Read and commented on an excerpt of Leviathan for History & Theory of Int’l Law while waiting at the dentist’s, and talked w/ dentist about getting a job after going to a professional school while she cleaned away on my teeth. Walked through Bloor from Bathurst to Avenue listening to John Legend, suddenly & for the first time being reminded of what it meant / how it was for me to move out in this city, visiting the art / print store I bought things to decorate my place when I first moved out in late winter – the beginning – of 2007. How it meant for me.. and why I had had to move out.
Deposited money along the way, walked the whole way to dinner with Chris. Had a very good dinner at Dimmi’s, a food place in my fancy neighbourhood that I had dismissed as a stuffy and superficial restaurant where older people went to hang out with themselves. There was substance behind the façade! The risotto was very good, the spoonfuls I stole from Chris’s plate, and was very satisfied by the perfectly portioned seafood fettuccine, which went very well with the Chilean sauvignon blanc I had picked. I guess older people do know what tastes better; as one ages, the joys one finds in food seem to increase disproportionately to the joys one finds in other more complex (or simple, on the other hand) things.
I really enjoyed the desserts that we had at Morocco, a dessert resto tucked behind in the same neighbourhood: a Ceylon tea infused with bergamot, orange, and vanilla, which complemented the ornage macaron that came with it, as well as the dark chocolate fondue. I enjoyed it. It was an experience I had had in other places and had not quite expected to have in Toronto — I guess I have been dimissing Toronto before I got to know it really.
Came home and had a great conversation with Matt, and devoured through certain posts on ubu.com (ahh. no comment. see for yourself, and die and wake up in heaven if you are so inclined.), inspired by someone’s gift to me, which was a link to Louange a l’eternite de Jesus. Separate reflections on that piece in this post.
Matt and I talked about musical experiences, the burning out in doing the thing you love most, the effects my 16th c. counterpoint, cognitive neuroscience of music, and ethnomusicology classes had on me, about being passionate, the messiness of passion alluded to in an earlier conversation about cleanliness in playing and lack of personality in classical music interpretations today & the obsession with the note-perfect, and how the divide between jus naturai and jus gentium flows through history, law, spirituality, and music in the West.
“The Aesthetics of Silence” was shared, and the urgency with which my more youthful self would obsess over reading Sontag and Barthes and Bachelard, thinking about what performance and music and art meant, intent to see how they could help me shape my thoughts on these subjects that were so important to my identity and to what I had thought to be my never-ending and all-consuming quest.. and how they would affect the way I looked at music and played it, infusing me with something, and giving me tools to make better sense of it, making it perhaps more than what it was, but intent on figuring out what it could mean, more, more.
All of that intellectual quest was very important to me then, and that urgency was, though in part filled with anxiety and perhaps taking me to imbalance rather than balance at the time, innocent because it was passionate. I had lost that part of myself, maybe, or had locked that up out of necessity since then, constantly pushing its little head down at periods and then finally remembering it as remnants of a happy, wide-eyed, (consciously) glorious period of my youth where learning and soaking up was so important. I am still doing that, but inspiration does not come so often.
I suppose tonight the small moment of relaxation had freed up my mind for my soul to come out. I guess it is like the loosening up of brain space that allows for the flexing of the creative capacity that David Rock talks about in Your Brain at Work.
Before and after the dinner, the whole day led me onto surprising paths…. I feel calm and “myself”. Much gratitude to Chris for these moments.
Earlier in the day I went to the immigration / refugee law office I sometimes work at for a meeting with a client who recently received a positive decision on her claim. She had brought a little plant and a letter to the lawyer, which I translated for her. She was glowing with happiness, not a trace of the anguish, sadness, and the fear that would plague every inch of her face, and the lawyer was overjoyed for the peace and happiness this decision brought upon her life; so was I. It was an honour to have been around her. The lawyer warned her of a possible period of depression that might come upon her at the deflation of the joy and the relief from this decision. All of that was meaningful and instructive. I loved that I had been part of this since this past summer. I did lose some important things in return, but all in all an experience I would never trade for anything.
I bought a cable for my laptop and TV from a store I had used to frequent with a friend who is now in Hong Kong (yes I do find it rather funny that I oscillate between the utterly personal content of all of this and my consciousness of the audience) — here I walked, too. I had also deposited some money, and walked from Bathurst to Avenue, but on College, along which I found a lovely cafe that reminded me so much of Espresso Royale in Boston, a place where many, many of my college memories blossomed. It is quite far from where I live by foot but I should really visit that place. I feel myself there.
So, after buying that cable, I texted Ben, that friend in Hong Kong, and laughed a lot at it because it was ridiculously long and in my mind quite funny in that ridiculous way. It was great. I came home, met with mother, ate food, and off I went to the dentist. It was just a great day. Can you see that it was a great day? I can see that it was a great day. : sigh : Now I feel that I can read some more Hobbes again — I appreciate that I have classes to do things like that in. It has nothing to do with any practical aspects of studying or practicing law at large, which is why this is such a rare opportunity (to feel myself and be happy at the intellectual luxury) that I should so appreciate.
This entry was a lot more cohesive in my mind / was potentially quite great, but it turned out to be quite an eclectic mixture of knickknacks of my mind. It is quite ok that it is like this. It used to piss me off that writing journal entries invariably resulted in this, but when one sets out to recount a whole day’s episodes, I suppose the temporal boundary of the day is the only super structure that can tie all of it together. Or it would take too much effort, and one would never get to telling everything. So perhaps not all of everything is important, but when a day has been happy or unhappy, it is the aggregate of the experiences / episodes of that day so it is rather important, even though the individual parts may have made one happy for reasons that are quite distinct and disparate amongst themselves. At least today all of it culminated in the Louange, then a new part flowed from it again. It was great.
This entry is disproportionate and imbalanced in form but that is all right. I am happy. And I perhaps desired to share it with you / mark it down for posterity, for me to revisit. Entries I find from college, and before, I feel grateful for.
Yes, that is the end. : ) Abrupt end, like a person stood up and left a party. Thanks for coming by.