Sunday Firesides: “The I

A fireside is a gathering of people around a campfire to share stories, histories and folklore. Join our community each week on Sundays as we gather together in discord at 6pm UTC for 20-30 minute sessions with various topics that you can pick up right where your last left off. We’ll open the floor and see if anyone has some story or knowledge about survival related lore!

The “The I” is a short story about a man who finds himself in an existential crisis. He is unable to find his place in the world, and he feels that he has no purpose. He then meets a woman with whom he falls in love, and she helps him find his way back to life.

A man sitting on a bed.

I spent some time in Vermont this summer. Walking in the forests, glides along scenic rivers, and dips in bracing, ice-cold swimming holes were all part of my daily routine. I slept like a baby at night, far more profoundly and restfully than I usually do at home. As a result, I made a mental point to look at the mattress I was sleeping on at our Airbnb and see if I could acquire the same one for myself. Then, on the vacation, I spent a day that was more like my life at home: more sedentary, more inside, more time lounging about. That night, I slept similarly to how I do at home, but more restlessly. It wasn’t the mattress, after all, that helped me sleep better – it was the fresh air, nature, and physical exercise. We seek better sleep with unparalleled fervor in the contemporary day, and the mattress business has blossomed to match this need, presenting an ever-growing menu of products that promise a comfortable night’s sleep. There are mattresses composed of specific foams, mattresses that enable you to fine-tune the stiffness electrically, mattresses that cool you down, warm you up, and even mattresses that monitor your sleep. However, most people’s sleep problems have little to do with their beds and almost everything to do with the fact that they aren’t going outdoors and exercising their bodies. This “I-Need-a-New-Mattress” fallacy, in which we believe a new/different product, tool, or relationship will cure our problem when there is a much larger underlying issue that has to be addressed, may also be found outside the bedroom. Turnkey solutions are appealing, but they are seldom what we need. Rather of grabbing for an easy-to-apply Band-Aid, the most important solution is to tackle the difficult chore of fixing the wound behind it.



The “Sunday Firesides: The I” is a book by David Foster Wallace. It was published posthumously in 2005, and it is the author’s final novel. Reference: are we the prudes.

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