ut tempus fugit, optimus vir mansurus
For each of us, time is passing by. I’m just guessing here, but for some, not as quickly as for others. I do remember kindergarten after all.
Most of us try to ignore this simple truth for the bulk of our lives, but we are propelled forward nonetheless. Maybe you’ve given up asking, “are we there yet?” But, I haven’t. Today, it sounds a bit more like: “So, how ought we to spend this day?”
Now, I’ve always liked Thoreau’s take on this, starting with: “As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.” I’ve never imagined that he meant you couldn’t (or shouldn’t) “stop to smell the roses”, so to speak. After all, a big part of his life’s purpose was to do just that, if rather deliberately. And that, I imagine, was the point. He made a point to set time aside for getting off the escalator, or whatever they had back then.
My version, as it happens, makes concessions to the busy world around me but does, as much and as often as I can, preserve moments of calm and quiet. I sometimes pity those among us with small children and I always pity those who are commuting on busy urban highways. Dude…..really, is that really how you want to spend your life?
Office work really took me back, not to kindergarten, but more like the 5th grade when you couldn’t wait to get home and change into the old jeans and get outside and play. (Remember the lights in “Joe Versus The Volcano“?) I guess I made a conscious decision to start taking a bit of my annual vacation time (and my retirement too) each and every day.
Maybe I’m just a little weaker than so many of you tough urban guerillas. I need boots, not Italian slippers, on my feet when I go outside. I still cringe at the thought of wearing clothes that you’re afraid to get dirty. I’d rather eat my own cooking than eat out. But, then, I’d rather eat my (you know what) than live and work and play in a hive.
Now some take this as a judgement on their lives and, ok, maybe it is. Mostly I just want to be left in peace, hard as it is for the “collective” to comprehend that. And, you’d have to admit that I’m doing you that favor.
You’ll almost never see me blocking your road, slowing down your grocery line, or setting off firecrackers near your house. Odds are pretty good that you’ll never see me at all. I don’t usually go to town or even feel the need to crowd your vacation beaches. I’m already living where I want to be.
But, your busy lives swirl around me like a dust storm every time I poke my head out too far. Too often, I shake my head and mutter “hive people”, (aren’t they a wonder?), and go about my business. Usually, I just wonder why it is that you don’t slow down….and, really, I don’t mean in the meditative “bumper-to-bumper” sort of way.
But, then, the Dude Abides. The Dude Endures. The Dude, perhaps, is merely working out his salvation with fear and trembling and can’t really be all that bothered with the chaotic storm swirling around him. Certainly, he’s got no control whatsoever over anything but his own equanimity and sense of purpose
Perhaps, the Dude is increasingly and keenly aware of his own mortality and the shrinking opportunity to figure this life out. But, then, I could be wrong. Maybe he just wants to chill and have another white russian.