Friday, March 8, 2013

Where do you live?

My radiantly intelligent friend Leslie has posed an interesting question on her blog:

"Where do you live? Past, present or future?"

An interesting question, but, for me, a little narrow in scope. After thinking about it for a while, I don't live in any one time, or any one place. I live, as I suspect many people do, in my own head.

My mind goes from past, to present, to future, and back again all the time. Memories crowd in on new experience and fiction on fact. And my difficulties often lie in reconciling my internal world to the world outside my head, and to other people's internal worlds.

For example, in my internal world, flowers, and other forms of visible beauty are a self-evident necessity. 

But I have run into, and lived with, people who think it's all bourgeois nonsense. "Everything is going to decay and die, so why spend money on something useless?"  My response was (and still is): "if everything is going to decay and die, then it is even more important to appreciate and cultivate beauty while it is here. Just because it is transient doesn't make it unimportant."

So when I go to the store and purchase flowers, part of me is in the present, buying the flowers, part of me is thinking about how I'm going to arrange them and where I'm going to put them (future), another part of my mind is remembering the argument (past) and wondering what appropriately sparse monk's cell that person lives in now (sheer speculation).  And in fairness, my memory of that exchange may be clouded (semi-fictional) since I'm probably more eloquent in my memory than I was at the time. (aren't we all). And while I'm here, don't I need to pick up some eggs? (random tangent)

So really, I'm living in all three times simultaneously, and my focus varies according to my mood, what needs to be done, and the vagaries of my thought process. I do try to keep my focus at least slightly forward, since I agree with Leslie that living in the past is a waste of energy.
Friday Fun Video
Keeping with the theme...

1 comment:

  1. I'm going to print this post and hang it on my bulletin board in my office. "Radiantly intelligent!" Not deserved, but I'm so flattered!

    All that aside, good points... It's hard in any given series of seconds to be in any one past, present, or future spot. Our past informs our present, after all, and our actions within it. As do, I hope, our plans for the future.

    Perhaps the key is balance: Remembering the simple pleasures (like the beauty of flowers in their prime) of the moment, while learning from the past and keeping an eye on the future good. Tipping too far into any of the three spheres is no good at all.