I’m travelling to Curacao and Japan this month (eeeeek!) and also find myself (and about five different notebooks) in the middle of two very exciting and intense projects, so my mind has already forgotten about anything that happened between August and September. Luckily dat ol’ iPhone’s photo roll hasn’t. Here are a couple of snaps from Austria (Alps), Bavaria, Austria again (Carinthia), England and mild summer days in Berlin. Also, I’d actually like to show you extracts from David Foster Wallace’s speech “This is Water” which has inspired me in so many ways recently. Here is the full piece.
There are these two young fish swimming along, and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, “Morning, boys, how’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, “What the hell is water?”
Twenty years after my own graduation, I have come to gradually to understand that the liberal-arts cliché about “teaching you how to think” is actually shorthand for a much deeper, more serious idea: “Learning how to think” really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience.
The capital-T Truth is about life before death. It is about making it to 30, or maybe 50, without wanting to shoot yourself in the head. It is about simple awareness — awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, that we have to keep reminding ourselves, over and over: “This is water, this is water.”