“ …and at every step of this is defensive people so wholly subscribed to this fictitious hierarchy of control that they forget that they are just humans trying to impose a flawed set of human-created rules on other humans, all in the naive premise of a civilized society, the very thing their actions disrupt.”
You live life in moments while trying to predict future moments, and set yourself up as nice as possible for those future moments to be good. But you’re still in this moment, and if you spend each moment planning the next moment, well, you never spend a moment living.
In a sense, a moment is like a dollar you can either spend or invest. You can’t actually hang onto it though, and that’s where it gets really tough — if you don’t spend it one way or the other, it’s like wasted money. We waste a lot of moments just thinking about future moments, and past moments, and not gaining anything from doing so.
What if you started thinking about how you spend your moments more acutely? I bet you’d spend a few extra moments thinking about it, but I bet that you’d spend a lot more of your moments really improving your life. That seems like a good investment to me.
I’d really like to take it a bit easier. If I had just a handful of obligations, a few possessions by which I were possessed, and a clear mind, I could spend more time reading and writing, and generally being a good human. That, I feel, is the elephant in the room for many of us…it is right there, but we’re so impossibly wrapped up in having things to do — take the dog out, finish that report, hit the grocery store, cook dinner, do the laundry, keep up with people on Facebook, attend that show, clean the shower — that it’s difficult to be comfortable hitting the brakes and letting go of the stress. Anxiety sets in, and with it the panic that you’re doing something wrong. I wish I had a secret for you, but I’m trapped in it too, and I’m only trying to be more aware of it. And breath deeply, because taking your time to breath is almost always a good idea.
“ It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.” ― André Gide, Autumn Leaves”
I’ve always had spells where I considered giving up photography, but lately I’ve tried to remind myself that even when it isn’t working quite right, it’s closer now than ever before to being what I want it to. Five years from now I won’t quite be 30, and if I just stick with it I can’t imagine what I might be able to do with it. I think that’s true of anything, from money to new skills, friends to desires…time magnifies whatever it is you spend it on. It’s like life’s little power-up, spent painstakingly just minutes at a time. More simply put, you get good at whatever you spend time on. If you spend a lot of time wallowing in doubt and self-pity, you’re going to get damn good at that, but if you instead spend it doing things you want to be great at, well, you’ll be right on track.
“If anything can ever, honestly, be described as wonderful, [the beginning of the universe] is it, for it contains all the wonder which we know. Of course you can pray; I understand. We are only apes after all, and it is staggering. All we have to do is not lie. Don’t say you know its name. Don’t say it told you to tell people what to do with their lives. Don’t say those who believe otherwise must be punished. Don’t say it sends earthquakes and tsunamis. Don’t say it hurts anyone ever for any reason because that is sick. More importantly than all, don’t give away our dignity.”
Seriously, the first 11 minutes of this are absolutely worth watching. Even if you think you know the science part, because the perspective this shines light from is brilliant and beautiful.