Mark Twight said it a long time ago (when places like record stores existed) and that cold hard truth remains the same. Read this and then think about it when you go to work, smiling at the inane jokes from your co-workers, rehashing the details of the game of your favorite form of “sportsball”, and just pretending to care when you really don’t.
“You’re haunted because you remember having something more. With each drag of the razor you ask yourself why you piss your blood into another man’s cup. Working at the job he offered, your future is between his thumb and forefinger. And the necessary accessories, the proclamations of success you thought gave you stability provide your boss security. Your debt encourages acquiescence, the heavy mortgage makes you polite.”
Intrigued? Read more here. Better yet read it and then change your life. Uproot it and replant it before you run out of time. Do the things that you care about. Study, train, and get it done.
If art is supposed to be inspiration then Pieter Bruegel’s painting, The Triumph of Death, should motivate you like nothing else. Get it done, make your move, execute. Tomorrow is closer than you think.
Choices are easily made, or unmade. Sometimes we just let events, ennui, or fear, make choices for us. The results of these non-decisions are uniformly bad and they create a cascade of events that serve as stark reminders (punishments) that appear in our lives.
These reminders exist as little insurgents, draining resources and blunting efforts to be free. The longer they last, the harder it is to remove them. Let them last long enough and it will take a herculean effort to be rid of them.
This CIA handbook on how to fight an occupation with slow and deliberate acts (long meetings, rigid emphasis on useless details, etc.) is illustrates the failure to act and make the right pre-emptive choices.
So, no matter what, act on Hamlet’s questions to himself and “take up arms against a sea of troubles and, by opposing, end them.”
Make the choice, fight the hard fight. The clock is ticking and liberation pulls further from view every day that we don’t fight.
If the “journey” is the “destination” then what matters is the workshop and the daily grind. That’s why I love seeing the training instead of the finished product. Especially when the work and the workers are so impressive.
Albert Camus penned an exploration of the absurdity of life titled The Myth of Sisyphus. In it, Camus examined the essential absurdity of life (that we look forward to tomorrow even though tomorrow brings us closer to death).
One of the 4 chapters of the book covered the Greek myth of Sisyphus who was consigned to punishment in the underworld of rolling a boulder up a hill until, right before he reached the top, it rolled back down. Forcing him into a perpetual punishment of never completing his hellish task.
Camus essentially argued that, despite the unceasing toil, Sisyphus would actually be contented because he recognizes the absurdity of his fate and is thus able to reach a state of acceptance. This is similar to the theme found in many religions in which the acceptance of death is the precursor to satisfaction in that it removes all vanities so that one can focus on the joys of life.
We each need our mindless task, a continuing struggle that makes us confront our vanities and fears. This is not a call to sink into negativity but, rather, a call to action. Mine is kendo, specifically suburi and hayasuburi. In my daily practice each swing is done fully with as much as focus as I can muster until I can almost smell the wood of the shinai or bokken and the sound of the strike.
“The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”