Savoring this life

This past week, I've noticed a connection between a number of things that I wanted to write down before I forget about them.  It started with how I've been seeing more clearly how food, wine, coffee, even water all have a lot more flavor and texture to enjoy if you simply focus upon them and savor what you're eating or drinking.  For example, tonight Ivy blessed me with another phenomenal meal and I made a point of appreciating all of the unique and delightful flavors that went along with it.  Identifying all the unique spices, etc.

But this process of savoring and appreciating something extends far beyond food and drink.  I've been reading a book my sister Laurel loaned me called "Einstein's Dreams" and it's written by a professor who is a physicist.  It describes the various different worlds that Einstein imagined would result if the physics of the universe were changed and time worked differently than it does in our universe.  For example, if time were circular, people would continually repeat their lives endlessly.  Or, if time flowed faster in some parts of the earth, and slower in others, people would age faster based upon where they live.  The book is extremely well-written with beautiful descriptions of these alternative worlds.  Besides being an interesting book, however, what I've taken away is the important of appreciating and savoring time and life itself as it moves along in a linear way.  We shouldn't live in the past or the future but we should focus upon and relish each individual moment NOW.  (I recall my Davis roommate Andy had a book on Pascal's Pensees and Pascal has a great aphorism on this very point of living in the present).  So, in addition to relishing the complexity and various flavors of food and drink- we should do so with the time God has given us.

Finally--and along these lines-- a few weeks ago Ivy and I saw the Girl With a Pearl Earring (good overall).  The highlight for me was when the painter Vermeer told the young girl to look at the clouds outside and say what color she saw.  She said initially, "white."  But then when she looked closer and stared, she said "and green, blue, yellow, red..."


I found the Pascal quote.  (I love the internet):

"47. We never keep to the present. We recall the past; we anticipate the future as if we found it too slow in coming and were trying to hurry it up, or we recall the past as if to stay its too rapid flight. We are so unwise that we wander about in times that do not belong to us, and do not think of the only one that does; so vain that we dream of times that are not and blindly flee the only one that is. The fact is that the present usually hurts. We thrust it out of sight because it distresses us, and if we find it enjoyable, we are sorry to see it slip away. We try to give it the support of the future, and think how we are going to arrange things over which we have no control for a time we can never be sure of reaching.

Let each of us examine his thoughts; he will find them wholly concerned with the past or the future. We almost never think of the present, and if we do think of it, it is only to see what light it throws on our plans for the future. The present is never our end. The past and the present are our means, the future alone our end. Thus we never actually live, but hope to live, and since we are always planning how to be happy, it is inevitable that we should never be so. (172)"


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