Yesterday was one of the best days of my life thus far!
(What other days compare? The day Ashley and I got married and the days of our honeymoon week driving to and from Myrtle Beach are certainly up there. The week or so when Ashley and I drove to and from Portland, Maine. You perhaps notice a travel theme here? Oh yes, the day we adopted Yago! But it seems I’ve otherwise lost touch with specific days—one reason why I remain compelled to commit to this diary; I am motivated selfishly to be able to keep fragments of my days. *Every time I think of the word fragments I think of a person I used to admire who told me essentially I was not good enough to go to graduate school for creative writing and that this person was … Continue reading One thing that is more complicated about recalling a best day is that a day as platform, canvas, medium, et cetera, is different than an EXPERIENCE. Sometimes a day can be rather unpleasant but there are golden experiences within that day nonetheless. For example, when I think back to my days in Florida and California…a lot of it was dark and depressing because I was dark and depressed but there were also such wonderful experiences when I lived in those two states. And having moved to such exotic places where there are palm trees and year round warmth…as I tend to be a very aesthetic-minded person I get a thrill from the geographic highlights of a place. When I lived in South Beach and worked at the Wings Souvenir Shop on Lincoln Road…I was a mere few blocks not just from the Atlantic Ocean but from that part of the Atlantic Ocean where the bright emerald-turquoise color of its water sparkled and radiated. It had been a dream of mine to live by the ocean….a tropic ocean…the Caribbean. When I was maybe 11 and had discovered the Caribbean Sea for the first time… it was the summer of 1996…before I started fifth grade…out of nowhere my father and former stepmother had declared that we would be traveling to Cancun, Mexico. The prospect initially meant nothing to me, but as the taxi drove us towards the hotel I could see in the distance the Caribbean sea and the water was a color so unlike New Jersey that I felt I could have been living on another and much more beautiful planet. From then on I grew obsessed with the Caribbean and begged my father to buy me a subscription to Caribbean Travel and Life Magazine. *One can find copies of the magazine on Amazon apparently but according to a dead link on a Wikipedia article, which I only cite because it was the only source I could find, the magazine stopped … Continue reading Anyway, since that trip to Cancun I had yearned to one day LIVE someplace in the Caribbean. Moving to South Beach actually fulfilled that dream. Speaking of best experiences…
What was it about yesterday that was so wonderful? It was one of those days where I felt there wasn’t that much more I could ask of the universe.
Well, there’s always more as I believe in constant self and life improvement but I mean it was a day that flowed smoothly with no bad news and a lot of quelled anxiety.
I loved where I lived and who I lived with, I loved having time to work on this diary, I loved everything we ate, I loved talking about dreams of the future with my wife, a couple of drops of CBD oil helped me relax towards the end of the day, and our dog Yago was his regularly wonderful self.
The day actually brought to mind the final part of Milan Kundera’s novel The Unbearable Lightness of Being * https://www.harpercollins.com/products/the-unbearable-lightness-of-being-milan-kundera : “Karenin’s Smile.”
“Tereza was happy and felt that she had at last reached her goal: she and Tomas were together and alone…they felt perfectly at home…
“the countryside had maintained more than a modicum of autonomy and freedom”
And of their dog (Tereza and Tomas’s dog) Karenin, “He was definitely the happiest of the three)” *see pages 282-284 of the First Harper Perennial Classics 2009 reissued edition
Indeed, what persists most about this part of New Jersey where we have spent the last year is that it FEELS like “HOME.” (And what does “home” feel like? There’s a certain warmth to it. As if an oxytocin surge like feeling that comes from hugging the one you love romantically. A substantiated belief in at least some optimism by virtue of being where one wants to be.)
It does happen to be more of the rural-ish part of New Jersey, and yet, also suburban.
Rural suburbia has a peacefulness about it, especially when there are so many mountains around.
You get the openness of the countryside but without feeling like you’re “in the middle of nowhere” like it sometimes felt as we drove, especially, through the southern states of the U.S. You get a substantial infusion of diverse culture although not in overwhelming crowds and overly built-up environment devoid of free and open greenspace.
Do I feel as though we have more autonomy and freedom here in Bernards, New Jersey…in contrast to East Windsor? Yes in the spiritual sense! First of all because we want to be here. We did not want to be in East Windsor. Alas, New Jersey being the expensive state that it is, acquiring the means to leave down was not really doable. Now that we’re here, the mere fact that it’s where we wanted to be is a reiteration of that free and autonomous feeling.
Is Yago the happiest among us? I don’t know but he was abandoned, given away and lived for a time at St. Hubert’s Animal Rescue, thus, for a time, locked up, in a sense. Here in our condo he gets all our attention, plenty of space, the best food we can find, and now that I’m socially distanced at home, he gets better quality walks and extra interaction. He sleeps with us in bed and watches TV with us on the couch. He at least not appear miserable.
I do hate, however, that he is alone, and pine for a new puppy friend he can live with and play with. We’re not sure just what kind of puppy we’d like. We may want one just like Yago. We were told he’s half lab but that they didn’t know what else. Having looked at many pictures of different types of dogs we hypothesize that he may actually be a Carolina Dog. *For a bit more on the Carolina dog: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/carolina-dog/ He behaves and looks like the Carolina dog. We’re now on the quest to find the best dog breed test kit so we can learn more about the sort of dog he most likely is.
There are other breeds we have in mind.
I have some interest in the prospect of the Sweedish Vallhund. I’m interested in part for the superficial reason of its beauty. The same is the case for the Alaskan Malamute. Several months ago—pre Covid—at the local pet store, Ashley and I saw what I think is or at least looks quite like an Alaskan Malamute and I fell in lust with the dark silver-gray mixed with white. Paired with Yago we could call them our silver and gold.
This morning, I fantasized about becoming a dog breeder, my wife and I. Alas, I know nothing about dog breeding and I only have short of a year experience with dogs. But so what? One of my heros, Tara Swart, was a psychiatrist through her mid thirties before she decided to become a neurologist! If she can do that, why could I not eventually breed a dog?
I discovered a new musician who intrigues me. His name is Mansij Madaan and the song that brought him to my attention is called “Sonder.” It’s the only song I can find tied to his name and he doesn’t come up on any Google searches beyond his Facebook page. I sent him a friend request and hopefully he’ll accept. Maybe I can find out more about him that way.
Yesterday I began work on an essay about my “Universal Dream”—as opposed to my “American Dream” because I hate that concept—the “American dream”—how Nationalistic! How condescending. How anti-universal! How ethnocentric!
The idea behind the essay is for me to explore what the prospect of receiving donations for this diary blog means to me. I did a little research on grant proposal writing, sponsorship request writing, donation request writing as to see how I could best and most palatable yet honestly “put it out there” that should a reader deem my diary worthy, there is a way to express this sentiment in financial terms via donation. Today I’ll put up a button. And I persist in talking myself out of feeling intimidated or unworthy.
So what have I learned from my research? I didn’t keep the names of the sources where I got the various recommendations because I wasn’t actually thinking in terms of sharing the sources at the time. But I like to be as transparent in my thinking as I can…as likewise accords with my motifs of self improvement and cultural criticism…the self improvement half being especially relevant here as I must improve my financial situation. I must learn how to make money doing what I want. Writing this diary blog!
Now that look back at what I started yesterday I now recall in fact abandoning the various lists of donation seeking tips in favor of instead taking the approach I took via cover-letter when I pursued my wonderful job at William Paterson University.
I’ll share that cover letter with you as it is in fact one of my favorite writings…due to the job it gave me. Moreover, I put an immense amount of effort into crafting the basic gist of my cover-letters throughout the course of spring and summer of 2019. I kept failing to win an interview with my cover letters I kept tweaking my approach. The first success was getting the job at Raritan Valley Community College in September 2019. Then in January of 2020 I got the job at William Paterson University, which became my first University job as a person bachelor’s degree.
I’m sharing the cover letter as a picture instead of pasting the text because it seems I only saved the pdf and copying and pasting from pdfs can sometimes be annoying.
|↑1||Every time I think of the word fragments I think of a person I used to admire who told me essentially I was not good enough to go to graduate school for creative writing and that this person was uncertain as to what I would have to offer and would thus have to rescind and renege on this person’s original offer to write a letter or recommendation for me. This person also alleged that my passion for poetry was not evident and then went on about how poetry is a “FRAGMENT of consciousness…”; I just remember that specific phrasing….|
|↑2||One can find copies of the magazine on Amazon apparently but according to a dead link on a Wikipedia article, which I only cite because it was the only source I could find, the magazine stopped publishing in 2012; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caribbean_Travel_%26_Life|
|↑4||see pages 282-284 of the First Harper Perennial Classics 2009 reissued edition|
|↑5||For a bit more on the Carolina dog: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/carolina-dog/|