Geography of the Mind

Balancing Act... 

Things of nature that are constant, like mountains and the sun rising and setting every day, are the everlasting backdrop of what is constantly moving, such as human nature and the course of societal events. The natural world provides for us a reminder, should we choose to stop and look at it no matter where we live, that it endures and goes on with a certain regularity and rhythm. It changes with the seasons but the regularity of the seasons and what they will bring is certain.

Similarly human events do have a pattern to them but they toss and turn in our day to day lives since we're immersed, by our very human nature, in the course of our lives and the society we live in. The world of people is in constant flux and irregular in our vision, as we partake in what each day brings, the good and the bad as well as the mundane. In the larger tableau of life, history really does repeat itself and overall the behavior of people is pretty predictable. We lose sight of that as daily miracles, commonplace events and problems present themselves, while we're caught up in conducting our activities.

There's something disconcerting about this lack of proportion in our minds between the background of the natural world and the foreground of everyday happenings. Very few of us are wise enough, especially in this workaday hustle and bustle world, to take even brief moments of time out of the day and put things in perspective of what is constant and enduring versus what is brief and ephemeral.

This year has been, in a gut-wrenching way, a period of change and growth for me. I accept the teeth gritting upheaval part and don't resent it but don't enjoy it either but embrace it only as a necessary part of getting to where I want to go on a personal level. Where I struggle is in reminding myself to observe the example of the constant of the natural world, to keep in balance the fluidity of the social world, at a time when I most need stability to stay on the right track. Therein lies the greatest challenge, since that balance also means simultaneously learning the freedom and peace of mind I am seeking for the long term.


  1. Your blog is perfect.

    I just re-read the third paragraph of it and out of nowhere a story of my grandfather jumped up: we were sitting in Silver Stadium in 1981, watching the Rochester Red Wings play...somebody. I'd been to countless Wings games before that and have been to a bunch of them since but that was the only time I ever went to a game alone with my grandfather.

    We got our hot dogs and pop before the game and sat there and watched it. I don't remember who won (which makes sense since I don't remember the other team at all) but I remember Grandpa pointing out all the people walking around during the game, and I remember him shaking his head and saying, "They come to the ball game but all they want to do is walk around. Look at them; they never stop walking around."

    Damn if he wasn't right. I knew it then and I know it now, but the story hid out for 29 years in between my moments of certainty.

    Anyway it's just a story and I'm thankful for the memory. Your blog brought it back.

    You have a perfect thing here, JR. Thank you for sharing it.

  2. Lately memories similar to the one you just related have been popping in my head. It may be that synapses are firing again after years of suppression but they pop up and remind me of other deeper things I hadn't thought of in awhile. They all seem to relate to that same thing about "they never stop walking around."

    Thanks for the compliment, reading and commenting on my blog. I appreciate it.