By Parson Thru
I just subdued myself in a bout of moral wrestling. The issue was whether I should base my opinion of my flatmate’s behaviour on stereotype. The principle is fairly clear, but sometimes the situation makes that principle harder to uphold.
She’s young, beautiful and shockingly selfish – probably from a wealthy family – and piles up her dishes in the sink until someone else washes them. Normally, the landlady does it but, as she’s away, I had to wash three days-worth yesterday and now they’re piling up again.
I worked my thoughts through on this laptop as a piece of prose. By halfway through the second paragraph I’d deleted it, reminding myself that stereotyping is not the way forward.
That’s not to say that induction isn’t a well-proven and effective strategy. But just because there’s a toad under every stone you’ve turned doesn’t mean there’ll be a toad under the next one. The factors that bring toad and stone together will vary – that is the only certainty. Everything on merit. Maybe I should speak to her. The only problem is she speaks no English and my Spanish is limited.
I’m around three-quarters of the way through my second read of Kerouac’s “On The Road”. Most of his other titles have been sandwiched in between. In parallel, I’m tapping the screen on a Kindle download of Penguin’s “Allen Ginsberg Collected Poems”. Most are new to me, including “Many Loves” (I must ask N to bring a Whitman collection over).
The poem has a strong resonance for a whole load of reasons, not least the stuff I’m reading in “Road”, but also an ongoing conversation about sexuality and ego with a friend. I found an essay on the Internet at www.beatdom.com/many-loves, which I read and emailed to another friend. Whatever its merit, it contains some fascinating insights.
I need to go back and re-read “Howl”. Reviews and crits. shouldn’t affect the way a piece is read, but context is context.
Plans are afoot (ho, ho!) to walk some more Camino with the aim of contemplating life, getting cold, wet and miserable, giving up, and returning to Madrid. I really need to start teaching soon. Before that, I need to book two seats on a bus south to Granada in pursuit of the heat. We can grab some Andalucían culture while we’re there. First, though, I have to decide whether to have it out with my flatmate. It never works as well in mime.