The birds are out, the sound of chirping just beyond the window, the rain is falling and the big chunk of ice at the bottom of our driveway has finally melted. Spring is on the way! I am looking forward to getting outside and cleaning up our yard. Raking, clearing sticks, discovering lost and forgotten toys that were strewn across the backyard over the course of the winter. Toys which became submerged under many inches of snow and sludge over the past 6 months. I have resolved that this summer is deemed "The Summer of Paradise". What does this mean exactly? It essentially means we are going to try to make the backyard as nice, luxurious and enjoyable as possible for the summer. A Herculean task for the parents with young children. When you have young children, maintaining aesthetic form and child safe function in your backyard can be extraordinarily difficult, if not near-impossible. Summer of Paradise means attempting to cultivate a not totally-psycho backyard.
We haven't arrived at pastel season quite yet. I haven't brought out my violets or tangerines. But, we are quite close. Something light, bright and fun seems right. Green university stripe and a pink motif tie certainly seems bright and fun to my mind. I have 2 green university stripes. I have written about them before. One is a bit duller and one is a bit brighter. This one is a bit brighter. I tend to wear the more muted, duller green in winter and autumn. This tie is vintage Polo Ralph Lauren, 1990s I believe.
Sitting here, writing this I come back to the question of why wear a tie so regularly? Why dress the way we do if we are not expected to? Why do so even when we don't need to? Even more simply - why? It is the question we come back to all the time, whether we like it or not. There are so many large reasons, I write about many of those big and deep reasons. Yet ultimately all those deeper reasons are pointing toward a simpler reason, they are giving intellectual cover, support and background for a much more basic, simple, mundane reason. This reason being simply - "because it's what we do." Culture, dress, traditions - they all have so many explanations, deep ice beneath the iceberg. But ultimately the answer for the normal individual, day in, day out is simple. No one wants to always be constantly thinking philosophically with the only respite coming when we close our eyes at night. Ultimately the answer comes back again - "because it's what we do."
In a certain sense "because it's what we do-ism" is a form of automatic culture. It is not contrived, it is not overwrought. It simply is. It is auto-pilot. It is like a language you speak. Of course, this is not actually enough. If one forgets the reasons entirely, if one is never reminded of the explanation or purpose, there becomes no reason not to simply stop doing what it is you were doing simply "because it's what we do." A society or culture running on total auto-pilot with no thought will most certainly be derailed eventually. Yet, you cannot have a society and culture of exclusively philosophers. It will fall apart. As it is for the collective it is also for the individual. We must have moments of simple auto-pilot, natural action and we must always remember the ice beneath the tip of the iceberg and never forget the reasons why. We must be able to dig deep and explore and relax and be without thought. We must live naturally, we must speak a language with ease and without any analysis. Yet we must also be linguists of our language and philosophers as well. To be natural and alive, acting without overthinking, dressing without feeling in costume, to wear what we wear without any other question "because it's what we do" while also being simultaneously a sartorial-philosopher of our own world-image, a theorist about our own personal taste and what it means. This task, our task is very difficult. Living in a culture of anarcho-tyranny, this task may be extraordinarily difficult yet more important than ever.