The thing about being alone,
I came home to an empty house yesterday. Everybody is out decembering and living their lives its not that am not I came home pretty late and was so tired I just dumped onto the bed. But its morning now and there’s no one here this is strange because I have never had a room to myself for any appreciable period. The house is always full of life on a Sunday morning and to have it like this is unsettling.
The first thing I did was to grab a soda and sit on the bonnet of a car and think. The sun is amazing today; it just lightly caresses your skin which is really pleasant considering that the sun has the power to overwhelm you with its heat, its brilliance. It has so much power and for it to be considerate enough to hold it in check and just linger on your skin is…
Well am sitting on the car and suddenly I start thinking about loneliness and want, desire and ambition. About all those things that perharps we should think about more. The nature of these things is so contradictory. One of my favourite quotes in the world is you can have anything you want just as long as you are willing to sacrifice everything else. I firmly believe this is true. I just don’t think anything is worth it. The problem is that the process that is described in the quote above happens in miniature all the time and this is what I was thinking of.
For all the things we want, the things we really want we have to be prepared to sacrifice just a bit of ourselves to get them. We were four have to sacrifice social engagements, school and a lot more in order to keep making great music but this changes all of them. If a man is courting a woman, a good rule of thumb is not to appear to like her too much; calculated neglect has been proven over the centuries to be the most effective weapon in any would be lover’s arsenal. The problem is that there comes a time when you like someone enough not to want to neglect them. In that situation if you do what you really want to, there’s a chance you’ll never get what you want.
And that is the contradictory nature of desire. There’s always a small sacrifice that you have to make. Which of your wants do you consider to be the more important? A band may want to drink instead of practice but they have to sacrifice that part of themselves. I may want to call her all the time but I have to sacrifice that if I really want the girl.
The result of all this planning, of working with foresight is that you don’t end up doing what you want. There is a person walking around, wearing your skin, smiling your smile and going about business. It’s just not usually your business its their’s. There are very few moments in life of pure pleasure; moments when you’re not denying yourself something because you believe it’s worth it. A small sacrifice is worth it to get something bigger. But there are so many big things you want and every time you get there you want something bigger still. Once you get the girl maybe you want the relationship to last and again this requires a lot of sacrifice, time with friends is reduced. Many of the things you do are compromise situations and now that you can call her every day without the scent of desperation accompanying every successive call you never want to, it becomes a chore but you do it, it’s a small sacrifice to make right?
But if everyone lives a life filled with small sacrifices (I believe most people do) doesn’t it add up? Everyone makes at least one small sacrifice every day until that could be the motto of the human race “the species of small sacrifices.” It adds up. If your life is a collection of small sacrifices at the end isn’t it possible that all you ended up doing is making one big sacrifice.
But we need to give up the small pleasures in order to really enjoy the big ones. That’s the argument at least. And most people would revolt against earning the tag of “the people of puny pleasures.” But isn’t it possible that there are no big pleasures. There is no achievement out there that will give us a constant well of happiness. Maybe all we are promised is a cup at a time. The problem is that most people take all these cups and pour it down a hole in the ground hoping one day all these hapinesses will congregate and provide them with joy forever.
But this doesn’t happen.
I was thinking about the contradictory nature of desire. It must be a really complex emotion to provide a path to humanity to be either “the species of small sacrifices” or the “people of puny pleasures.” And isn’t it strange that most are drawn to the former because of some sense of nobility and the latter is just thrown away because of the fact of smallness. But what if?
What if there are no big pleasures and at the end of your life all you can remember is looking for them and making sacrifices. It might be worth the risk to indulge in some small pleasures, today, tomorrow maybe even forever. It would probably help to stop thinking about the pleasures as puny and think instead of them as pure.” the people of pure pleasures” I drink water in cups and it has been keeping me alive, if i fell down a well i would probably drown. Maybe there’s a lesson there somewhere.