We are inundated daily by things that make us either sublimely happy or sadly disappointed and many gradients in between, from discovering a mouse in your house to getting a free bottle of champagne and realizing all the reasons there are to celebrate. A few good things came my way this weekend. A desperately needed and deeply appreciated rain storm helped me to read Nabokov’s Ada for book group at a downtown coffee shop. And then led me into the bookstore next door where I fell in love with Open City by Teju Cole. This Nigerian New Yorker’s first novel is about a psychiatrist in residence who finds solace by walking the streets of NYC.
Then after what seemed mere minutes of sleep, I was jarred awake by the beeping of the alarm clock on my cellphone, which was set to a bizarre marimba-like arrangement of “O Tannenbaum.” In these first few moments of consciousness, in the sudden glare of morning light, my mind raced around itself, remembering the fragments of dreams or pieces of the book I had been reading before I fell asleep. It was to break the monotony of those evenings that, two or three days each week after work, and on at least one of the weekend days, I went walking.
My morning reading session brought me this from Sakyong Mipham’s Ruling Your World.
Being human is a precious situation, and we shouldn’t waste time in useless activities. This conclusion motivates us to look at what to cultivate and what to discard. We can decide to let go of unnecessary activity instead of wanting more. We can decide to be focused instead of distracted. . . Watching champion runners and golfers on television, I see this principle at work. They often seem to be moving in slow motion, yet they are running faster than others or hitting the ball farther, with more precision, because they have eliminated unnecessary moves.