By Maria Amir
“The Guide says there is an art to flying,” said Ford, “or rather a knack. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.” – Douglas Adams, ‘Life, the Universe and Everything’
I’ve never really considered my life in the context of time and space before. For the most part, I tend to view existence as a series of consequences and my reactions to them. These days, however, I find myself seriously contemplating the subtle dynamics of the time-space continuum… not so much in commonly contrived Trekkie terminology involving cylindrical beams of light, but rather as my own personal bubble of actions, reactions and timing. If I think about it hard enough, I can easily divide the past ten years of my life into alternative spikes and pitfalls on a sonogram. I’ve peaked in some years and plummeted in others.
I wouldn’t exactly call it a balance but it helps keep perspective. I am presently enjoying the idea of a personal reboot. Every time I find myself facing a large group of people sitting and listening to me speak (and not falling asleep), it is a colossal validation of something I can’t quite capture anywhere else in my life. It feels rather powerful and I suppose that is somewhat perverse. I never really saw myself as a teacher before, mostly because I haven’t really considered anything I know worth teaching. Still, it is proving to be an odd form of release… almost as if one is able to forego personal ambition without experiencing guilt. There is a colossal sense of relief in this, given that I was never much good at self-actualization. Teaching offers up the chance to feel ambition on behalf of other people, wanting, even craving their success without having to worry too much about ones’ own anymore.
It is the least selfish I have ever felt.
It is also the most free I have ever felt.
More recently I find myself contemplating sacred spaces. Crusty crevices marked in my day that I cannot quite capture but that might prove golden if only I could hold on to them long enough to let them be born. As it is, they are mere figments, conceived and aborted during my breakfast coffee or as I return to my office from class. I find all my good ideas, gentle hopes, idle quests melt away into one giant sieve of “wanting”. I’m not quite sure what it is I want anymore but I do feel that I am finally in that particular personal time-space continuum that relishes moving forward. I suppose it was a long time coming. Do you have that? That sweeping knowledge that you managed to think at least a dozen epic thoughts before lunch but that they’ve all dissolved by dinner? In Sanskrit they call it Bhrantapratavakavakya, the room into which we go on putting our hopes and dreams and desires. I can’t help thinking that at some point, it is beyond time we started looking for a key to the door, rather than an extended lease that allows us to add on more space to its piling proportions. Perhaps carpe diem is the order of the day
… or at least this day.