A Photograph

Champy the cat

Champy sits on everything—on my table, on my bed, on my weighing scale, and, yes, recently on my journal. Living with a cat, I find, is like “living in” with a fiance. Every day, or at least every week, you learn something new about her. And I think this familiarity is what ultimately builds the bond (and for some, what breaks it). This happens in any kind of relationship. I mean—isn’t it impossible for me to build a bond with someone I am not “familiar” with? Luckily, for a cat, especially a house cat living with a house person like me, this “familiarity” happens easily, naturally, so subtly I’m amazed it even happened.

Just a few days after adopting Champy, I forgot to close the back door and she got out, never to come back until after two days. I feel guilty feeling this back then but a part of me actually felt good when she left—I mean, I “don’t know her”, I just thought bringing her in was a “kind” thing to do, but I never really knew her. I secretly said, “Good riddance. You don’t want to be helped? Then fine.” But she came back! All perched on the window like a large lizard with her four limbs stretched, meowing loudly as if explaining why she left. She left a second time about a month after this happened, and I was anxious for her to come back. Today, I’m sealing all windows, all doors, all holes around the apartment she might fit into. I might die if she gets out again never to return.

Familiarity is the foundation on which love can be built. I wonder how much of the hatred and fear existing in the world right now arises out of a lack of familiarity.

A Thought

Organization is only possible because of the law of non-contradiction.

Our mental ability to distinguish between this and that is called the law of non-contradiction. This law of thought was first articulated by Aristotle. It simply means that, for example, given that an apple and an orange have unique characteristics—then an apple and an orange are not the same.

The law of non-contradiction is so critical in living well. Without this ability, it is impossible to organize anything from the simplest atom to the most complex societies.

While some would argue that organization is the antithesis of positive emotions—that we should just “go with the flow” and embrace the mess—I would argue that organization actually optimizes freedom—it allows us to free up mental space so that we can experience more positive emotions.

And, again, organization is only possible because of our mental ability to distinguish between this and that—the law of non-contradiction.

A Quote

The dynamic of friendship is almost always underestimated as a constant force in human life: a diminishing circle of friends is the first terrible diagnostic of a life in deep trouble: of overwork, of too much emphasis on a professional identity, of forgetting who will be there when our armored personalities run into the inevitable natural disasters and vulnerabilities found in even the most average existence.

The ultimate touchstone of friendship is not improvement, neither of the other nor of the self, the ultimate touchstone is witness … to have walked with them and to have believed in them, and sometimes just to have accompanied them for however brief a span, on a journey impossible to accomplish alone.

— David Whyte

A Question

Who is one person you might actually like if you get to know them more?


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