Feb 10, 2008


A quote from The Winter of our Discontent - John Steinbeck that the ones of you that have social anxiety might find helpful:

My sudden fear that I might be showing through was very great. I had made myself believe that the eyes are not the mirror of the soul. Some of the deadliest little female contraptions I ever saw had the faces and the eyes of angels. There is a breed that can read through skin and through bone right into the center, but they are rare. For the most part people are not curious except about themselves. Once a Canadian girl of Scottish blood told me a story that had bitten her and the telling bit me. She said that in the age of growing up when she felt that all eyes were on her and not favorably, so that she went from blushes to tears and back again, her Highland grandfather, observing her pain, said sharply: "Ye wouldna be sae worrit wi' what folk think about ye if ye kenned how seldom they do." It cured her and the telling reassured me of privacy, because it's true.
The whole book is wonderful and you should read it!

The things I love

It's almost two weeks since my father died and I am realizing that I mostly like to do things that I did with him: logic, math, thinking out of the box, hiking, skying. I just re-read the book I love most: The Winter of our Discontent - John Steinbeck and I realized he suggested it. He was reading books and underlining the parts he loved most... and I loved those parts too. I am glad I asked for books he liked this summer when I last saw him and I got a couple of books.

He was the utmost authority in my life. When he approved of something I did, it made me feel very good and accomplished. He was also very critical (did anyone doubt that with my social anxiety?) and I sometimes felt anxiety talking to him.

On a funny note, one thing he was critical about was my French... He was very good at it, and I wasn't that good. I found it ironical that I flew in an Air France flight to Romania to attend his funeral... thus one more time realizing how poor my French is.

When I left for US seven years ago, he had to learn English and to use a PC and do email and he did... at 75 years old. He had a dictionary and taught himself to use the PC and navigate the Internet without previously speaking English. He was pretty amazing and a great guy.