The Proust Questionnaire

On wandering and lost conversations.

Do you have a minute to wander? How about an hour to stop, pause, reflect, and think? Take notebook, some scratch paper, a word-document (if you're brave, and can trust yourself not to wander over to the vast glorious internet pages in the middle of a thought stream, then do it on some online forum--personally, I, at times, cannot trust myself to navigate the internet-world-of-focus, and thus devote my wanderings strictly to pen-and-paper, humoring myself in a cubby-hole in nature, watching in silence and thinking, speculating, pontificating. But already I digress).

If you don't have an hour to wander, ask yourself for a few minutes: why not? What are you doing instead, and what is taking up the time? The best part(s) of my week are the four to ten hours I spend analyzing, reflecting, planning, and escaping the manic nature of the "doing" to think and observe on what I'm trying to achieve in the macro. Coupled with action is an ability to wander, explore, and lean into new realms first within your mind, and soon after, with action.

One of the things I'm noticing recently is that one of the worlds rapidly disappearing from our everyday experiences (and I vastly over-generalize), is that of extended, prolonged conversations. In a world of schedules, timely meetings, vapid amounts of computer use, and ample amounts of uni-directional screen time, I think we're losing the ability to communicate effectively with our voices and noises. We are humans, prone to conversation, to the fluidity of the medium of both words and sound, of spoken and non-spoken language. When was the last time you lingered over a meal, spent time dallying in difficult realms, exposing the nuances of thought threads, braiding and unbraiding them together?

As a second follow-up to the last post about asking each other interesting questions, let's borrow from a previous philosopher and scientists and thinker--Proust. The Proust Questionaire is a series of questions (of Confessions and Confidences) that the question-taker delighted in exploring. If you've got a moment, and a notebook, take time to ponder one (or more!) of the following questions.

The Proust Questionnaire.

The assignment: Answer the following questions, in a reflection session (1 hour?) or 30-minutes with your notebook.

If you're feeling brave, send me your answers, or leave one answer to ONE of the questions in the comments below. I'd love to see the best of them--and if I get enough responses, I'll follow up with a best-of post.

  1. Your favorite virtue
  2. Your favorite qualities in a man.
  3. Your favorite qualities in a woman.
  4. Your chief characteristic
  5. What you appreciate the most in your friends
  6. Your main fault
  7. Your favourite occupation.
  8. Your idea of happiness
  9. Your idea of misery.
  10. If not yourself, who would you be?
  11. Where would you like to live?
  12. Your favourite colour and flower.
  13. Your favorite prose authors.
  14. Your favorite poets.
  15. Your favorite heroes in fiction.
  16. Your favorite heroines in fiction.
  17. Your favorite painters and composers.
  18. Your heroes in real life.
  19. Your favorite heroines in real life.
  20. What characters in history do you most dislike.
  21. Your heroines in World history
  22. Your favorite food and drink.
  23. Your favorite names.
  24. What I hate the most.
  25. World history characters I hate the most
  26. The military event I admire the most
  27. The reform I admire the most
  28. The natural talent I'd like to be gifted with
  29. How I wish to die?
  30. What is your present state of mind.
  31. For what fault have you most toleration?
  32. Your favorite motto.

 Answer one and leave it in the comments!

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