Tag Archives: Posterous

On finding comfort in times of discomfort

There are times of discomfort when you expect that you should experience constant distress and misery. In such times you will find there will arise moments where you can actually find ease and comfort in spite of your situation. In such difficult times you will find places where you gain rest and solace and a break from the things that assail you. They may seem illusory but they are not. They may not last long but they are not false.

In times of discomfort, savour such moments of comfort. Use them to gain perspective. Use them to gain some rest. Use them to relax and to recover.

Such times will not last, but they last long enough. Take time to appreciate what you have in such moments. Such moments will carry you through the darkness.

On the beautiful weight that holds you under

Before you take hold of the beautiful weight, you read the stories written and listen to the tales told of holding on to it. But life is short, and when you are offered it, you are  more afraid of refusing it than you are of accepting it. You fear you will never get the chance again in your life, long or short, of having the beautiful weight. You see so many others, weightless and unbearably light and that seems worse than the load.

You step forward and shift the heavy beauty onto your back, and as you stumble forward, you experience the pride and panic of such a possession. The days and months and years will pass, and through each of them you will rise up and shoulder the weight throughout each hour, retiring it briefly each night.  If you are lucky, you will have a string of Hercules who will shift it onto their shoulders, however briefly, giving you a moment’s rest. Many unfortunately know no such solace, and the sublime burden falls solely on their backs.

The truly unfortunate are unable to walk steadily forward and eventually lose their footing, stumbling off the path, into the waters. Unable to let go, they go deeper and deeper down into the water, struggling to keep their head above the surface as the weight submerges them. 

Only those unworthy of the beautiful weight are able to slip out from under it. The rest get stronger from their struggle, or drown.

They say out loud that the beautiful weight makes life worth living. Afterwards they whisper something else. 

There is an art to carrying the beautiful weight, and though it is the most important of the arts, it is rarely taught. They will learn as they go, they mutter, and either sink or make do. And many make do, while some struggle terribly and then float quietly beneath the surface. 

Everything is amazing (late night thoughts)

It is an odd thing to conclude that everything is amazing, given that I am slogging through a quiet night with a miserable cold. But I looked at the gel cap medicine I was about to take, and I thought of the machines that can make such a precise thing as a gel cap. I thought of all the people involved in getting it to me, from the chemists that develop it to the cashier who sold it to me. The cashier handed me a debit device and I tap it with my thin plastic card and a transaction over many networks and devices all conspire to give my money to the cashier. We don’t think anything of it, but our entire landscape of high rises and subways and concrete and sewers, all of it, is sophisticated and unacknowledged as we make our way through the day. Or in my case this evening, as I make my way through the refrigerator, filled with containers from foods all over the world. We take it for granted that it will be tasty and consistent and safe to eat, no matter where it comes from, and that the fridge will keep it at the right temperature. Our houses are filled with such thing, and yet much of the time, they are anything but treasured.

I turned on a light and instantly I drew power from all over the province, into my house. People work through out the day to provide it to me and all I need to do is turn the smallest of switches to get it. I turned on my iPad, which is more powerful than computers that used to be the size of my fridge, and I checked my blog. Someone from Jordan visited it this evening. I can write something like this and people all over the world can read it. Once literacy itself was a rarity. Now we are striving to have everyone not only literate, but have access to sophisticated tech that a few years ago, only a handful of people had.

It’s not just that things are amazing, but people too are amazing. You are reading this using a range of technologies, from computers to wireless networks to the Internet to your browser. In the 1990s no one had this. In a short time we all have this. We have adapted these complex technologies into our lives with relative ease because of our intellect and our desire and our capacity to learn and improve and better ourselves.

When you finish reading this, at some point you can surf the Web and find videos from the International Space Station on YouTube or find still photography taken on Instagram taken by the Mars Curiosity lander sent to that planet from NASA. And after you see those photos or those videos, you can post your own. We don’t think anything of it, despite it all being fairly recent.

Later you can turn off the computers and the lights and just look at the stars and realize we live on this planet that is it’s own space station, and that you are a part of that.

Life can be mundane and difficult and frustrating, and yet if you are fortunate, you can catch it in your mind’s eye from just the right perspective, and when you do, you’ll see that everything is amazing.

Thanks for reading this.

Winter is for optimistic thinking

If I told you it was freezing outside, you would dress appropriately. You wouldn’t wear shorts and t shirt. Likewise, when winter comes, you should think appropriately. You shouldn’t think pessimistically: you should think optimistically.

It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking pessimistically in winter. It may feel Permanent, like it is never going to end. It may seem Pervasive, like it is dark and cold everywhere. And it can even seem Personal, as if winter has it out for you. Combine that with other negative forms of thinking and winter can bring you down.

If you think optimistically, much of winter’s overbearingness fades. If you think it is really only a short few months, then it doesn’t seem so permanent. The trick is to break winter up into short periods. The next thing you know, it is March and things are thawing and Spring will soon arrive. If you can find the chance to get away, or find ways to enjoy the indoors, then winter doesn’t seem so pervasive. Finally, if you think about it, winter hits everyone the same: it isn’t personal. If anything, if you learn to enjoy the time you have in winter, it can seem like the season for you, not against you.

Winter requires thought. Work to think optimistically about winter. When you do, it becomes the most interesting of seasons.

Everything is happening at this moment (late night thoughts)

Late at night, when it is quiet, it is easy to believe that nothing is going on in the world. The opposite is true. For every time zone that people are sleeping, in another they are waking up. All over the world people are being born and people are dying. People are making babies, having them, raising them, waiting for them to come home, wondering where they are. People are dancing in clubs, drinking in bars, sipping coffee in cafes. Some are wearing parkas while others are swimming in pools. Everywhere people are walking, drinking, lying down, getting up, working hard, resting. The world is filled with people active in some form. Everyone is doing something at this moment. Everything is happening now.

Your life is epic: you just don’t know it

If you were to ask most people if their life is epic, they would reply no. Theirs is no life of adventure, of quests, of heroism, they’d say. They do no awesome battles with great evils, nor overcome great obstacles. They might reply that they live ordinary and uneventful lives, just like you or I might, if we were asked.

Yet really, we all live epic lives. We all seek love, search out our fortune (however we define it), and set out on trips big and small into the dreadful unknown. What quests are more epic than that? What treasure could a hero in a story seek that is more precious than the true love we search for, or the great friendships we strive for? What grail could have more value than the achievements we put in so many hours to finally reach? If our aims are not famous, our reaching them are valorous and virtuous in their own way.

And ever day, in the work we do, the love we provide, the good words we say and the good deeds we do, we battle fear and loneliness, sadness and worry. Though these things are not material, they are evils nonetheless, and the things we do, however small, are great weapons in fighting such terrible things.

We all have our quests, our evils to battle. We all live epic lives.

We live in many worlds at once

We live in many worlds at once. The present world, of course. We live in the near future world, where the next choice we make creates the next present world. At the same time, we can be in old haunts, and in our minds, we now inhabit past worlds. Or our minds will imagine us living in worlds that don’t exist. Imaginary worlds. Worlds where we win the lottery, where we avoid past defeats, or we turn out different than we did. We live in worlds with fears and worlds with hopes, where the invisible things around the corner or over the hill shape our world even if we never encounter it.

We inhabit the world and the objects around us, but we live in many worlds at once. For our lives in the world are a function of mind, and with our thoughts we make the worlds.