Friday, July 2, 2010

Time for the Sublime

July 2, 2010
I am coming to realize one of the effects Samoa has had on me is to understand more fully that a hurried, hectic lifestyle, does not leave time for the sublime. For to appreciate the sublime, you must have time, time of leisure, time to contemplate those things which are not obvious or even seen, but sensed.

How we American Peace Corps Volunteers ridiculed and mocked Samoans for their seemingly lack of desire to "advance" themselves. How they rejected our efforts to "educate" them into the ways of our global world. Oh, how we thought we understood them. Oh, how blind we were not to see that they knew about the sublime.

I have taken to walking, at first for exercise, now to let my senses and mind wander to sample my surroundings. The beauty of birds signing, of young mothers pushing their babies in perambulators, a woman digging in her garden, the roar of jet planes overhead, a Mexican mother struggling with her groceries and two small children as she gets off the bus, this is the glory of it all!

To appreciate the sublime takes time, leisure time, time which earns no money, produces no goods, has no destination. It is time only some malcontents, artists, very wealthy, cloistered monks, elderly, and Samoans seem to set aside to enjoy the sublime. For the rest of the world, flat screen TVs, iPods, and stress are the rewards for time.


Karen's Planet said...

Hi Nick, I was on the bus this Friday morning and I always find that time "sublime". I was gazing out the window and there were people engaged in conversation, walking on the road and one man lounging outside his home on a hammock. I thought about this for awhile. It was Friday morning, not a holiday. The work ethic is different here. They seem to get it together when they need to...but for many, their only worry is that they have a roof and can scrounge up a meal for the day. I think about this life in respect to freedom and wonder if the American Dream and real Freedom can both be attained. Thanks for the post - it went with my thoughts for today.

Teri said...

Dad, I couldn't agree with you more. Your words in this post resonated with me on a deep level. There is much value in stepping off the treadmill of the proverbial quest for success, and simply taking the time to be still in our minds. A novel idea for the "stuff" oriented focus held by much of the developed world, I think. Peace of mind awaits!

Oh, have I mentioned lately how much I enjoy reading your blog?

Anonymous said...

Wow! Nick can i post this on my Facebook? i really like it. So true. Now i'm in America i see what you meant. Life here is too much for me to handle. People want more and more. id rather sit under the coconut tree in samoa and daydream.
Tofa Soifua,
alisa small