Some notions, every week. Here are some:
No More Night
My 8-year-old daughter and I have been listening to a lot of country music in the car lately. Specifically, Will the Circle Be Unbroken by the Nitty Gritty Band.
One of the tracks is the old country-gospel tune ‘I Saw the Light’. It’s a great song, but as we were driving along the other day I was struck by the line:
I saw the light I saw the light
No more darkness no more night
It’s such a horrible indictment of Christianity. After all, the night time is the right time! The time of firelight and mystery and delicious sins. Just as I was thinking this, I heard my daughter in the back seat say: “No more night? That’s terrible!”
Getting stoned sometimes leads to quite novel ideas, but no more so than a good walk or some focused introspection. Stoned ideas just feel more potent because a) you’re stoned as fuck and b) impaired short-term memory makes them hard to grab hold of, so they feel precious.
In fact, on balance stoned insights are inferior. The quality of the ideas is no better than sober, and they stand a much higher chance of drifting away like a summer storm. This tending-to-get-lostness reduces their net value.
Specifically, against thrift when it comes to books, music, art, movies – anything that enriches your world and enlivens your mind.
I previously wrote about having too many unread books in my flat. But then wonder-blogger and excellent human Nicola Alter of Thoughts on Fantasy shared this article, which re-framed the whole issue for me:
“The library of Italian writer Umberto Eco contained a jaw-dropping 30 000 volumes. Did Eco actually read all those books? Of course not, but that wasn’t the point of surrounding himself with so much potential but as-yet-unrealized knowledge. By providing a constant reminder of all the things he didn’t know, Eco’s library kept him intellectually hungry and perpetually curious.”
So, yes, come payday I will be ordering another thought-provoking film from the Criterion Collection – despite not having watched the last two yet – and I will feel zero guilt!
You can read next week’s Notions here.
The image used for all these posts is the artwork from Magic: the Gathering card ‘Horde of Notions‘