Hopefully, we are coming the end of this coronavirus pandemic – at least the beginning of the end. We are also coming to the end of the year. And what an extraordinary year it has been. It has brought much sadness. Fear and death has been the companion to many, many people. I’m sure it has made a lot of us reflect on our lives at a deeper level than normal. Most of us would have spent much of our extra free time reflecting on our mortality, our frailty, the preciousness of our health and the preciousness of life itself. Many of us would have made quite a few resolutions regarding those issues. Exercise more, appreciate each other better, live happier… The world-wide lockdowns have been good for the environment. Less pollution, less traveling and wild places have been left to be wild.
One of the subjects of my own reflections has been focused on my terrible ability to time-waste. Being given more time during lockdown has shown me how little I’ll do if given the chance. I love to just sit in my armchair and think. Yet I’ve always thought of myself as someone who likes to make plans and achieve things.
Not that I’m saying there is anything wrong with doing nothing. Spending your life doing nothing is okay so long as it makes you happy. I’ve realised that doing nothing no longer makes me happy, that’s what I realised during lockdown. And yet, my head keeps sucking me into my idle thoughts and endless reflections on what makes a meaningful life. I have been acting as if I just had to be aware of me being, to be.
Maybe doing is now more meaningful than being.
Whether you believe in a religion or not, reality appears to be moving in a particular direction towards something. It is evolving, continually moving forward. It seems to me that we are, as children of reality, part of that process. We must be going somewhere too.
Have we gone past the age of deep reflection when we saw the development of philosophies, religions and big sociological ideas? Has the age of the intellectual passed? I don’t mean that we have all stopped thinking. Maybe we now interact with reality on a more physical level? Maybe the big questions have been sufficiently answered. Maybe we feel that science is sorting out all the remaining questions (as well as debunking some of the old). This must give us more time to live, to feel, to be alive. Experience is limited when the experiencer is sat in an armchair.
This idea attracts me. Interacting with reality on a more physical level will surely give us more insight into the needs of our environment and our place in it. If we begin to feel physically attached to nature in a way a wild animal surely does, maybe we will begin to understand what part we have to play in its journey. Maybe that is the first thought we need to consider: that the journey was never ours. It belonged to nature all along.
I have also realised that photography is not an intellectual activity 😉 so I went out and took some pictures the other day – take a look.