Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sense & Sensitivities

I imagine life sometimes; like a clock. We start with a tightly coiled spring and a shiny new mechanism and the days of our time tick away. The escapement traps and releases the stored energy of the spring bit by bit. Tick, a moment of life passes; tock, another flees; and so it ebbs until the spring is rewound. In some lifetimes the clock may be wound many times; in others only once, but in any case the spring begins to lose its resilience, the gears wear away, the mesh isn't shiny and new anymore, and ultimately the last tock occurs.

Countdowns, time left, time outs; we are obsessed (some of us at least) with time. How much time it takes to commute, to do the laundry, dress the kids, feed the pets, mow the lawn. How long will it take to download a file or respond to an email or Farcebook post. Am I likely to read all the blogs I am ostensibly following, much less take a moment to comment. What is important and what is chaff and how do I tell them apart?

I've been reminded recently, in a different context, that the pursuit of happiness is less about the destination and more about the journey. It has led me to ask which makes me happier, the having of a desired thing or the wanting of it. So often the 'new' thing proves to be not necessarily disappointing so much as anticlimatic. Achieving that goal of happiness is elusive because there is always the next thing out there. In modern terms I guess we are always looking for the next 'killer ap' in life.

Just for myself I have resolved to spend time with what feeds me as a human. Contact with friends and family for one. Time alone spent listening to what the flowers and the seas and the birds and the bees have to say. I want to feel the wind in my hair and the sun on my face and the texture of sand and stones and trees. I will be reading less about how horrifying the mean streets are and more about triumph on scales large and small. I will write more, not because I have any great revelations to share, but because it brings me joy. If it brings others joy, so much the better.

It is the greatest mystery of life--the length of it. I have no idea how many times my spring will be rewound but I am resolved to spend more of those precious ticks pursuing that which is of value to the spirit and less in the chase for the ephemera of stuff. I promise to keep at it right down to the last tock.

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