The sensation of waking up is a weird one. You see the ceiling. More likely though, your phone screen. I try not to do that. I fail, but I do try. I want to experience life as it actually is. As it really, truly, is. In all its mundane, ordinary nature. I don’t want to constantly be distracted by thoughts about the future or the past. I don’t want to ruminate or plan constantly.
Sometimes I find myself relieved that my phone has died. That way, I know I’m forced to confront life as it is. Life is not fast. There are no cut scenes, there is no fast-forward button. It takes its time. Things unfold in the most boring way. On the face of it there seems to be nothing special about everyday living. Many people over millennia tell us that there is something there though, something in the Now. I can’t always see it. But sometimes I do. Sometimes I see it.
There is beauty in the mundane. Sitting on the train, you can see people around you. All living their own little lives, all existing in their own world, their own universe. I suppose I find myself in my own universe a lot too. Mulling over smart thoughts, stupid thoughts, weird thoughts. Mostly though, I rehash thoughts that have crossed my mind a thousand times before. Thoughts that I have analyzed from every angle. I have inspected these thoughts to the point that I know their every crevice. Yet, there they are, moving through my mind.
I know it’s alright though, these days I don’t think they bother me too much. It’s just how the mind works, it likes to go through familiar moments or events. It likes to investigate situations or conversations many times to make sure that you didn’t miss anything important.
When I do manage to disengage, things appear much clearer. I find life to be more amusing than anything else. I start laughing at the absurdity of it all, as though I finally got what Terence McKenna calls ‘The cosmic giggle’. Who knows, maybe I’m just being silly. But isn’t that the point?
I mean, we’re a silly animal after all. We’re a big, walking, talking monkey with a brain that is far too big for its body. We don’t have any real predators to worry about, so instead, we appear to find ways to make ourselves worried and scared. Because of this comical existence, I find myself taking it all much less seriously.
The fact of the matter is, life has offered herself to us. We are given a chance to engage with each other. We’re alive and are able to experience problems and solutions, we are able to experience both sadness and joy. When I sit back and stop for a second, I’m able to wake up and look around at what seems to be so utterly normal, I’m able to see how wonderful normality really is.
It’s all so wonderful because it’s going to end. Whatever the issue is, whatever you see, whatever you do, whoever you are now or will be, you will one day vanish. You will cease to be. It has been said many times before, by people from across all cultures, times and places.
That our mortality is an epiphany we are presented with, in order to fully appreciate all that is.
In order to appreciate life, we need to appreciate the simple, the common, all the things that are taken for granted. Just remember, It will all go away. Problems and concerns are not really problems or concerns that will last forever. Whatever impact that I think I might have, will inevitably die out over time.
This isn’t something that I’m sad about though, I think it liberates me to truly enjoy life. I am set free from worry because I understand that it’s all temporary, it’s very much an evanescent experience. My existence is like a small wave that formed, moved some distance and will someday die away.
I think the mundane becomes interesting when you actually take the time to look at it, and to carefully, slowly, enjoy it. It’s in the things that are considered mundane that happiness is found and a life truly appreciated.