Monday, February 06, 2006

Be Here Now

I abandoned the struggle to live continuously in the present some years ago, finding the present wanting, and needing something to look forward to. I planted a camellia, and decided to grow my hair. Il faut cultiver notre jardin. I cast off several habits towards the end of my twenties but they are all related to this decision. I stopped buying cheap shoes and writing poetry. I stopped contradicting people just because I disagreed with them.

Now. There is beauty in the idea that because something is ephemeral it is itself beautiful, but the idea is flawed. A piss stain on the pavement is soon washed away by the rain. Safer to affirm that the beauty of a flower, say, is enhanced by it's transient nature. Freud wrote a charming and often overlooked essay on this theme - "On Transience" - in which the great humanist is troubled by ghosts from the Great War. You could look it up.

A very few things can distract me from fretting or reminiscence: the arc of a truly struck softball; my daughter's uninhibited laughter; girls. But perhaps, if you have built a life of relative comfort it is difficult to appreciate what you have.

Edit 10/02/06: The essay referred to above

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