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Showing posts from July, 2009

The Sickness of Running

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A typically morbid being cannot become healthy, much less make itself healthy. For a typically healthy person, conversely, being sick can even become an energetic stimulus for life, for living more. This, in fact, is how that long period of sickness appears to me now: as it were, I discovered life anew, including myself; I tasted all good and even little things, as others cannot easily taste them--I turned my will to health, to life, into a philosophy.
--F. Nietzsche
In this short passage from his philosophical autobiography Ecce Homo, the last book he wrote before succumbing to insanity, Nietzsche gives us the story of how his philosophical vision was born. It is the product of a convalescence, the remainder of a battle for survival against the depression and physical pain that Nietzsche battled his entire adult life. He turned his will to health, to life, into a philosophy. 
Indeed, Nietzsche is often proclaimed as a great philosopher of life, of power, of overcoming. But just as ess…

Dispatch from Paraguay #5: A Trip to the Interior

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Some call Paraguay "An island surrounded by earth." If Asunción is the center of that island, the surrounding ocean is the Paraguayan rural countryside, a wide landscape of red dirt and small towns. The interior.

We got up at 5am last Friday, quickly made coffee, gathered our bags, and climbed into one of the nicer taxis I've seen in Paraguay (a late 80's Toyota Camry) and wound through the empty early morning streets of Asunción to the bus terminal to catch the first direct bus to Villarrica.

I'd been wanting to travel to Villarrica ever since I first came to Paraguay. I'm not sure exactly why. Perhaps it's because of the name of the town, or the fact that there are mountains, or the common saying that everything is backwards in Villarrica. So, we made it happen. The bus showed up on time and we piled in: Lulu, me, and her mother, Mirella.

For me, the most glorious Paraguayan experience is to ride the bus. The buses in Paraguay are cramped, generally in di…