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and on the ninth day...
2004-12-09 - 12:53 p.m.

Wow, nine days just flew by. I don't even know what I've been doing. Uh, I guess not having the internet at home kind of changes things. Also, free internet at university is good but it means no MSN for me. Hmm.
There's something strangely pleasant about having no money. I mean, because I'm living with the family I don't need to worry about freezing or starving, so the normal problems of real poverty aren't with me. But the nice thing is... hmm. Not quite sure how to put it. Sometimes when you're using the internet, you get a sort of sick feeling, not literal nausea exactly but something akin to it, because of the richness of the information diet and the ease with which you can consume it. There's just way too much interesting stuff available and it starts to feel like your capacity for being interested in anything is being worn down. So, having no internet sort of puts you on a limited information diet that allows you to more slowly and gradually develop an appreciation for those small gifts which you might otherwise overlook... this is not an anti-internet screed, btw, I love the internet. I'm just using it as a parallel. Because having no money is sort of doing a similar thing for me. It's like, instead of being tempted by all of the things that I might be able to buy, that I could get, have, keep, take home, possess... I can be tranquil in the certainty that I can't afford "it", regardless of what "it" might be. I feel genuinely peaceful. Sunshine and birdsong and smiling strangers seem to be enough, more than enough, to satisfy my soul's longings for distraction.
There's an aboriginal woman who's almost always, always on Glebe Point road, and I give her some money whenever I see her. She's just a nice friendly person and obviously hasn't had a lot of luck in life and it's nice to see her... well. Well. I saw her the other day for the first time since I'd been back and she didn't seem like her usual self... she'd been in prison while I was away, she was worried about being kicked out of her housing commission place if she couldn't get some money together... she said she'd been depressed. I was looking at her feet and there was something strange and unsettling about her toenails. I felt bad that I couldn't give her more. Um. I mean, I gave her some money but, yeah, I guess I regret being too poor to be very generous.
Looks like, fingers crossed, but it looks like my scholarship can start up again soon without any need to wait for stuff to like, um, you know... much as I'm feeling cleansed by this experiment in extreme parsimony then I don't feel comfortable carrying a burden of debt and the sooner I can start clearing it the better I'll feel.
"You wouldn't know what I mean" - Bob Dylan

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