some friends’ profiles, which gave me exactly one interesting update worth knowing, visiting Facebook was (is) a total waste of time. Simultaneously, it is shocking to see how much time people obviously waste on it. G. seems to use it sparingly and strategically. Others, however, seem always-on and always-posting. J. posts one “outrage” piece after another (i.e., articles about how outrageous Trump is, how we’re going to hell, how America is literally Nazi Germany, etc. etc.), which is interspersed with jags of posting YouTube music videos he likes. So, what it looks like is that he’s having a conversation with himself as two different (how different?) social media platforms (YouTube and Facebook). Think about it. It’s beyond sad. It’s saying, “Hey! I’m consuming this content here (YouTube) and sharing it, regurgitated, here (Facebook), where I am also the primary consumer of my own ‘content.'” Sure, another person, say, X., gets 111 “likes” on a photo of her pet, but these reactions are mindless and pathetic, evidence mostly of others’ desire to be seen, validated, acknowledged. You scratch my virtual back, I’ll scratch yours. On the other hand, J.’s postings aren’t nearly as “liked” (some have zero reactions), yet he keeps doing it, posting again and again and again. And you can bet he reacts to others, in the expectation they’ll do for him, too.

It seems difficult, too, to pull apart useful information from the kind of crap I’m describing, above, because the platform (Facebook) encourages a promiscuous mixing of all things. Information about events, onanistic posturing, flame wars, the stoking of outrage, ego massages, frivolous stuff, and serious commentary – it’s all mixed together in an orgy of distraction. And, like orgies (so they say, haven’t been to one), it’s boring. In the end, it’s terribly, terribly boring. Which begs the question: what, exactly, is exciting? What is worth it? What is worth your very life, that one shot you have in this singular go-’round? It’s not Facebook, that’s for sure. (Creation? Create what matters?)

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