Philosophies, or the Bottomless Nautilus

I was a mighty deep thinker on this trip. Truths, ideas and speculations gathered in my head like gray clouds and then burst in showers of enlightenment. Enlightningment, if you want me to continue the metaphor. So yeah, like clouds with enlightning, and then I was showered with epiphanies. Golden epiphany showers! Cool, huh?

Here is one of them:

If you drink enough wine, and eat enough cheese, no matter how much you walk, you will still get fat.

I made that up one day, just off the top of my head! Of course, being a stickler for accuracy and a devotee of science, I tested, proved and repeated my theory, and am proud to report to you that I am now a roundish (though remarkably agile), flabby, drunken, cheese-filled walker. Not this kind:

 Or this kind:  Or even this kind:  (Is it just me , or does that Tennessee Walker look a little like Lady Gaga?)

I am more of that type of walker that likes to sit down a lot.   Of course, this is exactly the sort of information – the sort that has no actual (or even virtual) relevance, does not enhance my story, and is uninteresting to 99% of the people who read it (I can’t help it! If it is about me, even if I wrote it, even if it’s boring, I’m interested!) – that I had decided, as per my last post, not to share.

And while I am speaking of sharing or not sharing, I just saw the first ep of the new season of Louie – I’m WAY behind on my tv. Anyhoo, after being off the air for three months or whatever, he opened that show with the words “One time I was jerking off – this is another aging thing- and I was looking at my penis and it was blurry…”

I can’t really see myself sharing this kind of information on one of my blogposts that way, on account of I got that Lasik eye surgery and can see really well, but still, I admire his lack of filters.

Who would have thought that on a piece about how philosophical I was on my trip to France that I would end up writing about Louie’s blurry penis, or Lady Tennessee Gaga, or golden thought showers? The paradox of thought – that it is composed of random patterns, unconnected, misshapen beads of ideas that string together and endlessly loop back upon themselves, making chains of thought, themselves at once never-before-envisioned and yet as familiar as an old pillow – is infinitely fascinating. Or dead boring, depending on how you see it. But it does lead me to another of my France philosophies:

Try as you might, you can only force a thought so far.

This to say, basically, that total sustained concentration, absolute focus, is impossible.

Of course, that can’t be true. That’s ridiculous.

But it does give credence to the idea that it is unnatural, dare I say even counter-intuitive, to expect most people to think linearly, in a structured, methodical manner.

Okay, maybe “most people” is a bit of an exaggeration. I mean me. I am not one to force a thought. In fact, many of my deepest thoughts come bubbling up to the surface unexpectedly, like from deep inside of a nautilus, but without the chambers. There is a great value to aimless wandering, whether it is down the tangled and obscured pathways of your own mind or lost in the streets of a city of surprises. Time spent musing is not time wasted; it’s time figuring things out, fitting things in, making sense of chaos or deconstructing logic, laughing at the overlooked, remembering forgotten truths, or marveling at the mysteries. And since musing comes from within, and what is within is influenced and colored by what is without, you never know what is going to be important to you, what will spin up from the bottomless nautilus, which means…

Wait for it!

Revel in the dramatic effect of the pause


this     is   gonna    be


Everything is relevant!

Told ya I was deep.

Two famous people weigh in on my ideas:

“Wonder is the feeling of the philosopher, and philosophy begins in wonder.” Plato

(Isn’t that what I just said?)

“Experience has shown, and a true philosophy will always show, that a vast, perhaps larger portion of the truth, arises from the seemingly irrelevant.”  Edgar Allan Poe

(That is definitely what I just said! Get your own idea, Poe!)

BONUS! From “The Chambered Nautilus”, by Oliver Wendell Holmes

Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul,
As the swift seasons roll!
Leave thy low-vaulted past!
Let each new temple, nobler than the last,
Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast,
Till thou at length art free,
Leaving thine outgrown shell by life’s unresting sea!