Coded gray.

Monday 31 July 2000


Pic of the day: I love view like this!


I called in sick today. I've put all my hypochondrical whining at the end of the entry so other people don't need to read it. (I may want to read it myself in the future, if any.)

In the evening I felt much better and took yet another walk. I think I must have lost some weight the latest weeks, because it feels easier to walk uphill than it used to. Then again, it could just be the time of day. I notice that when I am tired, it is much harder to walk uphill than when I'm not. No big surprise there, I guess.


There was this discussion on a mailing list again, basically some credulous soul thought that people may live forever now that we know how to repair the chromosomes. I know I write about this occasionally, but bear with me. People chimed in with the usual "who wants to live forever?" and one pointed out that people are already bored.

I think I know pretty exactly when I stopped being bored. It was in my parents' home back on the farm, and I was sitting in the old rocking chair, reading a small booklet by Elias Aslaksen about the way to react. (Aslaksen was a christian mystic from Norway, and hard to understand even for his friends. The more surprising that I actually got a clue.) In the course of minutes, my life changed beyond recognition. It was a spiritual Awakening of sorts. Oh, it's not like I suddenly became a saint. (In fact, I already considered myself a saint, though very few others shared this view.) But I started to see things in a new way.

The new way was that it was up to me. I have the keys to my brain and body. No one else can really decide how I shall feel. People can tempt me, they can coerce me, they can set up choices for me. But they don't have the keys to my brain and body. I alone have, and it gives me an edge. As long as I remember, I can choose. I do not need to just react, like an automaton, like a robot. I can choose.

Since then I have rarely ever been bored. I do have limits: If I am horribly tired, or have high fever, I may be unable to concentrate on the things I like. But it is very rare. Usually there is something I can do. Even when I don't have my computer or reading matter, I still bring my head with me.


Now you may say that I am just lucky and got an easy brain. I can find a board game exciting while others need actual violence to feel the same. I can enjoy subtle humor while others need obscenities to be amused. I can find beauty in a place even though I have been there before, and enjoy doing the same things with the same people as last year - or last week. Lucky me!

But the fact remains that I was bored in my childhood. I'm not sure I was bored as much as other kids - I did grow up on a farm, after all, with all manner of strange things, from horny goats to thundering waterfalls. But I do remember being bored. It was as if it just happened. Boredom came, like rain does, just drifting in and there was not a lot you could do except take cover and wait it out.

Something has changed, and I suspect it is the way I react. Another great statement by the christian mystic from Norway (though I'm sure he wasn't the first to this one): "Don't kill time - it is your life!" Whenever I find that I have some time to spare, I know that this is an opportunity to do something I would not have time to do otherwise.

For instance, on the bus I read magazines and books. Since my portable computer isn't quite that portable, it stays at home usually. Suits me fine, since there is always lots of stuff I don't find time to read at home. And if I don't have any literature with me? Well, I still bring my head. I can think things through, or plot a new piece of fiction, or outline an essay in my head. Or fantasize, or meditate, or pray, or look out the window and marvel at the intricate fractals of Real Life. Or if I'm tired, I may just nap. There is simply not enough time for all the cool things in life. And absolutely not for sleep.

And with that, I bid my reader (if any) farewell for now. Just remember: Boredom means you have time to live while you still do. That's how I see it, at least.


Health whining section

Another nightmare-like night and morning. I was sleeping on my back because of the big bubbles of air moving around my intestines ... in that position they made a lot of noise but didn't hurt, as they do when they accumulate to one side. But of course this meant that I woke up struggling to breathe, as my bronchies had filled with goo. Eww. This all is no doubt a continuation of the feeling that I've swallowed a self-inflating balloon. In fact, I still feel that way as I'm writing this in the morning, and I haven not eaten for like 12 hours. Yesterday was not a big eating day at all. I had two bread meals (two slices of bread with marmalade each time) and like four cups of yoghurt. No chocolate, so there goes that suspect.

As I finish this entry just before midnight, the balloon is inflated again. I have barely eaten at all today, but I feel like I'm almost bursting. And my throat is clogging again too. Like most of my habitual health problems, it is worst in the night and morning and best in the afternoon and evening. Funny that.

I guess I ought to see a doctor. Or better yet, a medical student.

Yesterday <-- This month --> Tomorrow?
One year ago

Visit the Diary Farm for the older diaries I've put out to pasture.

I welcome e-mail:
Back to my home page.