While working on my things, I am interrupted by an elderly gentleman who tells me that the lady who’s sitting next is 99-years-old-turning-100 soon. He says he’s stuck here because he was asked to look after her by her daughter who is bringing her car for maintenance. He doesn’t understand a word of Cantonese so he’s sitting there, contemplating what to do.
I’ve seen her here before and always around Millbrae, always hanging around coffee places and dim sum restaurants.
I act as the translator between him and these Cantonese people talking to her to solve the whole ordeal about who’s going to take care of her.
One of these Cantonese woman tell me she’s suffered a stroke and starts telling me her plans for today.
Welcome home. hahaha.
UPDATE: Then, 99 yo grandma proceeds to complain to me how impolite her friend is to ask the elderly gentleman to stand up while she steals her seat. Then offers me food.
A wanderer’s journey towards metis.
Not fully knowing ourselves, we have trouble fully understanding others.
Not fully understanding others, we cannot get to the bottom of circumstances.
Yet this attitude is not passivity, but a way of action.
The wanderer endures the uncertainity, or has John Keat’s “negative capability”
The wise wanderer relies on patience as the landscape becomes more and more complicated.
By choosing to be aware of our own ignorance and the fact that we are our own deepest mysteries, then he knows and is on guard that his mind will seize on the first bit of data it comes across and build a universal theory around it - the fallacy of anchoring.
He knows that his mind will take his most recent experience and try to impose the lessons of that case onto this one — the fallacy of availability.
He knows that he came onto this scene with certain stereotypes of how life works in his mind and he will try to get what he sees here to conform to them — the fallacy of attribution.
By persevering, the uncertainties, doubts, and disparate observations will all come together at some point in a moment of calm and integrate into a coherent whole.
This is the state of wisdom that emerges from the conversation between Level 1 and 2 cognition.
metis: it is achieved, not by a specific inquiry and discovery, but by an awareness, not necessarily explicit or conscious, of certain characteristics of human life and experience.
Chapter 15. The Social Animal.
All the friends, family, and loved ones I do not thank or appreciate nearly enough. I am thankful for you no matter how it seems to be.
Cities have become the career dressing rooms for young adults. They have become the place where people go in their twenties to try on different identities. Then, once they know who they are, they leave… He dreamed of finding some calling that would end all uncertainty and would give his life meaning. He longed for some theme that would connect one event in his life to another and replace the jarring sensation he had that each if his moments was unconnected to what came before and after. He dreamed that someday some all-knowing mentor would sit him down and not only tell him how to live but why he was here. But his Moses never came. Of course he could never come, because you can only discover your vocation by doing it, and seeing if it feels right. There’s no substitute for the process of trying on different lives, and waiting to find one that fits… Odyssey is the decade of wandering that occurs between adolescence and adulthood.
— The Social Animal (188-190)