Second guessing

Stillness. Presence.

The light glinting on the polished wood of the chair opposite is beautiful. The music is not bad. What do you feel?

What one ought to or might feel gets in the way of perceiving what one does; and one can feel contradictory things. I feel some anxiety, looking round when the door opens. I am concerned about my toe, which is infected

are you squeamish about such things? I can discuss this with perfect ease, even when eating. Actually eating at a sewage farm would nauseate me, I imagine, but talking of it does not. Anyway, my toe was infected before, and it had a small cut, then redness by the nail, then a pus spot

are you interested in such things? I hope in what I can say about it.

I go to the pharmacist. Would she have a look at this?As I wait I consider the lights in the roof, and the colours of the displays: Presence. What do I feel? Nausea, because of the toe.

When I take my sock off, the redness is considerably worse. I went to get an excuse to get antimicrobials, but really want them now. She could sell me something to draw out the pus, but I want to kill it. I phone the surgery immediately, and get to see the nurse. Strange, I procrastinate everything, but not this: it has touched me.

Now, two days later, I am slightly nauseous from the antibiotics. The instruction was to take them an hour before food or two hours after, four a day, which would be inconvenient, but does not seem to matter. The swelling is much reduced, and I think, was I premature in getting the antibiotics, which will adversely affect gut flora?

What do you feel? Still some anxiety. There is no point in being anxious about what one has done. Second guessing is pointless. But it is an explanation for the anxiety, which will do for now.

Possibly non-specific anxiety attaches itself to circumstance. I remain anxious, no matter how much I tell myself that is uncalled-for.

Pyotr Bezukov, taken prisoner by the retreating French army, learned, not with his mind, but with his whole being, that man is created for happiness, that happiness is within him, in the satisfying of natural human needs, and that all unhappiness comes not from lack, but from superfluity; but now, in these last three weeks of the march, he had learned a new and more comforting truth- that there is nothing frightening in the world. As there is no situation in the world in which a man can be happy and perfectly free, so there is no situation in which he can be perfectly unhappy and unfree. The limit to suffering and the limit to freedom are very close- that when he used to put on his tight ballroom shoes, he suffered just as much as now, when he walked barefoot and his feet were covered with sores.

Yet he weeps in relief when the partisans rescue him.

Sorry about the non-inclusive language. Possibly, Tolstoy could only speak for men. Another cup of chocolate- why not?

Renoir, la tasse de chocolat

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