Saturday, January 19, 2008

Perfect blue buildings....

When I was young, I once drove to Wyoming in a snow storm with a boyfriend on a whim. We got caught in the mountain overpasses by a whiteout, and we were getting scared for our safety because my headlights were aimed oddly and I had no fog lights in my ancient Toyota. We were eventually led out of the passes by some truckers, and continued on our way. Even though we had been frightened, the entire experience was exactly that, an Experience. It was one of those moments of youth that you look back on a thrill over.

The true tragedy in life isn’t that the world gets mundane and loses it’s thrill as we age. There are as many fantastic and terrifying experiences that come with thirty as there were with 19. In fact, the stakes are higher now than they have ever been, I should be over the rooftops with thrill. I am daily surrounded by everything I ever dreamed of when I was young.

No, the real tragedy is that we never realize the thrill, until years have passed. When we are young, we long for our adulthood and minimize our youth. As adults, we long for our youth and stress over our adulthood.

The real tragedy is never being thrilled with where you are.

Oh, there are some moments of perfect realization, a few of those experiences that break through life like the sun breaks through the clouds. Radiating their heat, their thrill, into our very souls, and screaming “This. This is what I live for.”

Those moments are rare. They can be a trip to Wyoming, or the first time your child really laughs at something you do, or when your partner looks at you in just the right way. The first time you do what you trained so long to do, or the first promotion, the first word, the first step.

Why can’t they be found in the laundry? Or the dishes? Or the TPS reports? Those are the places where we build the foundation for those moments. No one lives to starve, or go broke, or wear filthy clothes all the time. You need the mundane in order to create stage for your life to play across. Without the sweat and repetition of life, there is nowhere for the magic to happen.

We should be thrilled to have the mundane. We should look around our lives, and we should say, I am thrilled to be here, knee deep in dirty dishes, surrounded by cleaning products, buried in paperwork, stuck in traffic.

Why do we wait for the tiny moments, the rare moments, the movie moments, to thrill?

6 comments:

Politickin' Nama said...

Catt, I think thrill is a function of surprise, as is humor. In the instant of awareness: THIS is finally happening to me; this juxtaposition is funny, comes the moment of "shocked" recognition. It's the coming together of two things that don't usually stand side by side. The practice of mindfulness creates awareness and appreciation of the mundane, the savoring of the usual, if you will, but the heartbeat accelerates, the laugh tumbles forth in surprise. Or so I'm thinking right this mundane moment. And Hillary won Nevada!
Love--

Katie H. said...

"Why do we wait for the tiny moments, the rare moments, the movie moments, to thrill?"

That's a great question and one that I've frequently asked myself. I notice that I often tend to feel like I'm waiting for the next greatest thing to show up. I don't know why it's so hard to be content with the present. Maybe that's because society often tricks us about what will make us happy?

woman at the well said...

Mindfulness is in turning those daily moments into moments dedicated to doing each task well; there's a notion that if you can do small things well, you mght be prepared for the greater things. You make a good point about life being a series of routine things - but we have to find a way to inject an element of, I'm going to use religious language here, an element of holiness into daily life. If all a person does is seak after "peak experiences" you miss the joy of daily life.

Caffeine Court said...

Very well said. I strive to find the magic in everyday moments.

Red Flashlight said...

It's all a grand, sparkly opera! The whole thing.

I've noticed that people don't need to create drama in their lives - it comes after them whether they like it or not. We spend so much time deadening our responses to the real events around us that when the sublime pops up we forget how to recognize it.

RRussell said...

I don't know if this blog service emails you when someone comments on a past post, but (without a working computer at home - though we have two that currently don't work) I don't get a chance to check your entries very often. I do like to keep up though and see how you and your beautiful children are doing! When I read this entry, I had to comment...

I have to say that as I sat here in my office, taking a break from my mundane, tears began to fall down my cheeks upon reading this. This is exactly how I feel right now. And your thoughts are so beautifully written. Being currently in a holding pattern...waiting for a job for my husband to come in, looking for a new job for me, and hoping to move to a less horrible house as soon as possible...I am drowning in the mundane and miserable now. You make me realize that I need to stop dwelling on those fear-inciting, uncertainty-exploiting life challenges and focus on the everyday miracles, like the fact that I am lucky to have married a man I love and who loves me and that I am doing what I want to do and have a future in it (whatever or wherever that may end up being).

Thank you for reminding me to appreciate today, a mundane day, somewhere between my last greatest day and my next greatest day!

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