“Most of life is so dull that there is nothing to be said about it, and the books and talk that would describe it as interesting are obliged to exaggerate, in the hope of justifying their own existence.” -EM Forster
I’m reading A Passage to India on my new Kindle, which was a birthday present (thanks, Dad and Nelda!). I spent 7 weeks in India, and I am loving this book. Its helping deepen my own experience, even 1.5 years after I departed for home.
Is life dull? No,I don’t think so, not even on those days which could temptingly be described as “boring.” But I also don’t think most of us digest life very well. Its as if we live in a coccoon 95 percent of the time, hiding from reality in all its pain, and all its beauty, all its complexity, all its mind-bending wonderfulness. Me, you, all of us are guilty. Yes, the world breaks through our shells from time to time, and we feel floored by the sunrise, swept away by a baby’s giggle. But most of the time, we are suspended in some other medium. A place of impremeable thought, or overall numbness.
Its not entirely our fault. Human industriousness has made this way of being easier and easier. Television, iPads, cell phones, mp3 players. Texting, typing, wii-ing. We move from one air-conditioned environment to another, barely stopping to notice the weather outside. We eat our food without tasting, knowing or caring. It seems like we spend a lot of time, well, biding time. And is it worth it in the end?
At the moment I’m trying to avoid a moral argument, although no doubt several can spring from this discussion. I hate to dictate what is right for everyone else, and I like the internet and my iPhone as much as the next person. But I think we all can stand to open our eyes a little wider– I know I can. So, I enjoy the garden, the chickens and my dog. They keep me connected to the Earth and the present moment. I bike to work, because feeling the wind on my skin, bringing the morning air into my lungs and taking in the ways which my surroundings change from day to day awakens me, and fills me with gratitude for my health and my life.
I know waking up is a process. Might take my entire life, or more. But the journey is already paying off.