There’s a scene in the film Beyond the Clouds where an archaeologist hires some tribesmen to lead him to an site deep in the mountains. After they had been moving for some time the tribesmen stopped and insisted they would go no further. The archaeologist grew impatient and then angry. But no matter how much he cajoled the tribesmen would not go any further. Then all of a sudden the tribesmen changed their attitude. They picked up the gear and set off once more. When the bewildered archaeologist asked why they had stopped and refused to move for so long, the tribesmen answered, “We had been moving too fast and had to wait for our souls to catch up.”
That’s the kind of living the cult of busy promotes. The kind of living in which we move so fast our souls have no time to catch up, on purpose: so we don’t have to face them.
I’ve been a lot busier than I like lately, but there’s nothing romantic about barely making ends meet, so I’ll grin and bear it. Plus, I’ve also been making more time for swimming, playing computerized chess, working out, and catching up on my dead-tree reading. Unfortunately, writing suffers as a result, but, in an attempt to accentuate the positive, I’m using the downtime to reconsider my own writing, both in content and style. Maybe there are better sites out there I could be using for inspiration, along the excellent lines of 3 Quarks Daily, the Browser, or Bookforum’s Omnivore. Perhaps I should aim to post less frequently in order to improve the quality-to-quantity ratio. There are a lot of people who will make snide remarks about the mindless entertainment habits of the average Myrrhkin, only to indulge in the equally mindless pursuit of reading the same blogs every day writing the same posts about the same predictable topics. There but for the grace of nonexistent gods go I.