I've edited to remove his personal details and for easier reading.
It started with a message between Sabunim and me.
-So, your home is burning. You have a box. You have restrictions on the contents of the box. You are allowed to save 1 sentimental object, one document, one electronic, one CD, one piece of clothing, one piece of art, and one book. What do you choose?
-Now imagine that in return for losing all(and I mean absolutely all) possessions except for the set of clothes you are currently wearing, you will be free to go anywhere in the world whenever and for however long you please. Would/could you do it?
-Now replace freedom of travel with ideal relationships with whoever you can imagine, even if you do not know the specific person yet.
-Replace that with experiences- doing whatever you want, when you want to, but not including the regaining of any possessions. Assume that for all scenarios.
--Also assume access to, but not ownership of, what is needed for hygiene and sustenance(food, water, shelter when applicable, etc.)
-Another exercise: Imagine that you must stay in one community of your choice with no contact with the world outside it for the rest of your life, but in return you will receive anything you desire, both goods and services. You may not use the goods/services to travel or gain contact with the world outside the community. Would/could you do it? What if you could not choose the community?
(his reply and the same query)
-sentimental item: Um....I dunno, for most things the valuable part is the memory, and as long as I had that, it wouldn't matter. But I'll say my quote book because it once gave me a voice and is full of beautifully said thoughts one might have him/herself. It's something that means a great deal to me but cannot be substituted with pure memory or replaced.
-paper document: one of the poems I have written on a scrap of paper, either Sympathy or The Universe. I think I got the idea from a story I read in Mr. Arnold's class. It was about a homeless man who carried poems on paper scraps in his pocket and shared them with a librarian. Really, it was about the lesson and emotions learned, but you know what I mean.
It was rather poignant, and not in the usual obnoxious way that pleads for the reader to like it or only tells the reader that he/she should find it so. I like the idea. Sometimes I leave a poem to be found. Of course, these poem scraps are not irreplaceable, but that is my choice. That was long.
-clothing(assuming that the exercise excludes what I'm wearing at the time of the fire, which would most likely be appropriate for the temperature): clean underwear. It seems practical. *shrug* I could get underwear later, sure, but I would most likely need(okay, reallly want) a fresh pair before I got to do so.
-electronic: I choose my Zune. Since I wouldn't be able to recall the all the 400 songs that are stored only on it, that makes what it holds irreplaceable in other circumstance. I could gain internet access elsewhere and all my bookmarks are either backed up by Foxmarks or in google bookmarks. Replacing programs, settings, add-ons would be easy when I eventually bought another computer. Pretty much everything is freeware, anyway. :D That is why I do not choose a computer, even though it stores music and does many other things. If this was not the situation, that would be my choice. If this happens after my Zune dies, to hell with it and I'll choose the notebook.
That may mislead you to think I am normal. Rest assured, I'm a dedicated(to the music, at least) music nerd, especially in obscure genres. I'm a tad ashamed to admit my collection is at 1639 songs and growing daily. It's the music blogs...
-CD: Well, I asked that of you assuming that you, like many people, had a CD collection. I haven't bought a CD in years. Okay, well blank ones to make mixtapes. I have a few...HEY that's what I forgot to sort through. Anyway, I choose the data CD that holds my favorite photos. I don't think I cheated.
-art: a drawing my very close friend drew for me last year, definitely irreplaceable and holding more value to me that memory.
-book: This will be the tough one. Books are my weakness. I'm trying to think of one hard to obtain...well, I don't know of any that I couldn't find somewhere else. I would almost choose a very intriguing one that I haven't read yet, one of those in my queue, but it doesn't seem right for that reason. The next best choice is one that I read recently and wrote notes and thoughts in the margins of, but the notes are not for me, really, but for the next person that reads the book, and it will be lent out quite often, I think. That doesn't seem right either. I choose my journal or sorts. It's not a conventionally kept one, but the private place I have when I need to rant, write a poem, doodle, make lists. It illuminates the past few months and there is still a great deal to learn of myself from it.
Here is where I lost the rest of what I had typed. Myspace crashed my Chrome tab. I forgot to copy before sending; it was too late by the time I remembered. I had a good deal written, too. Bugger that. I'll try to put it down correctly again, but I was a wordsmith and crafted each statement to reflect my current thought. Bugger that too.
(cont.) It is a concrete record of my mind, state, thoughts, and experiences that cannot be edited by retrospective wishes.
You found my trigger. Give me a theoretical discussion and I become verbose, long-winded, and descriptive. This is only situational, although it of course has other elements. Philosophical notions make me prone to metaphors that verge on the abstract. Theoretical science makes the nature of my speech like the stereotypical professor's with thick wire- rimmed glasses, white hair, and perhaps a complementing thick mustache.
The rational observation, experience, and interpretation (subject only to objectivity) of reality will always remain my basis and aspiration.
I try to be precise and accurate, communicating in the most honest way that says exactly what I mean.
You may find that what I say is not confusing, if you can nearly abandon notions and stone preconceptions and allow me to attempt to tell you in a way that relates my information directly to the pure mind, the objective process of thought.
I would drop everything and float freely, no doubt. I may someday. I will find out later what happens in life, where it takes me. Although, of course I will react to events in my own will. Causes and events, which become causes, and so on, everything is. That's not profound, only relevant.
Here I went into a ramble about hoboism and career choices. Really, I'm sparing us both. It was a purely selfish expression.
I havea fantasy of training in the Japanese mountains. How many are there? Is there only Fuji? I feel dumb. I was thinking along the lines of ninjutsu with a archetypal wise old sensei. I should be ashamed, probably.
--omitted-- it is fair, I think, for me to give the information in return. My desired romantic relationship is this: I love(a strange word, evading specific description) the person; the person love me. I struggled with how to word the sentiment, and am still not satisfied. It is not exact and perhaps misleads with perceptions. This is only what I settle on. Of course, my emotions will not let me love someone I cannot. This seems obvious, but should not go unsaid. It is almost a perverse cousin of the paradox.
For the record, I meant relationships of any type, any way you relate to/associate with/are connected to a person. Examples: teacher/student, confidante, friends, siblings, parental, romantic, sexual, etc. Of course, adversarial relationships must be included, but I inquired with the theoretical offer of whatever the ideal relationships are to you.
Thanks for unlocking that part of my mind. I was beginning to think it was lost.
This took over two hours, factoring in the time I took to rewrite, but it was worth it, definitely; I crave and seek these ideas in any manifestation.
--omitted-- I end with another question.
-Which is more precious to you: things, experiences, people(cluster animals such as pets with this), or ideas?
-Which could you most easily give up, if any?
-Which would you choose if you could hold only one, the others no longer a part of you, foreign? -And of each of them specifically, which of the group could you most easily give up and which do you value most?
--Are the latter answers the same as to the question of which you would choose if you could keep only one? (which experience, which thing, which relationship, which idea?
You decide whether to speak in groups, types, or specifically. Also, the emotions associated with and resulting from each are naturally considered. Perhaps they are the source of all worth...
but that's another informal discussion-turned-essay. ;)
I'm still waiting on that reply, by the way. ;)
Also, I want to know what any of you aswer to the questions. Don't worry, you don't have to be a dork and ramble like I did.