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Archive for February 3rd, 2010

You’ll live longer.

Posted by Dirck on 3 February, 2010

I’m having an oddly mystical moment. I hope I don’t get too tie-dyed for the regular readers.

I was this morning spinning fantasies while going through the rote of the first hour at The Regular Job, as a way of keeping my mind from going all gummy. The main thrust of it was setting up a proper, real-world little pen shop, all mellow oak and dark wall-paper, with halogen spots shining their delightfully natural light upon a stock of pens to please all comers. A subset was what a television commercial for this shop might look like. After stumbling on a couple of highly coincidental things as the morning went on, I’ll share this vision–

A chap walks through a madhouse vision of a morning; children and pets shrieking at one another, angry cops making move-along gestures while shrilling on a whistle, diverse lunatics waving bills yelling, “Pay me! Pay me!” with all the humanity of a flock of gannets. He passes through a door into a den, and in the utter silence of the sanctum he spends a few seconds on the calming ritual of filling a (somewhat generic, probably lever-filling) pen, while a pleasing voice-over in Royal Shakespeare tones says something like, “Relax. At least you know the pen will work.”

Something like that, anyway. It’s first-draft at best. Moving on through the morning, I’ve run across a couple of mentions of the joy of sending and receiving actual mail, a contemplation whether “Snail Mail” isn’t unduly derrogatory, and through these a nice manifesto on slow art as a way of life.

Today’s theme, at least as it’s passing in front of me, is that it would be nice to slow down and enjoy life. Whether you’re of a reincarnationist bent or figure it’s once around and then lights out, most people not currently in pain agree that life is a pretty good deal. We industrialized folks let ourselves get stampeded along, racing to get to some ephemeral finish line (Retirement? Quarterly earnings goal? Really cool car in time for the high-school reunion?) so madly that the metaphorical and sometimes even actual flowers along our route are ignored as pointless distractions.

They’re not, you know. They’re actually the point. This is in no way an original notion, nor does it lack in triteness, but that doesn’t render it false. The point of being alive is not to make a splash, but to enjoy the fact of it (ideally without hindering anyone else’s enjoyment). Making a splash, by the way, is probably not a comfortable way of punctuating one’s existence, although it’s over quickly if you jump from a great enough height.

Take a moment. Fill your pen. Don’t trouble about what the rest of the day brings, but enjoy the fact that you’re sitting comfortably, you’re holding a nice pen and that anything you write today can be art if you relax. Failing that, find some other little rituals that will allow you to interrupt the habitual mad rush. In relaxing, you’re taking some of the strain off your mechanism, and in addition to enjoying life a little more, you get a little more life to live. We are all, really, racing to a single finish line, and since none of us really know what the prize is (Eternal hellfire? Clouds’n’Harps? Endless pudding-pops and crowd of sympathetic virgins?) there’s no point in being the first on across.

Oh, heck, my lunch break is over! Gotta run!

Today’s mellow pen: Sheaffer Stylist (actually, I’m not that much fonder of it than I was yesterday, but I’m not willing to spoil my mood dwelling on it)
Today’s enlightening ink: Skrip blue

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