"No wind blows in favor of the ship which has no port of destination""
I've read a lot of books in my life whereit was not much more than OCR (Optical character reader) traversing wordcount. I have attention problems due to OCD which should never have beset me had my childrearers done better, but that's another story; a cripple can sometimes still walk with a cane or a walker (get the point, teaches?).
My main problem was that I had no reason for reading or for doing anything, except for a vague desire to be in a more appealing social surround than I was stuck in "our successful and beautiful suburbs" (DJT) and that school. Even if I didn't get much out of what I read, at least the books I chose myself (not such dreck as Charles paid-on-the-installment-plan WhattheDickens, e.g.) felt better than the reality I was stuck with, like looking at Egyptean hieroglyphs before Champoleon. The books' covers were often good even just to look at, whereas the people not just looked bad but were bad. Smile, kid, Norman Percevel Rockwell is making money painting Saturday Evening Post covers.
I did develop a pathetic kind of purpose: I now forget exactly, but it was something like the "existentialist" concern why not just kill oneself and get it over with. (That's how inspiring my social surround was as a young person.) It was my schema into which to try to fit everything. I read with a purpose: Find a purpose for living (e.g., reading books or going to Disneyland). And some things stuck out, for one example: The ending of The Odyssey where Athena tasks Odysseus to go to a place where the people did not know of the sea and plant an oar there and then he could go back home and live out his days in peace. How I wanted the war (my social surround against me) to be over! I always liked to help others learn (plant oars). So what?
What would have happened if at home my parents would have been obsessive in demanding that we find deep purpose in every little thing I did, and if in school the teaches had obssessively insisted that we find good reasons for doing the assignments before expending time and energy on them. Class after class should have been devoted to asking why we were doing or not doing whatever we were doing or not doing, and to searching for things we would want to have in our living, where the latter is a verb not a noun, i.e., that I would be nurtured me to be the agent of my own process not just a product of somebody else's process.
"Why do you want to do what we want you to do more than anything else you can imagine in the whole world? If not, why do you plan to do it? What do you want to do instead? Why do you want to do that? Is there anything better you could do or not do? Question! Question! Question! Dig! Dig! Dig! Learn what other people have done that you might like better (or be sure you want to avoid at all costs...)! Don't accept what we tell you: It may not be good enough! ...."
If a sentence does not transform my self-understanding and hopes in living, and preferably make my living better than it is, it's not worth wasting time on. And teachers should have drilled this in. Any time they saw a student doing something "stupid" like playing lacrosse, they chould hav easked the kid:
"Why the hell are you doing that? Don't you have anything better to do than beating each other up and group nudity without sex in a cold cinderblock locker room? ...."
Classes should have been: Read one page. Now, students, what did you get out of it? How has it enhanced your understanding of the world and shown you opportunities you never imagined before? If not, why did you waste your time reading it? Why haven't you demanded better?"
After almost 20 years of The Catastrophe I am once again trying to read the one book I think I might really learn something from, Prof Ronald Bruzina's "Edmund Husserl & Eugen Fink..." but with more purpose than the last time (2004) where I finally got bogged down in the mire of "pragmatic agenda". To wake up I need a goal to wake up for. What is it? The light of the mind which is the light of the world; I want to experience more light. People are concerned about their natural body odors and other transcendently important matters. All of us will die, whether we use deodorant or not.
To reiterate. And I am convinced that repeating yourself is a virtue provided you are not repeating but recursing, i.e.: that you thought the same thought before and see wht's different this time and and ask yourself what to do with it this time around in preparetion for the next time around.... In school, I could have done worse than see every paper in terms of mortality: without my simple-minded telos of asking of the text something like "Why bother?" I could never have written any school paper because I am not adept at shuffling random words into meaningless patterns that please teaches or other bullies in suits and dresses.
No wind blows in favor of that ship which has no port of destination.
I can't write about what has no meaning for me; I was never a yes-kid yes-man to be. And school-teaches are not into Dada poems which I would gladly provide them (e.g.: "provide I poems Dada school-teaches into would gladly not them which are"). As for books, I can pretend it's real, and that what I'm stuck with would have gone elsewhere, forever. The words feel good even if I don't get anything much out of them and book covers themselves are also generally esthetically decent, but I'd far rather have both.