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In Context: Attitudes

March 6, 2023
Brushpen, watercolor, gouache (background), and poster paint pen in a Strathmore 500 Series Mixed Media Journal.

UPDATE 3.6.23 at 2:30 p.m.

Email responses about this post make it clear to me my post was confusing.

In the original post below I’m writing about the serendipity of journaling and its positive effects in our lives. I believe that we can choose how we react to things helped by the process of journaling. I think when we view the hard truths of reality we are in better shape to respond to everything from the minor inconveniences in our lives to the major upheavals.

Below I write about an inconvenience, nothing more.

My mistake was not to include specifically the words that I find serendipity in journaling. I was aiming for a short post.

The serendipity here, which can be enjoyed by any daily journal keeper (so I recommend it) is that a few days before my inconvenience I noted down the words of Salman Rushdie about the extremes of his condition through the last many decades of life.

His words can sooth in their starkness, but also provide a reasonable perspective and path to choosing an attitude (as the title of this post suggests).

I also tried to suggest the power of humor in dealing with less than palatable situations (like traveling in a cold car in sub-zero Minnesotan winter). Humor is always my first default. Humor is also something that my journal has kept alive. 

In the large picture of our lives the keeping of a journal shows us how our minds draw to it the reassurances we need to keep choosing reality, and humor, and going on. 

 

Original Post

A lot of things we know instinctively without stating them. But sometimes it helps to remind us of the reality if someone states them.

I was reading an article on Salman Rushdie, who understands first hand what it means to have an illusion of security. A quotation of his stuck with me through the day.

Later that evening, while working on a mixed media portrait, I added the text because things in my journal aren’t always related, and because I like to take notes and remember the “whole” of the day.

It was also interesting to me to finish this page and wake up a couple days later to find that someone had shot out the rear window to my car. The car is an old, “rust-on-rust” car according to my computer tech, so I don’t know what made it so attractive to someone they had to vandalize it. (We don’t keep anything in the car and it’s under a bright light which clearly shows this.)

We have glass insurance so it has just been an inconvenience driving around for a couple of weeks with sub-zero temperatures and only a plastic sheet as a window as they order the special glass for an ancient vehicle. (Boy is it noisy in the car when you don’t have a window!)

I’ve had a lot of discussions with Dick about transportation in Minnesota in the “horse and buggy days,” during subzero temps. It really brings up the gratitude!

But there is also something affirming in Rushdie’s words. We just need to keep on going. 

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