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The changing seasons of my mind

The changing seasons of my mind

Old May 25th 2009, 10:32 am
  #31  
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Default Re: The changing seasons of my mind

Originally Posted by NKSK version 2
I think the buddhists were actually just applying basic microeconomic theory to aesthetics.
I think you're completely right about the beauty of an English summer being enhanced by the 6 months of poor weather and dull countryside which precedes it.
My only concern with this philosophy in my case is the logical extension - that we put ourselves through hellish weather - and for me this is the endless dull grey rather than violent storms - so that we can really enjoy the blue sky day when it arrives.
Some people - I suspect that you are one - can find a dull grey November day when it gets light at 7.30 and dark at 4pm energising - or at least not depressing. Increasingly over the years I couldn't do that in the UK - my opinion of the English countryside, that there is nowhere more beautiful on a blue sky day - was becoming more influenced by the unreliability of summer and the potenial to get those seemingly endless grey days.

It's funny but when I was writing the above, a newspaper story from 1993 kept springing to mind - was it a Tory MP who suffocated whilst starving himself of oxygen whilst trying to enhance orgasmic sensation?
Welcome to the doom and gloom room! (careful, attitudes are contagious you know)

You're right about November. I surprised myself by how much I enjoyed the dull days, the foggy days, and the dark evenings, smell of fallen leaves burning on the bonfire, etc. But there were a lot of sunny days too, even in winter, so it all seemed very well balanced and not hellish at all.

I really did like the climate of Perth, so I was quite worried about how I would feel. As it turned out, the weather was the least of my worries!

I think the feeling of balance and being part of natural cycles is the key point, rather than taking the argument to extremes. I don't think trying to increase pleasure by cranking up the suffering is really a good idea in the long run (I'll ask my MP if it really works!).

In a way, though, maybe that's what we do when we pursue a "better life" elsewhere. We get the enhanced pleasure experience (be it sunshine, beaches, less work, etc), but there is often a trade off (cultural ashpyxiation?).

Moving back after a long time away carries the same risks, of course, although the issues you face tend to be mirror images of each other (at least I think that's been true in our case).
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Old May 25th 2009, 10:58 am
  #32  
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Default Re: The changing seasons of my mind

Too much thought provocation going on here (and I'm supposed to be working).

I just remembered how surprisingly often in Perth I would find myself talking to locals who assumed that the days were short and it got dark early in the UK all year round. They were genuinely surprised when I told them we had really long days in summer, and that the length of a day averages out to be the same over a year wherever you are in the world. It's all in balance.

But they thought they had a monopoly on daylight (among other things!)
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Old May 25th 2009, 11:51 am
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Default Re: The changing seasons of my mind

Originally Posted by Exile

But they thought they had a monopoly on daylight (among other things!)
Ain't that the truth.

I'm scared of becoming my dad.

He spends from October to April depressed and saying things like "Only x weeks until summer....the clocks go back in 8 weeks" etc etc. Then spends April to June saying "Well, just a few more weeks and then the nights will start drawing in again..." Then spends June to September saying "Well, not much summer left..."

Perth is a bit like Brunei in some respects. Because the weather is beautiful for much of the year (and for me this is really important - shallow, fickle, philistine that I am), I find that the passage of time becomes a bit of a background issue - it just kind of slips by which suits me quite nicely. And I find that I'm less depressed by what the buddhists and what you suggested in your earlier post about transient beauty.

It comes back to personalities - I think I'm the type that is quite deeply affected by the passing of seasons - the last of the snows as well as the last of the swallows.

(Having said all that, it's bloody freezing here at the minute, I'm yet again cursing appalling Australian building standards and I'm counting the weeks until summer. And I think I've got swine flu)
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Old May 25th 2009, 8:05 pm
  #34  
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Default Re: The changing seasons of my mind

I agree about the idea that suffering makes us appreciate good things more. Why not go bang our heads on the wall so it feels great when we stop?

But people are a lot more sensitive to that grayness than others. I know people who couldn't bear Vancouver, though it's one of the world's best cities, because of the 6 months of gray. (It's worse than Victoria, BTW.) Ditto, Seattle, which is like Vancouver.

I don't mind it, and much much prefer it to cold and snow, which certainly made me miserable enough to spend a lot of the year waiting for the good bits to start. I also know people so sensitive to heat that they spend the hot Ottawa summers huddled in air conditioning waiting for the good times to start.

Anyone can go out on a gray drizzly day, even if they don't like it. Many people can't go out in high heat or humidity, or in deep cold, or when it's icy underfoot.

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