The Thing About John Updike

The thing about John Updike is, I found yet another inspiring post on Brain Pickings recently, about John Updike and some ideas of his about writing and death, and how various things we do (addictions, writing) are merely ways of avoiding accepting the reality of nothingness, of our imminent demise and the likelihood our death will be our extermination.

Happy stuff.

It was inspiring because I really like to think of a guy who’s dedicated himself to writing and contemplation,

and contemplation is a key qualifier to writing here, because lots of people write, but there is a way of writing purposefully and meaningfully that I think adds an extra dimension of importance to writing,

and that is to use writing as a tool for contemplation.

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Cycling and Meditation

The lads at the bike shop made a strong case for how much my riding experience would be exponentially improved if I’m correctly fitted to my bike and if I know how to operate the thing with at least something approaching efficiency greater than my current lumbering, lumbar-breaking cycling equivalent to gangly gait.

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What I Talk About When I Talk About Cycling

I was excited about riding with F’s friends, because something I really dig about most of the cycling community is they are inclusive. I mean, it’s also a heavily stratified community where as I explained to C today, there are

people like me who spend three hundred bucks on a single-speed commuter and barely do any maintenance on it for two years but who love the shit out of that bike anyway,

and then there are those who spend twelve k on a bike and spend more time maintaining it than they do riding it,

and of course there are what Mum was thrilled to learn are called MAMILs, Middle-age Men in Lycra.

But within your own strata the community members are all generally inclusive, which is maybe a quality of something being a strata.

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Street-side Meditation

So at the end of the day I briefly met up with a guy I sort of know and really like called F and we did a five-minute meditation, he and I and his friend Tanya, on this inner-east-end street, this street nearby a swanky private school near where I used to work, on the same corner where a woman and I once accidentally and simultaneously said to each other, “I love you”, which turned out not to be true,

but this meditation was really nice and it was just what I needed after such a hectic day.

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Coffee and Trainwrecks

Yesterday after I got home quite later after spending nearly a day out and about, much with a new friend C,  I felt the sort of frazzled I have long associated with my recently former tendency to binge-party in search of edifying drunken conversation, except the hardest drugs I had yesterday were my first two long blacks in a row in about two weeks and wow, CHANGE. Continue reading


Flux Comb

So I started Flux Comb when perhaps I should have been journalling about yesterday or reading the Updike story I found or otherwise somehow processing how inspired I was by hanging out with C,

and then it got really late and some of the wind fell out from under my wings, but I pursued some of this nonetheless, because that’s what flux combing is:

flux combobulation;

combing the flux until you find something you can identify with for long enough to not feel entirely adrift on a planet spinning so fast through a cosmos so random there is no chance of ever not having messy hair because one moment you’ve run a comb through it and the next moment CHANGE.

I write about things to help me understand them, and in writing about yesterday I hoped some insight would pop out, but understood that maybe it wouldn’t and I have to allow myself to be okay with that, because insights are like karma in the sense an experience might not yield an insight until decades later when some experience you have now then causes you to remember how you might have reacted to a similar experience back then.

Something I know is important (something that yielded insight immediately) is that I accessed a sort of existential mania I had long associated with my recently former tendency to binge-party in search of edifying drunken conversation I would then promptly forget and be much too frazzled and fragile to recover.