I woke up this morning with a deep feeling of gratitude. I slept for twelve hours last night, roughly from 8:30 pm to 8:30 am. I was exhausted. Last week kicked my ass and next week will kick my ass. But this is my little moment at the eye of the storm. I woke up, and although the kitchen is a wreck, I managed to throw together a bowl of cereal and some espresso. Craig is off to a meeting and I have time and space for quiet reflection before I force myself up off the couch and go take a shower. The house is quiet. The older I get, the more I love silence.
I never thought I would cherish simplicity, but I begin to. A few years back, my brother and his then-fiancée came to visit Craig and me. I took them to the
The aesthetics of my life used to be the aesthetics of momentum. As the narrative was about constant, directed, creative change, the present didn’t really count for much. The pleasure of an aesthetic of momentum is watching the present dissolve like wax thrown into boiling fat. My life moves much more slowly now and the present counts for so much more. Indeed, from an aesthetic viewpoint, the present is everything now. There is still change in my life, but the change is slow and incremental. From an emotional perspective, the future seems so far away now. When I could move quickly, I could see the change before my eyes. Now, I can really only discover change, and only when I look backward and think about the past is a precise way. Life changes in small increments. I no longer exist at an emotional frontier where the present dissolves into the future. The present seems to drag on for all eternity, much as it did when I was a child. I see the changes only by use of historical technique. This, then, is the aesthetic of plodding. As a child, I viewed this as a jail sentence, something to be escaped through ingenuity. Apparently, that was the wrong answer. Kobayashi Maru. I clearly missed the point of the exercise.
My therapist Micheal used to tell me that I most focus on being the tortoise, not the hare. He and I derived such different morals from that fable. Micheal derived “slow by steady wins the race.” My response was, “The rabbit lost because he was lazy. Fuck slow but steady. Just keep working.” Well, whatever the correct interpretation of the hare’s behavior, like it or not, I am now the tortoise, not the hare. I must live in the present in a world where the transformative effects of my labor are not readily apparent. I need the aesthetics of the Japanese tea ceremony. Perhaps one of the reasons I have never been able to “capture the moment” in writing is because I have never lived in the moment. I think it is time that I learn how.