Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Time is Irrelevant

For a few days now the time and date has been unknown to me, and everytime I think to ask someone I stop, because it is irrelevant.

One night I cooked a nice spagetti dinner for ten of us at the hostel, and some of the girls wanted to cook again the night after. I guessed that I would be back to eat at ten-o-clock and we called it a date. This was the first reference to time I had used in days, and I don't know how I excpected to hold to it.

That day me and a friend took off on an ATV to the opposite end of the island to visit a book shop and to watch the sunset that Oia is so famous for. I was far more impressed by the bookshop, where the volunteer staff from all over the world slept in bunks built among the bookshelves. They practically had to climb up the stacks of books to reach thier beds. Books were piled to the ceiling and followed spiral staircases leading to the terrace above. I had never seen anything like it.

After the sunset, which sets very late, we had an hour ATV ride ahead of us. I remembered dinner, and thought for a second to check the time to see if we ould make it back. And I remembered that it is irrelevant. We were where we were at that moment, and the hour long journey ahead of us would still be there if we knew the time or not. So instead of asking for the time, and anxiously driving back to make it to dinner, it was better to remain dettached from time and enjoy the ride home.

We arrived perfectly on time to a wonderful, all-you-can-eat home cooked meal and lots of good company. There was no rush or worry involved.

That night I talked with a girl about this concept: to enjoy every moment, hour, or day without worrying about the days to come. It is not an original though obviously, though it is an original feeling to be ok with it, one that goes back to many existential philosophers and writers. Dostoevsky in Notes from Underground wrote that the act of achievement is more meaningful than the achievement itself. Sartre in all of his writings glorifies the momentary experience, as does Camus in many of his novels.

I remember when I read the works of these writers feeling very dark and hopeless in a world where tomorrow is irrelevent, but I am now experiencing the beauty of appreciating the here and now, uncomprimised by the worry and anxiety of tomorrow.

Jesus talks about this way before all of these existential writers, in verses that have always been among my favorite in the Bible.

"Do not be anxious about your life,
what you will eat, nore about your body,
what you will put on. For life is more than food,
and the body more than clothing...
And which of you by being anxious can
add a single hour to his span of life?
If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that,
 why are you anxious about the rest?"
Luke 12:22-26

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