Thursday, February 9, 2017
Last week the beautiful, but diseased tree in my courtyard was cut down to a stump. The noise from the chainsaw was horrendous and I had a migraine for two days. Nevertheless at least I don't have to worry now about whether it was going to fall. Unfortunately the tree was providing much needed shade from the burning sun and so my courtyard, which was once a haven is like hades. The birds that I feed everyday - a couple of blackbirds, some doves and sparrows adapted to the fact that the tree was missing and use the tree stump as a jumping off point to the top of the fence. I think they grew accustomed to the absence of branches and leaves faster than I did and I figure that's because they didn't see the tree as I did, being more enveloped within it, whereas I absorbed its entireity.
After reading Hitler's Mein Kamf I've moved on to Arthur Shopenhauer's The World as Will and Representation and although I'm dipping into the large tome, rather than reading it word for word I have to say that I enjoyed the chapter on Aesthetic Pleasure, especially in relation to the sublime. The following quote regarding the sublime character is particularly interesting:
He will observe their faults, and even their hatred and injustice to himself, without being thereby stirred to hatred on his own part. He will contemplate their happiness without feeling envy, recognize their good qualities without desiring closer association with them, perceive the beauty of women without hankering after them. His personal happiness or unhappiness will not violently affect him. For, in the course of his own life and in its misfortunes, he will look less at his own individual lot than at the lot of mankind as a whole, and accordingly will conduct himself in this respect rather as a knower than as a sufferer. (206-207). I'm wondering whether this may be akin to Nietzsche's Ubermensch for it appears to be a spiritual quest?
Over the course of the past week I've been involved in administrative tasks associated with becoming a casual tutor in the Indigenous Tertiary Assistane Scheme at the University of Melbourne. It's a job I held between the years 2009-2012. I'm not sure at this stage how many hours a week I'll be working as it really depends on the students who select me. It's still a week or so before Orientation Week so I'll know soon enough. I also joined up as a Welcome to Melbourne mentor with the University and have been matched with a female town planner from Mauritis who is undertaking an MA at Melbourne University. I've decided to welcome her to Melbourne by taking her to the NGV International in a couple of weeks time.
I feel rather trapped by this hot weather. I generally do domestic things, gymnasium and the like in the morning and then home in the afternoons. I'm really looking forward to Autumn's cooler days. Still, one should not wish their life away.