Saturday, September 09, 2006

life, profound and mundane

Theo wrote that I don't write of my sentimental life. And I thought about it. For a long time, in the first year of this blog, I wrote so much about my sentimental life that reading it now makes me queasy. I was in such tumult. Writing about it was cathartic. So I supposed it was like therapy. But I have learned, for me, to keep my depression at bay it is best not to dwell on the little crises and big ones that send me off the edge. There is a belief among some psychiatrists and psychoanalysts that the constant revisiting of past traumas does nothing to heal the wounds that cause depression; in fact plumbing those depths makes the depression worse. I have found this to be true. And when I am happy in my sentimental life, or at least content, I feel little need to write of it. I write this blog, at least in part, to present something interesting. And my chest-beating, wailing and mourning are not interesting unless they can be turned into something more abstract, which is what fuels my music and art.

But speaking of chest-beating, yesterday I was tempted to pummel myself. It was the annual car inspection, and there were a few things with the car that needed fixing, the headlights being the most urgent. So I took my car in earlier in the week. I figured that the total bill would probably be about $300. But of course it was almost twice that. So I was pissed. Pissed not at the car--these are things that happen--but at the fact that the cost is, for me, so high. At my age most people make so much more money than I do. So my life, in the financial sense, can be difficult. But as I sat in my office yesterday getting prepared to start teaching next week, and then later while I was practicing, I reminded myself that the work I do is so precious to me, that I love it, and that it is worth the tradeoff.

But when I was driving the car to Fairway to buy groceries I found that the turn signals did not work. I was disgusted. I drove back to the mechanic. The guy who had taken care of me came running up. I told him about the problem and then I strode past him into the office and dumped the keys on the counter and said "I don't mind paying over five-hundred bucks to have my car fixed if it WERE ACTUALLY fixed." Actually, it was a lie, because I did mind paying that much. But I was aiming for dramatic effect. They jumped into action, quickly figured out the problem (something with the fuse box), and I felt like a fool.

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