the world itself is but a series of footnotes to a vast unfinished masterpiece

I got out of the shower tonight, was drying off, and had this exact thought: "I have the toes of an exhibitionist." That's either a cry for help, or the lead to my Pulitzer Prize-winning poem-to-be.

The place where I spend the majority of my official time, in metaphorical video form:

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has been much on my mind lately, as it's all over everywhere and one can't open a webpage without seeing it splashing across one's computer screen--the challenges themselves, or commentary about it. Even my friend BGM at Sledding with Rosebud had a post about it tonight.

It seemed innocuous enough to me, at first. And then it was just tedious. Then I actually paid attention, and it was...admirable, I suppose, if far off. Over the past few days, more and more of my actual friends are doing it, making me wonder if/when it'll fall into my lap.

I have to put myself into a group with 'r' and BGM and a few others: my charitable giving is my own affair, engaged in a private realm, and not for the approval or delectation of my peers. And, right or wrong, it's not about giving for the cause or issue of the moment or what's in the news, but that about which I feel strongly or am personally motivated.

All that being said: I've heard too many disparaging comments about "first world problems" (a phrase which ought to earn anyone a swift slap across the sanctimonious jaw) regarding this country's "obsession" with the ice buckets to the detriment of everything else happening in the world--as if one can't do something silly in social media and still be aware of international and local news. We don't all share the same interests. We don't all have the same tolerance for the harsh aspects of the world. We don't all reveal the depths of our souls to each other (thank God). So maybe, when others are doing something that's at least not doing any harm, the rest of us could refrain from trying to take them down for it.

I'm reading a couple of terrific, but very different, nonfiction books. Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do by Wallace J. Nichols, and How the World Sees You: Discover Your Highest Value Through the Science of Fascination by Sally Hogshead. The former is more endearing to my Minnesotan soul, but the latter has definitely been more helpful over the past month or so, and is highly recommended to anyone who is online dating, job-changing, or in any other life change.

[the title quotation is by Vladimir Nabokov]

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