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Memores acti prudentes futuri

You move forward, I move backward
and together we make nothing at all
A few words
"When we describe the Moon as dead, we are describing the deadness in ourselves. When we find space so hideously void, we are describing our own unbearable emptiness."
~ D.H. Lawrence

"Is the meaning of life defined by its duration? Or does life have a purpose so large that it doesn't have to be prolonged at any cost to preserve its meaning?"

"Living is not good, but living well. The wise man, therefore, lives as well as he should, not as long as he can... He will always think of life in terms of quality not quantity... Dying early or late is of no relevance, dying well or ill is... even if it is true that while there is life there is hope, life is not to be bought at any cost."
~ Seneca

"People will tell you nothing matters, the whole world's about to end soon anyway. Those people are looking at life the wrong way. I mean, things don't need to last forever to be perfect."
~ Daydream Nation

"All Bette's stories have happy endings. That's because she knows where to stop. She's realized the real problem with stories-- if you keep them going long enough, they always end in death."
~ The Sandman: Preludes & Nocturnes

"The road now stretched across open country, and it occurred to me - not by way of protest, not as a symbol, or anything like that, but merely as a novel experience - that since I had disregarded all laws of humanity, I might as well disregard the rules of traffic. So I crossed to the left side of the highway and checked the feeling, and the feeling was good. It was a pleasant diaphragmal melting, with elements of diffused tactility, all this enhanced by the thought that nothing could be nearer to the elimination of basic physical laws than deliberately driving on the wrong site of the road."
~ Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

“It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend.”
~ William Blake
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Thursday, February 8, 2018
There is a person in my cohort who is a figure of some controversy, for various reasons. He doesn't speak the language of therapy school and has, somewhat inadvertently I think, rubbed a number of people the wrong way. As a result, some people feel less than friendly towards him, and I suspect he's having trouble making connections with our other classmates. I've talked to him a couple times now and he seems pretty sad about his life at the moment, and disappointed in how school is going. He had different expectations for what things would be like, and I think he feels pulled to continue his button-pushing behavior despite not wanting to be outcast.

Today in my T-group, this person became a topic of discussion. He's not in my group, but there are some people in my group who feel uncomfortable with his presence, and so they started talking about him in the circle. Yesterday he spoke in the big class (20+ people) most of our cohort is in, and he said some things which came off the wrong way to a few different people. Some of my classmates felt triggered by the event. As they spoke about their experience of him yesterday, I felt tension building in my chest at first, until it seemed to float up into my head as a massive buzzing.

The people who voiced their opinions all seemed to be more or less on the same page about him-- that is to say, they felt put off by him, and didn't want to hear him or be around him. I was afraid that sharing my take of what happened yesterday would put me at risk of being ostracized, but it felt like the right thing to do, so I told them that I had experienced his presence in our other class very differently than what had been shared. I thought he worded what he was trying to convey poorly, but I agreed with the sentiments behind it. What I didn't share was that I thought people's emotional reactions to their stereotyped image of him were blocking them from actually trying to understand what he was saying. That would have been too far, I think.

My group mates' response to me was not quite as negative as I'd feared it would be, but I don't think I inspired compassion in them either. Some of them commented on feeling like they should be able to find empathy for him, but not wanting to or not feeling capable of it.

As a child, I felt drawn to the people who were outcast by everyone else. I wanted to be friends with them, and I tried at first, but withdrew before too long because of a fear of becoming outcast by association. I've thought about this countless times since. It feels unquestionably wrong to me to abandon people, or not speak up for them, when everybody else is against them. I regret that I didn't have the strength or confidence to stay that course when I was younger. I don't want to make those mistakes again if I can help it.

I feel secure enough in myself and my friendships to not go along with what I perceive as the majority opinion now when it seems wrong to me. I don't want to succumb to das Man. I want to be authentic, and part of that means public exposure, however uncomfortable it might be. One of the biggest challenges I've informally set for myself in this program is being open about my dissenting opinions. I'm not interested in playing devil's advocate just for the sake of playing devil's advocate, but I don't want to lie if I disagree or feel differently than the other people expressing themselves. It's scary, because I don't like having a lot of attention on me, but it feels important.

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