Thursday, August 5, 2010

For The Fucked

For the fucked, time is forever a thief, a lay-about, a waste. Their awareness of it is constant. It harps and hectors their consciousness: "I don't have enough time." "There aren't enough hours in the day." "This is taking forever." "You are wasting my time." Etc., etc.

The hyperbole is illuminating as it reveals the defining character of the fucked life: a lack of control over those things that can be controlled and a focus on what is beyond all control. With the first clock made 600 years ago, man has assumed he is in control of time. From that moment to this the fucked are all rabbits pulling out watches from their waistcoats running late to tea. Whenever my father was pitying himself he would say, "I'm late. I'm late for a very important date."

Because the ground floor of being human is that we are a finite experience it is easy to worry excessively, unduly, to the point of fucking ourselves to stupefaction, about time. But the unfucked have no such worries. It isn't that the unfucked life is untroubled by death, but that the unfucked concentrate their resources on things they can actually influence, change or build. The promise of death is a call to NOT waste time, not an excuse to indulge in it.

* * *

The past few weeks have seen a tripling of the work coming through the door and I am a leaking boat in a storm: swamped. Work awaits me at every turn and I have yet to master it all. I am flying by the seat of my pants because that is all I can do right now, and I started in on the self-pity for not getting it all done "on time." It is a deep, dark hole to bitch about having an excess of work when just a few weeks ago I spent my days trying to find it. Once I heard the echo of whining in my voice I let it go. I have nothing to bitch about. I have work that I am good at.

I am coming up on 50 years as a work in progress. It is a seminal number - often mistakenly assumed to be the mid-point of life - but if insurance actuaries are to be believed is closer to the 2/3's mark, and yet I can muster no foreboding, no sense of gloom, no deep tissue regret. Like you, I have lived some. In my time I have known great joy, great loss, great loves, great foolishness, great emptiness. My life is thus marked by greatness. And I am still standing with an over-abundance of work to do, of work yet to be imagined, of love yet to give.

I promised myself when I was a younger man that I would live so death would have to hit a moving target. I have waxed and waned on that promise to myself, but it persists, it whispers in my ear: there's only here, there's only now. This is how life gets unfucked: LIVE NOW.

* * *

Salvidor Dali's droopy clock face is emblematic of the fucked life.

A body in motion - used while it can be used - is the emblem of the unfucked life.

Now get going.


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