I added my upcoming 32nd birthday to my calender on MSN. It has the ability to send invites to others. So I checked some names on my email address book and sent away. I got a reply from one of the people and I was surprised that the invites went out so soon. Yet he asked if I had any plans for the upcoming day. I felt that I had to explain to him my reason for email the info out. I include it here because it is a telling insight into my character and journal is, if nothing else, a witness to my evolving self.
It is very uncharacteristic of me to tell people when my birthday is approaching. In times past I’ve gone the day without realizing it was my birthday, and when I did know I kept it secret from others. If I thought for a moment that a friend on my email list would receive the invite and take that as a sign to purchase me a present I would have never have done such a thing. I am going on the hopes that the few friends that I did email the news to know me enough and what a hermit I can be (particular in personal matters. This coming from a guy who keeps his secret journaling on public accessible webpages, how funny) and would not bother with such. I desire nothing at all from anyone save one thing alone, the pleasure of their company for it is in human interaction where one truly receives gifts of far greater importance and consequence than gift cards and gift-wrapped knick knacks. The opportunity to sit with a person over a table and exchange a novel idea far outweighs in quality and temporally than anything else I can think of. To be honest I rather like the hobbit approach in Tolkien’s novel of the reverse, giving gifts to the celebrants of the party.
Consider instead this an invitation where I might treat you to a cup of coffee and a window in a café someplace where we might less lose more ideas on the migration of monarch butterflies, the problems of transit in cities, to interaction between groups opposed in their ideological underpinnings. It is in this latter aspect that I am currently interested in (this very day) and I wonder if I might shore up my terribly lacking mathematical knowledge enough to understand the subtleties of Nash’s “game theory”, alongside with Aronson’s social psychological notes (particularly on conformity, the topic of the hour) in the arena of say the fight between timber companies and ancient growth activists. The fight as it stands now is draining and is getting nowhere and if anything I believe that the current factors are spelling problems for ancient growth forests.
Having entered this, I do express a concern that my best wish would be to sit with various friends over coffee. The greater the attention given me, the less I would enjoy it. It is very easy for me to spend the day in solitude of thought, whether walking or at a desk some place, and the days have the habit of turning to weeks and before I know it I have gone a couple months without even saying a word to a much loved and appreciated friend. The lack of contact with my friends and family is perhaps the only regretful thing about my life that I can imagine at this point. The only manner which I know how to combat this is the very uncharacteristic behavior of seeking them out.