Thursday, January 19, 2006

The picture at left is of a 4-year-old boy who was hit by a truck and killed. It wasn't actually the photo I had intended to post. But it caught my eye the first time I saw it and I showed it to my son a few years ago, when he was three. I showed it to him so he would remember to look both ways when crossing the street. It seems to have had some effect. The idea of showing it to him came from a Carlos Castaneda book I read where Don Juan Matis reccommends taking a small child to a morgue and having him see and touch the body of a child his age. The idea was to make the child consious that it will die one day. Don Juan advocated a constant awareness of death, that in fact death should act as a guide to living. The way I interpret this is something to the effect of "don't waste time while you're still alive."

Bearing this notion in mind I question if I am thinking enough about my own death and whether I am wasting my time alive with irrelevant things. Just today I missed a the chance to do lunch with a friend I look up to because I was behind with an article, an article on a topic that doesn't exactly uplift me. Had I hammered it out yesterday when I had the chance I'd have made that lunch. Now it's possible to say that yesterday I was passing quality time with Lucia, my wife and later I was meditating. And what could be better than that. Still, next time I get the chance to get ahead on something, I sure hope I've got the power to do so. That way I can gauge the outcome, see if it was worth it.

This past September, shortly after I got back from a 10-day silent meditation workshop I found myself in the midst of a 5-country study on the privatisation process. It was the same study I'd been in the thick of before the workshop when I'd been stressed out and wallowing in procrastination. But after the workshop, I dove into the work. I completed one country myself and coordinated the efforts of a team of reseachers, then edited and formatted the whole she-bang into a compiled study within deadline. What's more, I managed to get in two hours of meditation each day I worked on it. I hadn't had a chance to play solitaire on the computer or check the news. But I got the thing done and then took my wife and son on vacation for two weeks to Turkey where we had a smashing good time.

So now in order not to waste time, sure I should do all those things I'm supposed to do and not procrastinate. But what playing my flute and reading and writing?


  • At 10:52 PM, Blogger patrick said…

    Hmmm, procrastination. Is that what I'm doing now or is leaving this comment a meaningful gesture to myself and my brother. I am taking a break from my latest sculptural project, but reading Jake's blog gives me a chance to rethink my mental priorities, the thoughts that fill my mind as go through the motions of my life right now. I guess I really haven't said much, but maybe I'll be thinking a little differently after this. Thanks


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