Sunday, July 23, 2017

measuring my capacities

I wonder if others, like me, have difficulty discerning their place or station in the wider realm of say, intelligence, beauty, pain ... how the hell is anyone to know? Sure, cheerleaders may credit their elevated station based on cup size and popularity ... but how does anyone credit their own station when no one else is around to assert it or create a contrast?

Yesterday, a friend to whom I had sent some 38-year-old photos and appeared in some of them, wrote back in part by saying "you were beautiful." And the picture he referenced had stopped me in my tracks as well ... a nice looking fellow for sure, but I never had a sense of my own beauty. Or ugliness either, I suppose.

It's like those idiotic pain graphics posted in hospitals:

Without an outside measure -- a kvetching Jewish mother, perhaps? -- how could anyone know how good or bad anything -- in this instance, pain -- were?

My friend said I was "beautiful." The observation elevated my credulity center in ways it seldom had in the past. There was a time when I was beautiful and I believed it yesterday as I would have dismissed the observation in the past. Some function within credited the outsider. Why shouldn't I be beautiful ... whatever that meant? Still, it was pleasing since I like beauty even if I can't define it.

In the old days, there was the saying, "comparisons are odious." I wonder idly if they are "odious" or if, rather, they are simply "stupid." The pain is as much as the pain is. The beauty is as much as the beauty is. The love is as lovely as the love is. It has less-than-nothing to do with the agreement of others.

Still, it is pleasant to bask in the positive evaluation of others. Believing others feels good -- or horrific. But accuracy or relevance are odd at best. Believing others may assert a human kinship, but to live a life dependent on the assessment of even the most beloved kin ... well, how accurate is that? How could such a construct NOT be destined for a crash-and-burn?

Oh well, I guess I'm old enough now to simply enjoy a good falsehood. I like cozy.


  1. Whenever i was with a woman, i would find her the most beautiful girl in the world. I would say so and she would doubt. But i always meant it, and always loved them more than was possible. So many years later, i haven't changed my opinion on any of them, no matter who agrees or not.

  2. "Oh well, I guess I'm old enough now to simply enjoy a good falsehood. I like cozy."

    Oh man! Who knew a genuine reaction would cause such psycho-philosophical musings?

    OK. I take it back. I should have written, "You used to be a handsome devil, you poor hound!"

    When I was younger and a lot more insecure, I actually distrusted anything that sounded like a compliment. I also had a hard time saying things that sounded like compliments.

    Now-a-days if I do get a compliment, I have trained myself simply to say "Thanks." or "Thank Hewww!" If my "Sincerity Meter" kicks in and says, "False," it's factored in. If it says, "True." I can now smile. Either way I try to recognize, and not become overly influenced by compliments.

    In this case, I suggest that you just go with the spontaneous, _genuine_ reaction.

    More importantly, I want to once again thank you for taking the all time it took to do the high quality scans and then to send those large pictures files.