Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Next Stop

Imagine standing still on a platform of a train station. Everything is in commotion – people rushing, trains arriving and departing, workers sweating. The atmosphere is tense and mindlessly exciting. But you are not part of this big movement, you stepped aside and let everything pass you by. You are observing the crowd, trying to wrap your mind around one question: what’s the rush? Where are you guys running? Can I run with you? There is a barely comprehensible need to be with these people, to follow the stream of heads and bodies, that movement full of purpose and determination.

So you focus hard in order to find your own focus and determination in your head, where you believe they should be stored. You manage to pull out a couple of lazy forced goals, which will do for the moment, and happily join the crowd. Now you are running along with everybody else, wearing a proper expression of preoccupation on your face. You’re nervously checking the time because you are running late. You get annoyed by someone stepping on your foot, or by an accidental elbow jolt. But you already caught on the rhythm of the race: your thinking process becomes more shallow, your goal a blur, but as long as you follow the crowd you’ll get there…

And then you see a person standing aside, pensively observing the crowd. And you feel slightly annoyed that someone is wasting time on idleness. You are proud to be a member of the purposefully running crowd. But you are also jealous because by now you are out of breath and there are still 2 days till you reach the next weekend, which is your scheduled stop. And that person, standing there on the platform, seems to be having a good time. Of course, he doesn’t have my responsibilities, you think angrily. I could enjoy that kind of leisure instead of the crazy run.

This is you, ever anxious to join the race of life, not to miss out, always to make it on time. And this is you, dying to get out of the crowd, to break free and enjoy a still moment, to see life for what it is in its entirety, not bits and pieces you spot when running. And even as you steal those moments of quiet, in no time you crave to be back in the race. This is the paradox, the idea of freedom that you’ll never reach, because you are living in two different dimensions, which can never merge, become one. And you will always want both.

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