Tuesday, November 24, 2009
A beautiful mind (over sushi)
Last night I went for dinner with a friend of mine who is so ridiculously intelligent, witty and erudite it makes me feel like I'm living in a Cinema Nouveau subtitled art movie set in Paris in the inter war years every time I see him. He brings up things like Stoicism's contribution to early Christianity while you ask him to pass you the soy sauce, an apparently obvious continuation of the conversation we had been having about Freudian psychology and the reasons for being attracted to people who make us unhappy. It's a wild ride. It's never a monologue and it's always funny. You can't sit back and mention the banalities of everyday life for fear of the disappointment in his face. There is no relief; it's hard to keep up, but there is no option but to up the ante and join the conversation. I usually drink heavily to relieve the pressure to be entertaining. But I always leave these high-voltage urbane mind-offs feeling oddly rejuvenated. They remind me that it's not things or events that make life interesting, it's our reaction to them. The external world is just a series of events: our minds and our decisions and our creative narrative are what bring the magic. Being bored just means you're being lazy.