I was going to write about Descartes’ concept of a tree of knowledge but was distracted by how much I enjoyed tromping through the sloppy slushy snow and puddles on my way to work this morning. It made me think of splashing about in the swamp around the house we lived in when I was around nine and ten, in northern Saskatchewan. There’s something absolutely magical about standing dry-shod in water, feeling the cold on the outside but not on the inside, looking around from a different perspective. It’s like snow-shoeing or skiing on top of a frozen lake, or being on a boat — this sense of being free of a different realm than usual.
That’s it for today; I have to get back to Descartes and his arguments for the existence of the external world. At the end of his Meditations (which began by doubting the existence of bodily things) he says he can now dismiss those ludicrous doubts and get back to normal, this time on a better foundation. I take this to mean that my deep but very simple enjoyment of splashing through puddles is philosophically (as well as aethetically) perfectly defensible.