… for the most commonplace event to become an adventure, you must – and this is all that is necessary – start recounting it… But you have to choose: to live or recount… When you are living, nothing happens.
Jean-Paul Sartre, Nausea, p61, quoted in menticulture.com
We live in a strange era, watching other people living, other people playing sports, other people dancing and cooking and recounting their lives, dramas and adventures. We are entranced by the lives of people who have never existed, in soaps, in murder-mysteries, in novels, in movies. They can be more real than our own lives. We make an adventure out of our life as we recount it on FaceBook, Twitter, MySpace, Pinterst, Tumblr, Flickr… We live in the Age of Feuilleton that Hesse predicted.
Life is sucked away by turning it into an adventure.
What is so lacking in our lives that we need this vicarious excitement? Why do we recount our ordinary lives into adventures?
How hard it is to pray! How hard to stay present. My mind skitters off; my hand reaches, all by itself, for the an Internet-connected device to follow a thought.
Dear God, I wonder if the reality is that my life is so little and so ordinary; that I find this hard to cope with; that I think up entertainments, projects and products to make life seem more than it is. It is hard to admit that this little life of mine is nothing much. It is brief and leaves no mark. Is everything I do an attempt to escape this fundamental truth? The only life worth living is one that lives each moment fully present, not trying to make it more than it actually is.
I live and breathe: this is amazing; this is adventure.
How much of my life, God, is based on a fundamental and far-reaching flaw? Is everything a desperate wish to make meaning and secure a foothold in an evanescent reality?
Jesus, is this what I avoid every evening: the apprehension of the basic reality of life that it is all rather simple, unexciting, evanescent, no more (nor less) than this (miraculous) moment?
And so, Lord, Your ‘freedom’ is freedom from all the myriad ways in which I construct a false view of the way the world is. Your ‘ways‘ lead me to a life that is a kind of ‘nothing special’, as Joko Beck says. It is a profound (and gradual) dismantling of everything I build on the sand of my ignorance of Your ways.
I sense that if this realisation were to dawn, it would undermine all the evils we do to each other, because each evil is based on this fundamental ignorance.
The roots of my desire to be God go deep!