It’s windy Saturday day and Sonny Rollins seems just perfect for such cold spring afternoon. I just returned from a long walk regardless of weather and with a pastry and a cup of chamomile tea I write to Fabula Nox. Before going for a walk, I’ve spent an hour exercising, then two hours listening to School of Life videos on Eastern Philosophers while colouring the heck out of a majestic lion in adult colouring book.
After I’ll be done writing, I will continue reading Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami, probably finish it and then see what I can order for my next read, as I’m out of books to read (dreadful thought, I know). I’m at a crossroad between The Great Gatsby, Silva Rerum or The Butlerian Jihad and I will probably roll a dice on it.
This came to be my almost every Self-Improvement Saturday. I spend time on philosophy, art, literature, music and physical improvement. I do it almost methodically, even if I don’t feel like it, I put an effort in it. Why? I never asked myself that question, but just as philosophy (especially western) encourages critical thought on your actions, I will deliberate as to why it seems so important to my person to do this.
Firstly, I suppose I am, under layers of cynicism and pragmatism, a deeply emotional and creative person. And to engage in creativity of my own, I need to CONSUME and UNDERSTAND creativity at this fundamental “art for the sake or art” level. Hence, I consume literature, music, painting, etc. as form of relaxation in hopes some of it will rub off on me.
Secondly, it FEELS good. As posh and pretentious as it sounds, I enjoy instrumental jazz, a read of philosophical thought and then a discussion of it with my partner or friends. I also enjoy psychoanalysis of my thoughts and emotions and what do they all mean in regards to my partner and friends and parents. I enjoy getting to know myself and these small self-improvement adventures help. A lot.
Lastly, of course, it’s a form of escapism that everyone needs from their daily mundane things and this is just my own way of doing it. I guess the new realisation I have is that I haven’t been so organised about improving myself before, to the point where my though process goes like this: ok, now I want to discover more about the role of sex in a long-term relationship, so I will watch this video and read that study about it.
My narcissistic self invites to think that this somehow makes me superior to other mundane people, but my doubting self calms the other half down and explains that it’s only impostor syndrome driving me to become more knowledgeable and to become someone I need to be in society’s eyes. The truth is, most likely, somewhere in the middle and far more nuanced.
I recently met people on both ends of the spectrum, some were non-pragmatic artists that seek to only improve their techniques and create art for the sake of it, others I met are fully business and profit-oriented masterminds that dislike reading and rarely engage in any form of art. I love all of these people, they are interesting and I feel an inclination to understand them and through that to enrich and better understand myself and how I fit into this group and the world. I wonder if this is also a reason towards my new Self-Improvement Saturday rituals. Probably.
Just so I’m clear with myself and my readers, Fabula Nox is exactly an exercise of self-improvement in writing and I’m loving every second of it.
Now, back to Norwegian Wood. My thoughts so far: appropriately dark and steady, masterfully written. Still loved the Wind-up bird chronicle more though.