subtle sleep

Thus ends my winter break with Hope College. I’m not exactly refreshed, but at least I approach my relentless schedule with a sort of calm.

I am scheduled to take my Mom to her new psychologist this morning. I asked the In Home Care people who have been helping Mom to assist her with being up and bathed and ready to roll at 7:45 AM.

Yesterday was sort of a “Mom” day for me. I was on the phone with her health care providers for much of the day. I went to speak with her banker to clear up some misunderstandings around my Power of Attorney. At this point I suspect I inadvertently gave them an old version which confused the matter. It was easy to give them the new one.

After I spoke to the psychologist office yesterday, I downloaded and printed up the entry questionnaire. Before my meeting with the pastoral staff at work, I stopped by and helped Mom fill out this questionnaire.

The staff meeting went better than I expected. We are developing new models of inter-dependent schedules.

I am reconsidering completing the piece I spent so much time working on Monday and Tuesday. At least I could complete it and my piano trio could run through it in rehearsal and I could hear what it sounds like with real players.

I am stuck on the middle section, so I will have to come up with something that satisfies me before I’ll print up a working version to read through.

I don’t see a performance for it in the future, however. It’s based on a Lenten hymn tune (Erhalt uns). So that limits when it would be appropriate to perform at church. At least in my mind it does.

Eileen was ill with a cold all day yesterday. I didn’t bother with Valentine stuff because she was so miserable. She outfoxed me and handed me a little chocolate heart. Usually she doesn’t give me anything for Valentine’s day and usually I manage to get her a flower or something. Yesterday we reversed this.

I did my usual morning reading of poetry and non-fiction this morning. Finished off the section in William Carlos Williams’ collect poems which represents Journey to Love, a little book he published in 1955. It has some beautiful love poetry to his wife and to life in general. He was in seventies.

I was surprised that he quoted a line from Spenser in it. “Sweet Thames run softly till I end my song.”

I didn’t recognize this particularly. I learned it from the notes. The surprise is that it ends up also being a reference to a use of this line by T. S. Eliot in Section III of “The Wasteland.”

This is surprising because WCW seems to have situated himself in opposition to Eliot’s academic aesthetic. As usual, there’s more to it than the simple reactive stance of disdain.

Moved from poetry to the online version of Vital Lies, Simple Truths: The Psychology of Self Deception by Daniel Goleman. This books does fascinate me. Finished the introduction this morning.

In it, he compares denial to the physical blind spot at the back of the eye. He even has the little cross and square that you can use to see your own blind spot printed in the book.

He also compares denial to photo cropping and physical framing of pictures.

He states clearly the thesis of his  book:

“The mind can protect itself against anxiety by dimming awareness. This mechanism creates a blind spot: a zone of blocked attention and self-deception. Such blind spots occur at each major level of behavior from the psychological to the social.”  Daniel Goleman, Vital Lies, Simple Truths: The Psychology of Self Deception

He ends the introduction with this clear and helpful idea:

“our collective predicament: if we so easily lull ourselves into subtle sleep, how can we awaken? The first step, it seems to me, is to notice how it is that we are asleep.” Daniel GolemanVital Lies, Simple Truths: The Psychology of Self Deception

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1 thought on “subtle sleep

  1. The Goleman book seems very familiar to me. But I checked and it’s not available on the kindle. My guess is that I have looked at something else by him. I just reserved Vital Lies at the library. Self-deception is something that I don’t have any problems with…


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