Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Running to catch up to a car half a mile up the road

(First: yes, I've read the Paradox of Choice.)

There's just so much. Not saying it's too much, because how much beauty is too much, but so much. Songs, books, movies, games, puzzles, paintings, food, blogs, forums, websites, shows, plays, ideas, experiments, debates, sports, travel, technology, journalism, history, science, meditation, math, architecture, language, dance, nature, relationships, love, pain, joy, sorrow, birth, rebirth, death, sunrises, sunsets. Whatever our human race still lacks...do we lack contentment, yes, but do we lack content, holy god no.

And it's easy as breathing to find yourself wishing for a thousand hours in a day for a thousand years to take it all in, even figure out *how* to take it in. And even that wouldn't be enough time. Not even close. Start a bucket list and the bucket grows to see you at eye level like a large-breed dog you've heard *probably* won't bite you but still...and then the bucket is twice your height, ten times your height; twenty, thirty. Any decision you make is arbitrary, and any wasted moment spent in stillness, spent not taking something, anything in, feels like blasphemy.

A few rare, blessed and well-dressed individuals can swim in this current and not be rushed, but most of us cannot. Most of us will go where the tide takes us, kicking and screaming on occasion when we briefly become aware of how utterly little control we have and, even if we had that control, how enduringly ignorant we are of what we really want or need. We're served a thing by life that smells like some vegetable we hated as children and we reject the thing by instinct, but if not that, then...what? And why? Shoot, half the stuff I've wished for over the years would have been disastrous had the wish come true.

It's okay, man, don't take it so serious, they say. They are right. You won't get to lots of stuff. I love to learn words. No, I don't know why. I might finish learning the nine-letter Scrabble-acceptable words someday. I might even learn the tens, if I am old and the hamster in my mind wants that wheel. The elevens, dubious, the twelves, hopeless without cutting across the infield. You may ask what the point is, but I, in turn, would ask you why you expect there would be a point. Shah mat. Life's anxieties stack up. We do what gets us through the night. We climb those mountains it feels impossible not to climb. No, it doesn't "matter"; that's ridiculous. Any mountain worthy of the name is not stirred for a moment from its sleep by your tickling ascent of it. But maybe you will be.

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