Michael read a book about a year ago called “Supernormal Stimuli: How Primal Urges Overran Their Evolutionary Urges” by one Deirdre Barrett, an evolutionary psychologist. He told me about it, I probably understood half of what he said and then I promptly forgot half of what I understood… because that’s who I am. As I understand it now (or likely have retroactively invented), the book posited that we have, to our detriment, been able to create an environment which is far more stimulating than it needs to be. Let me give you the example that stayed with me. As you know, birds lay eggs and then sit on them in order to keep them warm that they may successfully hatch. Right, so far so good. However, scientists have discovered that if you give a bird a very large, very brightly colored, blue plastic egg (saturated colors, you understand, and smooth and shiny and just generally pleasing), then the bird will abandon its real eggs in order to try and sit on this hollow, empty, sham egg. So what? Well, yeah, but time has gone by and little by little I am seeing that my world is full of big, blue eggs; in my mind, it looks rather like a Dr. Seuss book. Chocolate is so sweet that, after eating a Snickers, apples taste too tart, sour. Salt and Vinegar Pops are so tasty that they make salad dressed with salt and lemon bland. Television is so bright and lively and exciting that I’m bored reading my book. Porn is so… I don’t like to use the word sexy, because it’s not My Kind of Sexy and this is my blog, but you get my point… Porn is so So Much that Tuesday night sex with regular people with their socks on seems unsatisfying. We’re on Facebook to talk to friends that we no longer talk to. I’m crossing over into cliche. What are your big, blue eggs? Yes, that sounded ridiculous, but I am serious. As I continue trying to simplify, it’s become a useful mental exercise to decide what to get rid of (or as Churchill’s editor would say, “to decide of what to get rid”). Think of it for a moment and then don’t think about it anymore. But maybe you will start seeing big, blue eggs everywhere, on your plate, on your computer screen, in the window of the stores you pass on your way to work, around the necks of other people (it’s always easier to see other people’s big, blue eggs… I wonder if that’s ever been said before?).
I could do so much more with this post, but I’m tired. I did a two hour yoga class tonight, which was too much but it felt so good I couldn’t stop! For the first time I understand the addiction of sport; I’ve tried to understand other people’s love for sport by comparing it to singing, but this is the first time I understand the desire to push your body further and harder and faster! But that was 3 hours ago and right now, however, I’m not sure I’m capable of pushing myself to brush my teeth before I pass out! Good night!