psy_marionette (psy_marionette) wrote,

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I rather doubt anyone (except maybe Susan) will see this, but I've decided to return to my journal, for now at least. It's been quite a break, and one I'm not totally sure why I needed, or why I now feel the need to return to my digital pages. To put my thoughts up for the world to see (or, more likely, ignore).

Ennui. That's a concept that's been on my mind a lot lately. The ennui of the everyone more or less categorizes their own life as routine. It really struck me about a week ago, when I was at "math boot camp" with a lot of people I'd never met before. At one point, this guy and I were walking into the sunset, so he held up a hand to block out the sun. I held up my book (Dreams of the Solo Trapeze) and joked about how the "consecration" hold was appropriate for me and a book about the trapeze. And, well, circus training wasn't a twice-a-week part of life for ended up even making the gossip train (okay, so it was in a group of mathematicians).

Or, this got me to thinking, the same thing happened in my aerial fabrics classes. I think back a few years ago, and I was impressed by even the most banal of things so long as they were on that beautiful stretch of tissu swathed from the sky. Then I started taking classes on the fabrics (and became briefly even more impressed, because learning to climb/wrap/etc. is HARD), and eventually got to the level where I was encouraged to create my own solo piece. I started putting it together, and came up with something that fit me. The only thing was, I thought it was a bit simplistic--I could perhaps do trickier moves and...

And then, looking at how it was great. Sure, I know trickier moves, but the piece I put together was pretty darn nifty by any nonprofessional standards, and might even eke some respect in a medium-level circus show. The thing was, these were almost all moves I really knew, so there was nothing "special" about them.

Or at nerd camp, I was working on some math and thought that everything I was doing was really quite mundane and easy. Then I realized that most of the concepts and techniques had been totally alien to me when I got my Master's degree.

Ennui is a strange concept. It's really strange that things which so befuddle you at one point in your life lose their noteworthiness eventually. Sometimes it's a good thing--I'm glad I don't have to give any conscious thought to driving anymore!--but sometimes it's less so. Like when a special person, a loved one, becomes just another part of the day. Like getting used to doing something wrong, so it no longer feels bad to do it. Like falling into a routine, where everything is painted in ennui gray.

It would be interesting, someday, to live a day in recognition of just how special life is. Not how special it would be to Joe Blow, or the starving children in China who apparently want my vegetables, but to myself. To the me I was back in college. The amazement he has with my facility with rings of integers, or aerial works. Who envies my practiced contortions just as I envy his large circle of friends he spent time with every day. That poor schmuck, he probably still has to find friends to buy alcohol for him...
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