I wonder whether I have always been like this. I was an over-achiever at school, I worried an awful lot about people's perceptions of me even when I was a child. I also used to be terribly cynical about the world, and I didn't fully believe in love and beauty even if I desperately wanted to. These days I feel like I am able and more than willing to enjoy small things in life, and I would certainly claim that I am over being a sad pessimist. There are times when I feel I have to keep prodding myself, though. I easily let my interest in the odd, the problematic, the analytical and the scary take over my spirit of fun. Who knows, maybe I have been reading too much on old mental institutions. And the stupid GAAD is making me not love what I used to love about clothes, and that surely can't be the point of the whole experiment. On second thought, maybe I am taking TGAAD too seriously, too...
Wednesday, 26 January 2011
The other night Chris and I stumbled upon a documentary about origami, a film called Between the Folds, directed by Vanessa Gould. I have always found origami fascinating, but I had no idea how seriously true origamists take it: folding paper can be an art form, a way to help build space research equipment, or to learn more about the way we understand mathematics and geometry. Among other hugely talented and fascinating people who work with origami, the documentary features Erik Demaine, an associate professor at MIT. As several of the people interviewed talked about the potential of origami, the fantastic world of possibilities that it could offer, it was Demaine's final remarks in the documentary that made me pause. Yes, origami had a lot to do with Demaine's work on folding algorithms and puzzles, but he also folds paper in his free time because it is fun.
It sort of hit me that I have found myself rather serious lately. I do a lot of things that I enjoy: I read, I watch movies, I knit, I listen to good music. For the most part, though, my key word is interesting rather than fun. I am drawn to problems and things that I long to understand better. I spent a long time in the Strand bookstore in New York looking for books on the history of psychiatry rather than, say, kitties.
I got to thinking about the types of things I do just for fun, and I couldn't think of much. In the spirit of the origami documentary, I recognised the sincere love I have for jigsaw puzzles, but living with six cats makes active puzzle-making a little tricky. I used to roam second-hand stores and flea markets just because I enjoyed it, but TGAAD is making me feel awfully self-conscious and serious about the whole world of fashion and clothes, too. I love gardening, and for the most part that is for fun, too, but I get horribly beat down if my plants die - last year I actually cried over tomato blight. It seems that I take life way too seriously.