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I’ve been reading, or trying to read, this collection of lectures by the physicist Richard Feynman.

theoretical physicists spend a lot of time making things up. they test these ideas later to see if their theories actually hold. this is the way experimenting works in science. Feynman made a lot of shit up and some of it turned out to be true. obviously the leaders in physics apply their scientific discoveries to practical models like atom bombs (hooray!) and laser surgery. but they also do a lot of spitballing and conjecture.

as feynman himself admits: “each piece, or part of the whole of nature is always merely an approximation to the complete truth, or the complete truth as far as we know it. in fact, everything we know is only some kind of approximation, because we know that we do not know all the laws as yet. Therefore things must be learned only to be unlearned again or, more likely, to be corrected.” p. 2 (haha like i said, TRYING to read this book)

question: when did you first start to suspect that the scientific community is wrong about feelings?
answer: when i was a little kid and was accused of having tantrums.

first of all...tantrum? that word is offensive and belittling and negative.
what if tantrums are messengers from the beyond? what if howling children are actually shamans trying to teach us how to live better?
just an idea… an approximation….now i need someone to organize an experiment with rain-storming toddlers

i was first inspired to pursue an exploration of the misapprehension and mislabeling of human emotions when i was pregnant for the first time in 2003. i noticed that when my hormones changed, i went insane. i was no longer the same person and the tools i had used before i got pregnant to stabilize my emotions no longer worked tools like calling friends, going to support groups, yoga, prayer, journalizing, meditation. i was crazy, my emotions had me by the balls, it turned into OCD. (more on this later.) i was out of control emotionally the whole ten months i was pregnant with my daughter (first kid) and just as nuts the whole ten months i was pregnant with my son (second kid). the feeling that was so uncontrollable and dominant and hormonally exacerbated and tyrannical during these two pregnancies was FEAR.

april 27
okay now for today’s feelings… last night i cried myself to sleep, and i am embarrassed to admit it but… i would describe the feeling as: “i want someone to hold me.”
how should we label this emotion? longing? loneliness? love? sadness? sexual desire?
are feelings that happen “in bed” perhaps a subcategory of emotions?

i was really tired, and it was late, so this feeling didn’t last long and i fell asleep. when i woke up in the morning I couldn’t remember (at first) what i was sad about the night before. definitely a recurring feeling for me, but not chronic thank god.  (can feelings be chronic? we don’t describe them that way but ,,,, i think so, yeah) i was married for a long time and raised two kids who were all over me for many years. appropriately we don’t touch a lot anymore because they are teenagers. but for many years there was a ton of affection and their little bodies were attached to me all of the time so i can definitely make it a few years without “someone to hold me” or “someone in my bed.”

note: i spoke to another single woman in her fifties who was in a self destructive state of mind and she said she was afraid of turning into eleanor rigby. i remember listening to that song when i was a kid. and that song was written out of someone’s pathos! not healthy, and not good for our communal emotional lexicon a term a just made up (more on eleanor rigby and pop songs in general later) (beatles musicologists forgive me for calling it a pop song) (the beatles are popular)

but let’s pin this feeling down. “i want someone to hold me,”
sure, i do, but not just anyone, i want someone ridiculously special and awesome to hold me. not the last guy, he’s gone and we are done and when i think about him it just hurts. and not my husband, because i can “think that drink through” as they say in AA, we exhausted our relationship i can’t long for him anymore

i want this mysterious “future person” who is amazing in every way to hold me. i think that’s a fantasy actually!! not a feeling? (more on that)

**dear fellow feelings scientists i think my next post needs to be a list of the “more on that later” asides which are popping up all over these first two posts

do men have this feeling/fantasy? i have been told that men’s fantasies are different, that men fantasize about something else, haha.
my belief, and I am not a man, i don’t have the equipment to be one . . . not trying to be heteronormative… however… i identify as a woman…and also i know all men are individuals and different from each other… i can’t speculate fairly as I am not all men or even one man… haha i am digging a hole here…

ANYWAY…. my belief is that men fantasize more about fucking

my fantasy (described above) is about being held afterwards
and maybe even held period… not afterwards … we can skip the first part, the sex part haha

also, i am realizing I have a plethora of feelings. and always have.
are some of us blessed this way?
or is it a curse?
at any rate i am a good subject, i hope, for my experiment

feynman again: “the principle of science, the definition, almost, is the following: the test of all knowledge is experiment. Experiment is the sole judge of scientific “truth.” Bu what is the source of knowledge? Where do the laws that are to be tested come from? Experiment itself, helps to produce these laws, in the sense that is gives us hints. But also needed is imagination to create from these hints the great generalizations, to guess at the wonderful, simple, but very strange patterns beneath them all, and then to experiment to check again whether we have made the right guess.”

here are some pretend feelings to get our ball rolling some more just kind of randomly
I watched Manchester by the Sea last week and am still thinking about the FEELINGS in it

these are just pretend feelings, in this clip
sort of… not really because i read an interview with michelle williams and she said that she and casey affleck and the director kenneth longergan were all crying by the end of the scene
not sure how pretend feelings tie into this whole thing but they definitely matter
can you pretend a feeling? truly?