Answering The Proust Questionnaire

March 19, 2008 at 11:49 am (neat things)

Over at How To Save The World,* Dave Pollard has posted his answers to a version of the Proust Questionnaire, with the intention of answering them again in seven years. I decided to try this, too. Everyone is invited to post her own answers, in comments or at your blog. Skipping questions is allowed. So is adding your own.

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Love, meaning: people being brave enough to share themselves, others being brave enough to hear them.

2. What is your greatest fear?
That I am making the wrong decisions, and/or that those around me will conclude that we are making the wrong decisions.

3. Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Any of my maternal great-grandparents.

4. Which living person do you most admire?
Bremily (Brenden-Emily).

5. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
My capacity for hatred.

6. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Ignorance.

7. What is your greatest extravagance?
This laptop. Daily cups of imported coffee.

8. What is your favourite journey?
Those through language (books, conversations).

9. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
The pursuit of “self-interest,” where the phrase means “immediate monetary gains” to the exclusion of health, happiness, longterm survival, wellbeing of community, etc.

10. On what occasion do you lie?
When it would be crueler or unacceptably dangerous to tell the truth.

11. What do you dislike most about your appearance?
I don’t know. Nothing in particular.

12. Which living person do you most despise?
There is no one person. Collectively, those who choose their own immediate monetary wealth over the survival of our species. Those who choose their own immediate monetary wealth over the lives of innocent people.

13. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Oh my God. Fuck.

14. What is your greatest regret?
All the ways I have caused pain, especially to people I love.

15. What or who is the greatest love of your life?
I have more than one, at least three. I think the real number of people is five: two comrades, a girlfriend, a brother, a sister.

16. Which talent would you most like to have?
Compassion. It is a talent, really.

17. What is your current state of mind?
Happy, gratified, somewhat anxious.

18. If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?
I wouldn’t.

19. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
The festival we had last year, which should be considered an achievement of everyone there.

20. If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
Another version of myself, literally.

21. If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be?
Another version of myself, literally.

22. What is your most treasured possession?
A folder of letters and photographs.

23. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
All-consuming hatred of oneself.

24. Where would you like to live?
In communion with my favorite people, preferably in the desert.

25. What is your favorite occupation?
I don’t know yet.

26. What is your most marked characteristic?
My sense of self, which causes all my other characteristics.

27. What is the quality you most like in a man?
Intelligence, honesty, having something to say.

28. What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Intelligence, honesty, having something to say.

29. What do you most value in your friends?
Their ideas.

30. Who are your favorite writers?
I’m always bad at this question. Poetry: Sarah Arvio and Matthea Harvey. Fiction: Steve Erickson, Sabina Murray, Katherine Russel, Leslie Marmon Silko. Nonfiction: William McDonough, Michael Braungart, Natalie Angier.

31. Who is your favorite hero/heroine of fiction?
I don’t know. Maybe Legs Sadovsky from Foxfire by Joyce Carol Oates. All the main characters in The Life of David Gale.

32. Who are your heroines/heroes in real life?
Alice Paul. Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. Stephen Colbert.

33. What are your favorite names?
Not sure. I like a lot of Hebrew names, and some flower and plant names. Lilah, Aviva (a palindrome!), Ivy, Rose; Asher, Isaac, Elijah, Paul.

34. What is it that you most dislike?
Suffering. Injustice.

35. How would you like to die?
Quickly and at an old age.

36. What is your motto?
It is not the strongest that survive, nor the most intelligent, but those that are best prepared to cope with change.

* A blog you should be reading.

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1 Comment

  1. Jessie (girlfriend) said,

    1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
    The peace at the center of a storm. Having a community. Being free.

    2. What is your greatest fear?
    Not being able to control my health.

    4. Which living person do you most admire?
    I admire all those I’ve felt in community with- teachers, friends, family of friends

    5. What is the state that is least healthy for you?
    Stagnancy, being paralyzed

    6. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
    Inability to listen

    7. What is your greatest extravagance?
    Driving my car, buying products everyday from the global economy, my computer

    8. What is your favourite journey?
    Coming out of darkness to light

    9. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
    I’m going to have to agree with Daisy on this one

    11. What do you dislike most about your appearance?
    nothing, but that it can be a blessing and a curse

    12. Which living person do you most despise?
    Love the sinner, hate the sin

    13. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
    Fuck

    14. What is your greatest regret?
    That I was so alone for years of my life

    16. Which talent would you most like to have?
    Healing

    17. What is your current state of mind?
    Thoughtful.. congested

    18. If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?
    I’d have more of it and have family available to me more

    19. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
    Overcoming adversity of depression

    20. If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
    A plant- maybe a tree?

    21. If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be?
    A descendant of mine

    22. What is your most treasured possession?
    My life experiences

    23. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
    Being paralyzed by stagnancy

    24. Where would you like to live?
    At Zia Vista with a special friend

    25. What is your favorite occupation?
    Design

    26. What is your most marked characteristic?
    I’m electric

    27. What are qualities a happy person will hold?
    Humility, the ability to listen and participate in a group, compassion for self and others, ability to ask for what they need and give to others

    29. What do you most value in your friends?
    Creativity, openness, knowledge of important issues

    30. Who are your favorite writers?
    Don Miguel Ruiz and others

    33. What are your favorite names?
    Traditional names of any culture, I guess

    34. What is it that you most dislike?
    [These questions are all framed in ways I wouldn’t frame there]

    35. How would you like to die?
    In old age and with awareness

    36. What is your motto?
    Love!

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