Archive for November, 2012

Only This Minute

November 29, 2012

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Today was my day to “get things done”.  I devoutly rejected all social invitations and set my clear and steady course toward the seas of productivity.  But where the orchestra of my own will was delighting in loudening, building, quickening grandioso, the Egyptian gods of technology finaled with more of a deadening crash of cymbals.  Their deceptive cadence stole the show in this order: no hot water followed by no water at all, the electricity went out, the internet went out, and finally my phone stopped working.  On a normal day, I might breathe the delight of this technology-free adventure.  But NOT today of all days: a project due, a 20 page paper due, a client skype appointment, laundry, dishes, tidying…  I had hit my wall days ago of having fun and simply ‘being’ – now I was ready to ‘DO’ something – something productive.  Entitlement came to me like a title wave – my American inheritance of expecting to get WHAT we want WHEN we want it.  In righteous five minute intervals, my devotion turned into obsession checking the internet exasperated that my will could not change the situation.  Finally my distress became the crescendo that exhausted me into a useless heap on the couch.  My knowing and wise friend Hassan found me this way and nodded knowingly – he has witnessed this Western meltdown before. 

 “Diane, You not need think about time because you not make time – time make you.  Always something can happen.  Maybe sometime I wish go and motor bike not go – like this – you not can change. Always man he not sure if can go or not… sometime people buy ticket for train you tell friend I come today but train stop… like this – because this people not think so much about time – it can happen today, it can happen tomorrow – like this.  You need live now – this time.  I tell you Prophet speak if you have your day good – only this day – you not make fight or make bad for another people – this like you have whole world in your hand – you not can think about tomorrow because any day different. We not can know tomorrow time – you need live now – this time.  I wish you live your time Diane – this minute – only this minute.”

 Hassan was just happy to be visiting, but I needed to be achieving something.  What is this compulsion toward productivity and is it all together healthy?  It seems I typically feel that time is scarce and I don’t like what this does to my relationship with time.  I read a quote today from Charles Eisenstein, “When everything is subject to money, then the scarcity of money makes everything scarce, including the basis of human life and happiness. Such is the life of the slave—one whose actions are compelled by threat to survival. Perhaps the deepest indication of our slavery is the monetization of time.”  There is wisdom for me in this statement – it has to do with my monetization of time and in this way I am not truly free in each moment when I am operating in this productivity model.  I wish to seek the kind of success Hassan has, minute by minute.

 Earlier that day, Hassan had two computers quit in his shop.  He called the man to fix it, but this man is going to Cairo.  Hassan will wait for the man to return, instead of call someone else. This man always fixes his computers and that is more important than two more working machines in his shop and his customers will wait. They can if they wish go to another computer shop, but they like Hassan’s computer shop so they will wait.  Besides, Hassan adds, “I make it cheap, one hour, one pound”.