Sunday, April 19, 2015

Presence, reflection, and blogging

Graham and I were playing with a little helicopter blade toy (don't know what to call it today) when I had the horribly sinful thought that sometimes I get bored playing with him and that I resent that I am called upon to be his constant playmate (as opposed to Mary doing more). Then it occurred to me that I just needed to focus on being present and in the moment because he is getting older and before too long he will be off to college.

But as I realized that I needed to write about that thought, a further thought came to me:  that this constant need to blog, to reflect, to write, bespeaks a consciousness of an absence of fullness in the present, in simply being.  Whereas I in fact strive to be present, to be grateful for where I am at any given moment.  Which is why things like soccer and laughter are such joys to me, they offer such fullness, they keep me in the present.

And if, as many have postulated, the act of reflection or abstraction is what ultimately distinguishes humans from animals, it is also the thing that keeps us in our heads, divorced all too often from unmediated experience, or being in the present, which I think is pretty much in tune with Czikszentmihalyi's concept of Flow (I gotta read that book), which we all seek.  So the thing that makes us what we are and which has facilitated the marvelous division of labor which has in turn allowed us to develop so much wealth and longevity and control so many of the hazards and perils that buffet us continually, this same thing cuts us off from and problematizes our ultimate goal.

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