Wednesday, August 11, 2010

'As for me...' Ez Checks In from DSC #3

I couldn't decide on a form of salutation, so I suppose this will have to do as an acknowledgment on my part that I thought about it -- but really just couldn't come up with anything that encapsulated what I wanted to encapsulate.

In any case, if that wasn't satisfactory then how about just a simple "Hey!"

The necessities needing to be dealt with first as I was in need of buying several items, namely
'War & Peace', a companion to 'War & Peace', and an Ali G dvd. The essentials of life, no?

There is going to be a Tolstoy/Kafka class offered next term and you have to have read 'War & Peace' before the term starts so I have just started today and en challah I will be done by the start of Term 2. If the first sixty pages are anything to judge by, I will really enjoy the next 1000+. Tolstoy has already managed to weave together numerous characters, places, ideas, trains of thought without sacrificing the larger fabric of the novel.

Anyway perhaps it is time to finish that "As for me..." that I finished my last email with or, as you put it Mom, "the finding of my navel at Deep Springs".

I'm not sure that I have found my navel here because finding your navel here is not the same as most places. It is full of intricacies and nuances that I'm not sure I can express, let alone fully express. In fact, looking back retrospectively it seems that each week only brings me seemingly insignificant amounts closer to having even a basic understanding of the fabric at work here.

You are, of course, catching me right after possibly the most expressive form of the tensions that flow underneath our simple existence at Deep Springs -- the infamous student body (SB) meeting. It is here where the hydra's seemingly endless stream of heads rear themselves in some of the most beautiful, as well as conflicting, forms of truth. The student body fights back and forth, for hours at a time, over relatively innocuous legislation -- finding underneath the harmless veneer of legislation countless conflicts and problems that one can't help but feel are simply symptomatic of humanity itself.

I think perhaps its time I go to bed -- I'll finish tomorrow -- before my ramblings become entirely unintelligible.

However, like a recently disturbed bowl of miso soup, I have to say (before the miso settles to a more distinct and manageable state of confusion) that these ramblings will probably only become more unintelligible before (or rather if) they get slightly more comprehensible. There is a lot at play here and I'm not sure yet that I understand the pieces, or the board, or even the rules for that matter -- anyway as I said, perhaps it is time to go to bed. Hopefully a little bit of 'War & Peace' will settle my broth.

Until tomorrow....

Okay, great! It is no longer Friday night and I'm returning to this email on Monday mid-afternoon. As you can see (and I can as well), my state of mind that night was ... something. I'm not sure exactly what that something entails, but I think it is good to have those 'something' moments -- in fact that 'something' is the mindset I usually find myself in after most SB meetings.

It really is as if the politics and self-governance of the student body lay dormant for the week and then on Friday nights rear their head for all of us to awe at it. Often a combination of frustration, happiness, zeal, camaraderie, and more frustration. Trying to grasp exactly what it is that is going on, what needs to be done, and what your role in all of it is confusing to say the least -- but it is also in a odd way inspiring. I think I'll leave it at that because at this point I really can't elucidate the process any more.

However, in spite of all of that confusion there still is no place I'd rather be, and I am thrilled to be here. The majority of days go by without this degree of internal conflict and as with any community we have begun to develop our own rhythm and idiosyncrasies. There are always things to be done and often people doing them, although equally as often people not doing them.

Summer Seminar continues to be fascinating and we have just come off the back of a week on Rousseau and his 'Discourse on Inequality' and 'The Book of Job', and the week before that we got into political economy reading Carl Schmitt and his 'Nomos of the Earth', Karl Polanyi's 'The Great Transformation', Garett Hardin's 'The Tragedy of the Common', Adam Smith's 'Wealth of Nations', and other good stuff like that. All of it very interesting as we had into our last couple of weeks of the seminar.

It was nice to hear from both of you! Dad, despite your lack of the 's' and the 'w' on the keyboard, it was fun to hear you sort of ramble (perhaps more fun because of it?) Always good to hear that you are in the garden battling the forces of nature, specifically your dearest of enemies -- the evergreen boulder. Perhaps there is some darker and more sinister psychology at work regarding your undying fascination with the movement and manipulation of these boulders -- but I won't even begin to explore them.

Its good to know that all of this is happening to the backdrop of my free flowin' tunes -- perhaps two more won't hurt? (specifically with Miss Leah Loo in mind): Can't Get it Right Today - Joe Purdy and Sunshine - Matt Costa.

Mom, I think I sort of addressed your thoughts on finding my navel here at DS -- all I can say is that I'm working on it. It sounds like Josh is really being helpful to you and I'm glad that you, him, and Kishore are making quite the triumvirate. I'm sure he is elated at being able to fly from one side of town to the other on his new motorcycle -- after all it is the hip thing to do, isn't it (the flying)? Thanks for the lovely musings on Hypatia, balance, memories, and time and space. The poem was also lovely!

Anyway, I'm off to get some work done (although in all probability it will descend quickly and unrelentingly into an extended nap). Give my love to Josh and Leah!

Lots of love, Ez

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