Wind turbines and renewable therapies

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On an Aimee Mann listening kick. It has been years since I paid attention. I think when I first moved to Oslo almost ten years ago, Mann had released a new album, and I swallowed it whole. And then nothing. She recently released a new album, Mental Illness, which is quite good, but the final track, “Poor Judge” is superlative.

But I’ve gone deep into the back catalog:

Just one question before I pack – when you fuck it up later, do I get my money back?

Heavens… such memories, both of listening so intently and relating to Mann’s clever, cutting lyrics and then seeing Mann live with Naomi oh so many years ago. Some other life, really.

If you really pay attention to Mann’s lyrics, you actually can get a little mini-therapy session, I think. A glimpse into how things go. But we don’t listen.

Just as we never can take even our own advice when the rational side of ourselves tells us what to do. If such a thing exists.

the bottom fell out and i became withdrawn

Many people, even those I barely know, with many different problems, ranging from nymphomania to fear of death, from existential maladies to relationship woes (infidelities, parental lack of communication, getting dumped, etc.), keep turning to me to discuss these issues. Some in a therapeutic way and some in a misguided bid to send me into some kind of (mental?) overdrive. But all I can come back with is the question, again and again, “What is it you want to achieve?

“My parent isn’t coming to visit this year and didn’t bother telling me. Should I confront?”
“That depends. What do you want to achieve?”

“I want to fuck every person I see. Is there something wrong with me?”
“That depends. What do you want to achieve?”

“My latest boyfriend, who was also my lawyer/contractor/plumber/boss, dumped me. Should I just give up on dating?”
“First of all, don’t date your —- (anything that you rely on). Second of all, that depends. What do you want to achieve?”

There will also be some curious reader who will see all these descriptions/scenes and imagine that everything applies to them. But no, not everything is, “Me! Me! Me!” and the world does not revolve around you. But still I’d ask the same question: “What do you want to achieve (by imagining everything is about you)?”

You can keep talking, exploring, finding out what you want to achieve through your actions – or letting what you want to achieve dictate what course of action you choose to take.

But the questioning will grow wearisome. (I guess that’s why people ask me; it’s wearisome to ask oneself endlessly without a wall to throw the ideas against.)

It all brings to mind once more the words of Pessoa:

“What men wanted and didn’t achieve, what they killed in order to achieve, and all that souls have secretly been – all of this filled the feeling soul with which I walked to the seashore. What lovers found strange in those they love, what the wife never revealed to her husband, what the mother imagines about the son she didn’t have, what only had form in a smile or opportunity, in a time that wasn’t the right time or in an emotion that was missing – all of this went to the seashore with me and with me returned, and the waves grandly churned their music that made me live it all in a sleep.” -from The Book of Disquiet

“There are times when everything wearies us, including what we would normally find restful. Wearisome things weary us by definition, restful things by the wearying thought of procuring them. There are dejections of the soul more subdued than any kind of anxiety or pain; I believe they’re known only by those who elude human pains and anxieties and are sufficiently diplomatic with themselves to avoid even tedium.” -from The Book of Disquiet

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