What Did I Do
I’m awake a lot during the night. Since I’m not sick and since these periods don’t bother me, I chalk these intervals up to age. And that is certainly true about what often happens during these periods: I think about my past. Not brooding about it, not celebrating it, just remembering, ruminating about what happened to me at some point in the past or what I then did.
A few times I listed, so to speak, all the activities that I had engaged in during my life, leaving out, of course, the ordinary activities of living. On several occasions I found myself speculating about which of these I had spent the most time.
I came up with a number of categories, such as reading and writing philosophy, which officially became my profession: I am a professor of philosophy emeritus. Then there was just reading. I’ve read all my life, though I was never an avid reader, nor a fast one. I’ve read fiction, but except for a brief period when Fannia and I devoured detective stories, reading novels never became a big occupation. Properly educated people would rightly look down at me in that domain.
I once wrote a piece about reading and writing and confessed to be partial to the latter, explaining it (if that’s what it was) as a preference for being active rather than passive. So write a lot, I did, in support of jobs I held, with a quite a few papers on topics in higher education. And I write a lot about my favorite subject: me.
Of course you would be right if you attributed that last fact to a kind of egoism, though that wouldn’t tell the full story. The basic desire—impulse, if you like—was to write. And there I was one subject I could write about without having to bother with doing research. In short, impulses to act are dragged down by laziness.When I started this piece, I had more activities in mind. I still do, but will continue on this theme on a future post.