Spending too much time thinking may have its downsides, but that is only if you subscribe to the notion that there is such thing as “spending too much time thinking.”
I try to free myself of the thirst for material goods, only to notice that in lieu of spiritual satisfaction, a project car or a more specialized bicycle or new camera lens might offer up a convincing diversion. Besides, what is so wrong with just being comfortable?
The most violent loneliness is preferable to the most numb and superficial sense of inclusion; like a blizzard in Indianapolis, that feeling is real and palpable and will yield to something different, if only you keep driving.
There is a yearning within all of us to find more joy in a simple evening stroll than in a new Porsche, but there is also a reluctance which holds us back. We can work hard and save our shekels and buy the one, but the other requires solemn introspection and much harder work, and nothing which can be bought with ink on a dotted line. And that is what writing and conversation and coffee and whiskey are all about; it is why we must make a thousand words out of the way the sunlight dances along the sidewalk during the evening dog walk
In a way, it is a refreshing feeling to be constantly aware of your surroundings, to know what it is you are most afraid of. To have a common fear with all fellow men, to have a lingua franca that everyone speaks about dangers and preparations and the haughty laughs we must have if we are to survive it at all. In the Yukon, everyone has a bear story or ten. In Alaska, people speak more in “how bad” bears are than whether there are bears at all.
I am fascinated by our variable tolerances; when it comes to solitude, silence, loneliness, or discomfort, we react violently and immediately. When it comes to monotony insidiously creeping in, we
As time passes, I am stricken by many things: the urgency a brush with death places upon us. Our ability to normalize and gloss over such a traumatic experience in order to ‘move on.’ The way survival is so fickle and random that it can all feel very pointless or extraordinarily meaningful. The difference a day makes.