Saturday, November 10, 2018

The Splendour of the Moment

In any weather, at any hour of the day or night, I have been anxious to improve the nick of time, and notch it on my stick too; to stand on the meeting of two eternities, the past and future, which is precisely the present moment; to toe that line.

 Excerpt from "Walden" by Henry David Thoreau

Precision is a standard not easily satisfied.  For some it is unnecessarily superlative. It is always on the cusp of impracticality, even illusion. I prefer to think of it as accuracy if exactitude is too punishing or indigestible. Beyond its scope of calculation (as in mathematics) it is the moment which preoccupies me, its immediate achievement and fulfillment. I have been blessed with an odd appreciation of the overriding inutility (or at least the philosophic irrelevance) of the past and the future; everything arises from the present only. More significantly I am by and large satisfied with the present. This is so almost invariably.  When however I occasionally find myself uncomfortable in my present circumstances it is its immediacy which provokes me to change it. I see no advantage whatsoever in persisting in anything other than a practical solution which paradoxically is the attempt to quell a disquieting reality to force a more palatable ambiance (some might say a distortion or deceptive enhancement). My pragmatism is not the insistence on disturbing fact but rather a perception of delight. I can for example see myself equally happy in a log cabin or a five-star hotel. The attainment is strictly a matter of engineering - basically, how do we see ourselves.

Accommodation is the cleanliness of truth and detail. Manifestly there is no single or clinical assessment of life. While this may resound of deviation from the purity the moment, I see compromise as merely another ingredient of tastefulness (perhaps part of that competing element of practicality).  If nothing else it is a reminder that even within the narrowness of the present there is the capacity for alteration and change. Responding swiftly to that challenge is as much a part of the splendour of the moment as any other, as delicate as the flower of a fruit.

I have trick which I employ to maintain ingenuity.  The inventiveness is remarkably straightforward - contentment with less. Admittedly the design includes the intention to surmount through avoidance.  It is a process resembling distillation - refinement by reduction.  Whether because of my diminishing acuity or awakening wisdom the elevation of sensibilities arises from simplicity.  There is only so much one can eat or drink or wear - food, water and shelter - they're merely variations on the elemental themes.

 “... he live(s)  in all respects so compactly and preparedly that, if an enemy take the town, he can, like the old philosopher, walk out the gate empty-handed without anxiety. I am far from jesting. Economy is a subject which admits of being treated with levity, but it cannot so be disposed of."

 Excerpt from "Walden" by Henry David Thoreau

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