But I've finally gotten around to looking at some unattended emails, and there are some interesting ones. I play the fool sometimes here, dramatic representation of an inner life that cannot be seen, only outlined, as fog can indeed cast a shadow. My self confidence is both overweening, and crippled. I am not unaware of my talents, but seared into my soul, like letters shaped from stab wounds in the back, is the knowledge that I cannot be loved. Among the dross in these pages are also to be found some items of value, however.
So in a recent email, a correspondent -- a sort of blessing to me, as I trust I am to him -- closes with this: "if I were you I would feel lonely just in the fact of the way your mind works, and how you analyze and understand things, because even I sit here and listen to law students talk, and I think, people are seriously SO unbelievably stupid, like, almost everyone."
Someone asked me if I was as smart as Theodore Roosevelt. You had to hear the conversation. I said he was world class, I'm just national. Point is, my isolation has no necessary relationship to intelligence. I am still surprised at how stupid my birth family was. But I was not despised because I was not stupid. The origin of their malice was too primitive to focus that high. It made it harder for me, though, being aware of the sickness, sensitive to it as intelligence must allow.
There is, buried deep in the extended archives here, the story, Compassion, about a pilgrim and an observation he makes. I have just been informed that this story, told in a social situation, may have played some part in leading some young man to becoming Christian -- you know, born again. Of course it's never the story, but the telling of it, that has power. You know, human contact, that cares enough to tell a story. Or write one. If only they are read, or heard. And understood. And acted upon. Prophets pray for wisdom and an understanding heart. First wisdom, knowing what to do -- then understanding, knowing why. But no. First, righteousness. Doing what is right, regardless of what you know, or understand.
I do not give up, mostly out of stubbornness. I seem to view life as a matter of waiting out the clock. I will endure, because I have very few needs, and a high tolerance for low-grade pain. I think I don't smile much. I think I used to. I think I'm more optimistic than otherwise, but heavy-laden and perverted with anger. Oh, I'm complicated, both bitter and gentle. To me, this is righteousness -- seeing the world for what it is, and remaining kind.
But I flatter myself.
I've rowed four 250m with a minute rest between at a pace of 49 seconds. Slightly hellish. But it's a 3:16 pace for the 1000m, and my goal is 3:15. So I'll be doing 4,5 and 6 intervals at that pace for a bit, then do 48s, then start shortening the rest period. No idea how long it will take. Instant math is guessing 70 sessions, based on no evidence, just theory (a few at 49, a few at 48, then a bunch taking five seconds off the rests). 5 months. No, that can't be right. Too long. 30 sessions. Two months, or three. We shall see.