Friday, February 20, 2015

Sunset Chasers: Philosophical Edition

Often times, when I am chasing a sunset, I find myself filled with regret.

Happened again just the other day.

Sitting behind the wheel of my car, which was still running while parked haphazardly in a light industrial park near my neighborhood, I was jumpy with adrenalin from the mad dash to get to this optimal sunset-viewing spot before the colors faded from the sky as I asked myself once again:

Why, oh why, do I turn a sacred moment of peace and brilliant beauty into a cross-country, heart-attack-inducing steeplechase?

Why do I behave as if a gorgeous photo snapped in haste means more than the sweet memory of a sunset savored in real life?

And why, once again, am I sitting in here staring at my dusty dashboard and thinking these troubled thoughts while my daughter is outside, actually taking all the photos?

I don't have any good answers for myself

But I do conclude that I am not the only person who struggles with the art of being truly present in the precious moments of life. My thoughtful and talented friend, Chris, created a video in which he wrestles with his own distractedness during a recent visit to Abbey Road. Check it out.

And while I am often tempted to beat myself up for - as Chris puts it - missing the moment, I wonder if there is something more going on here than meets the eye.

What if there is just as much value in evaluating the past and planning for the future, as there is in living in the present?

What if this constant tension between staying truly present in each moment, and rushing on to the next, are the twin guide rails that run parallel along the pathways of our lives, pushing us back from one extreme to the other as we try to find a reasonable balance?

And what if we are meant to wrestle, each and every day, with our hearts' desire to stay deep and truly grounded in the moment, while our hyper human brains and survivalist sensibilities demand that we shift our focus to the next big thing.?

Hmm. This is something to think about next time I'm gazing at a sunset.

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