It doesn’t require much of a lull in activity before I begin to doubt myself. Almost everything I do whether bicycling, writing or playing the piano is a construct of self-expression without which I lose my balance. This is not to say I cannot cycle to the beach and enjoy myself; it’s just that the preamble is necessary to authenticate the venture. Perhaps it is to excuse or warrant the indulgence. When you think of it, having an imperative for daily activity is not offensive. In fact – in its most generous interpretation – the agenda promotes profitable undertakings.
Where however a disturbance unfolds is when the devotion is solely to intake rather than output. This can for example contaminate something as worthwhile as reading or listening – seemingly for the reason that nothing is being contributed to the product. In fact I find it impossible to read a book without capturing some particular elucidation and employing it to enlarge upon my own (often totally unrelated) rumination which in turn revitalizes my writing – so I am back to where I started. This may all turn out to be a good thing but it illustrates the necessity to look busy, act normal.
it is an unfortunate corollary of the addiction to production or self-expression that it so often overtakes not only other intellectual pursuits but also other people. It is a manifestly selfish preoccupation. And by definition rather narrow. What starts as an improving exercise becomes potentially a limiting project. On the other hand – and, yes, here comes the defence – the development of one’s own language of expression requires dedication (another word for work). At my age I haven’t the liberty of chance or possibility; I’ve got to look busy and act normal.