What's so great about Northern Exposure, you ask?

John and I have been buying the DVD's as they are released, and we've recently just gotten Season Four. Before season four arrived, when we had watched all the others, I began to feel a little homesick for Northern Exposure. Not that I need a tv-fix everday, John and I try not to watch too much tv.

But the characters in the town of Cicely, AK are very endearing. The whole show is about Joel's growth from a neurotic, modern, scholastic, New York doctor to a man in tune with irrational possibilities and the natives' sensibilities towards nature. On the episode John and I watched last night, titled "Revelations," Joel faces a slow couple of weeks at the office and is unable to deal with the quiet. As Bernard puts it, Joel isn't dealing with his existential angst, and needs to be willing to embrace the big nothing.

Joel asks Marilyn how she is able to just sit in the office for hours, "What do you think about?" he asks incredulously. In her calm, self-assured way she answers,"paper clips."
"Paper clips? You think about paper clips all day?!"
"Not all the time. Sometimes I think about colors. blue mostly. and beige."

I cancelled my class today (it's Makin Music week... don't get me started), so I am sitting in my office all day, with no specific time schedule - trying to be productive.

We modern westerners think efficiency is one of the highest values - so that we might fill our time with as much high quality output we can.

I wonder how different my life would be if I were able to just sit.


whitney said...

this may not be a strong connection, but i'm reminded of a quote by--john lennon, maybe?--"time you enjoy wasting was not wasted." and of many parts of "A Ring of Endless Light", which i read again today, and in which they talk much about meditation...emptying oneself of self...

i always did need coherent people to finish thoughts like this for me. does it make sense? stef can probably explain/elaborate if it doesn't.

Laura and John said...

hey whitney, by the way, what's your email address? or mine is wilsonlauralynn@gmail.com.

I wanted to ask you what you remember from Medieval/Asian. I remember liking it, and learning a lot, but I have no idea how to fill the class time now. Maybe you can help me :)

stefanie said...

huh? wha? finish YOUR thoughts whitney? me?
here's my recent email tag laura:
"All human miseries come from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone."
-Blaise Pascal