Freer than I’ve allowed myself to be in a while, I wonder what conducts the days. Allow because I want to acknowledge that how you feel can be a choice. Burdens that I’ve borne have since been banished and I claim responsibility for their imposition. A degree of unhappiness brought on by oneself, demonstrated in coveted escape. For a moment whatever burden jumps a few meters above you and hovers. To distract oneself from reality, how lucky we are to have such a choice. It’s almost criminal to spend your time in pursuit of something other than the present but sometimes now is not a favourable time. Happiness in the form of bliss or ecstasy is often dismissed as an unattainable goal. By happiness, most would agree they rather mean peace or tranquility; By unhappiness, the symbiotic sibling and antonyme, a discomfort watered down by sorrow.
To accept a thought is to tackle it. To think is to engage with reality. To learn is to study it, it being the world before your eyes, before and ahead of your time. Acts that may be considered as escapisms are only such a thing when the act is a shell lacking essence as the mind and heart are deliberately elsewhere. When your mind is mingling with so many thoughts but you are glued to the screen, any screen, this is the biggest forfeit. What reason can you give for fleeing this freedom to decide? I don’t want to think about those words anymore so maybe “x” will distract me from that unpleasant thought, any thought other than the place where we should most want to be. To accept uncomfortable and painful places is to manage your mind. By acceptance I don’t mean keel over and let a cloudy sky enclose around you, nor fly above it to the sun as it lingers stormy below. Rather, wade into the worry and piece together qualm with reason, fear with foe and thin out dark obscurity in doing so.
What can’t be tolerated, what can’t be accepted, must be changed … here I am, stuck in the trees. What and where is the line between tolerance and transformation, between change and acceptance ? The woody friend on my left is the motto I read somewhere, sometime ago, “if you don’t like where you are in life then change it, you are not a tree”. If your troubled present begs the question “what is the best possible thing I could do for me right now” and the answer is change, departure, movement, by all means indulge in Change : a mountain of opportunities, ready for the climbing. It should be welcomed with warmth. The search, however, for change carries a myth : change comes charged with guarantees for the future me, a happy being. Not quite. The possibility exists but it has no such collateral. To be in a persistent state of departure from your gaze at present will speed up your days like nothing else.
These thoughts are difficult to welcome because you can only find solace in your self and with your own resolution. Most of man’s day is done with others but your mind, the place where you live, is where you are alone. Only you can see it and feel it in your own measure. But I swear, I think … that reflection will knead your knotted mind. Like when your “masseuse” claiming companion pinches at your shoulder and thumps at your back, to consider what bothers you so, what embroiders any sorrow, can be full of pain. But from this act you have so much to gain! Reflect and break down your thoughts before they break you, down and out. What we’re left with will be a cloudless sky and an unclouded consciousness. Have you heard of “people watching”? It’s “being” with the addition of persons. When I am in the Markt square of Maastricht, or the pavilion on top of the Parc des Buttes Chaumont, eyes meander around the people and the scene. I am the most present that I can be, in this moment. Rain is pouring by the open doors, drops missing their entrance, mist on my arm several meters from the world out there : I am.