(Seneca, Epistulae Morales 122.3)
No day is long for the one who is really living.
(Pron = NOO-loos ah-GEN-tee DEE-ays LOHN-goos ehst)
Comment: I have taken liberty with the Latin word "agenti". It means, more
commonly, "living, doing, spending". No day is long for the one who is doing,
or working. I choose to interpret that as "really living".
What is really living? It is something that engages the whole of me. And by
this definition I understand that I spend too many days when I am not really
living, but more likely passing time, doing "stuff", or "working". There are
days, though, when I am at work, and time vanishes. I am so wholly into the
interaction with my students that the time dimensions ceases to be. The school
day ends, and I am tired but invigorated. Other days, I have a "plan", and I
work it. And the day creaks on. I am exhausted at the end.
I experience this timelessness more regularly when I paint. I begin working on
a canvass or piece of paper, and before I realize it, 3 or 4 hours have passed.
I have been completely, body and mind, one with the working, the living, the
doing, in front of me.
There is no way to figure out how to do this. We can only give ourselves to an
event, a moment. We can only jump in and see how it goes.
When I was a lifeguard working in inner city pools in Birmingham, often little
children would stand outside the gate of the pool while we were cleaning and
preparing the pool for the day. They would yell: why don't you jump in?
I often recall that child's voice, that invitation. Why don't you jump in--to
this, right here, right now? When I do, the day is not long.
(Used with permission)
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