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04 September 2012

q is for quixotic

quixotic - foolishly, impractically, idealistic

Yep, that's me.


I remember my mother telling me once, when I was 17 and we were in the middle of an argument, that I was an idealist. She said it as though it were a great shock to her, not necessarily a bad thing, just very surprising. I retorted that I was a realist, and not prone to cynical fantasies or damaging stereotypes. The argument was probably about one of my boyfriends. Or maybe it was about her boyfriends. I really don't remember. We both had poor taste, in very different ways.

I don't know whether I've really retained any of that certainty I had then in my own perception of reality. Some, perhaps, but not all. I doubt it would be for the best, if I had retained it all. I'd like to think that the certainty I feel is warranted. At times, I believe it is.

Just last night - or maybe it was the night before - Archer commented on my tendency to focus on the 'now' as opposed to a more broad way of thinking. I believe that 'now' is all we can really be certain of; the past is subect to interpretation and critically faulty memories, while the future isn't written. And within that narrow window of 'now' I believe we can only be truly certain of our own thoughts and perceptions, short those rare moments of complete trust, which afterall isn't truly proven. That leaves us with a rather small bit of certainty.

And yet, I'm more optimistic than not. I don't feel the need to be certain of reality, because I feel that we, as a species, are such a mixed bag - sometimes miraculously generous, sometimes horribly tragic - that it doesn't make sense to see only one side of us or the other. Truly, we cannot know any soul so well as our own, and the farther the relation the less we know. Thus we cannot truly comprehend what another soul experiences, or know whether most people are 'good' or 'bad'. But we know that if we do good things, we attract good juju, and vice versa.

So as long as I'm working on being a good person, I think my faith in a more idealistic experience of reality isn't so misplaced afterall.

It's possible that my perception of the world makes me quixotic. I'm ok with that. It's a good path to be on.


These are new thoughts; I don't think I've really given this aspect of myself serious thought since that argument with my mother, 14 years ago.

This line of thinking was inspired by an otter. More on that later.


  1. Does it reveal some horridly anal-retentive aspect of my personality that the first thing I noticed about this string of blogs is that they're not in perfectly alphabetical order?? :-*

    1. Yes. Yes it does.

      Actually, that just shows you I'm not doing them in order like I'm supposed to. But I'm caught up now, so unless I fall behind again, they should stay in order :)

  2. Anonymous08:16

    Without memory, no history
    Without history, no accountability
    Without accountability, no discernment of good and evil
    Without discernment of good and evil, no moral compass
    Without moral compass, no path to virtue
    No path to virtue, no mercy on any of us, the hyenas win, tearing us all to pieces with glee