Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Here's a funny hobby

I take photographs of ugly carpets.

Particularly airport carpets.

Because I've been such a lame blogger, I'm going to post my collection of ugly carpet pictures here, perhaps (if I'm very good) doing one a day (but don't count on it; I promise nothing). And maybe this will get me to actually write about something interesting? If it doesn't, then at least I'll know that I've cluttered up your feeder a little bit.

So, first, here is the carpet of Paris' Charles de Gaulle. It's actually one of the cooler ones in my collection--perhaps not even ugly at all? You decide! It's a Choose-Your-Own Aesthetic!

Now, for something possibly less boring.

Perhaps you're wondering why I get up at 5:30 for an 8 am class, when I live about a 7-minute walk from my office?

Well, as I may have mentioned previously, I started meditating in the mornings this summer. While my half-hour of sitting every day is largely taken up with daydreaming and planning things, I do occasionally manage to observe my thoughts as thoughts, to recognize their unreality, to witness the discursive action of my mind and to briefly break out of an identification of that action as myself. Briefly, for a moment here and there.

And I think that I've been happier. Calmer. Able to see more clearly.

Now, of course, this was summer, so there might have been other explanations for the calm and happy. But I don't want to stop this practice, not now when I've finally--finally! After years of intentions!--managed to establish it. So I'm waking up early enough to get my sit in before heading off to class. And, on MWF, this means getting up at 5:30: I shower first, then sit while TM showers or reads, then we eat breakfast and make the bed and whatnot from 6:30-7:00, and I'm in the office by 7:10--plenty of time to put together last-minute handouts, check email, review my notes, etc. It's working well, except that I come home absolutely annihilated and have to fall asleep immediately after lunch.

On TTh, with an 11:00 class, I'm getting up at around 6:30--not because I want to, particularly, but because somehow this is the habit that I've gotten into. TM is a really early riser, too, and let's not pretend that that has nothing to do with it.

I think that it's important to keep sitting. I want to complain less--that's my goal for the year; not to not complain, but to complain less, because so much of the bonding that we do around campus is based on complaints and that doesn't always make me feel good--and this first week has gone pretty well on that front. I think that it helps. I really think so.

...I have thoughts about why, but maybe I'll save those for another time.


undine said...

It sounds like a great way to start the day.

What Now? said...

Complaining less and being generally more positive is also my goal for the year. I keep meaning to take up the practice of meditation, and I keep not doing it, but a few colleagues on campus are starting a meditation group that will meet for half an hour directly after faculty meetings, which might be a very good time indeed to observe one's thoughts as thoughts and might be conducive to the complaining-less goal.

Anonymous said...

If that carpet were black instead of gold, I might be in love with it. ;) It's ugly enough to be awesome.

word ver = flogic (as in "Ink's comment up there fails the test of logic...therefore, it is flogic?)

Notorious Ph.D. said...

I started doing this in early summer, and it was great. Then I got out of the habit, and it's been damn hard to reestablish it, even though *my* wake-up time is only 6:30 if I want to do this.

This note that you're doing this is inspiring, though.