Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Dictionary.com Believes in Truth So Why Can't I?

Psychotherapists refer to the moment you figure out something about yourself as "insight." According to dictionary.com (a site which, incidentally, appears to labor under the misapprehension that definitions sell car insurance), insight is "an instance of apprehending the true nature of a thing." That's all very delicious and dramatic, but what if your psychological insights are, not to put too fine a point on it, stupid?

For instance, it has taken me until today (that's a solid 26 years of life for those of you who are counting) to come, with a jolt, to the realization that I really, really, really like empty public spaces. University classrooms, government offices, churches, synagogues, monuments, schools, parks. If they're empty, I'm wandering around in them feeling vaguely transcendent.

I was gifted with this epiphany circa 12:15 EST, whilst ambling through the grounds of an elementary school in search of a shady spot to eat my lunch. There were no students- one last day of summer break- and the teachers were indoors decorating feverishly. There were three or four birds, a desolate playground, a strip of scrubby land abutting the highway: beauty. Appalling and real.

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