Heartbeat of Time

Is there anything more pure than the mind of a child?

Where the reality of a day goes on forever ~ entranced by all the love and peace around.  Never a day lost, never a day wasted. Time does not exist in the manner we experience as adults. Time is in abundance.

The preciousness of every heartbeat, a soothing melody moving the world forward as it should.

Yesterday I read the average human has somewhere around three billion heartbeats within a lifetime. Not a small number, but disappointing nonetheless. It gave me pause to consider the value of each heartbeat. To reassess the importance of time. 

My goal is not to squander any more heartbeats, and of course the humor was not lost on me as I ‘wasted’ several thousand mulling this over…

Roughly 2,000 years ago, the Stoic philosopher Seneca wrote an essay, On the Shortness of Life, about how our existence rushes by and only when we begin to understand the importance of time, it is too late. It’s over. 

Seneca believed for many, the tragedy was not because life itself is short, but the amount of time wasted makes it short. 

“We do not appreciate the value of time… life is long if you know how to use it.” – Seneca

Caught up in social media and daily news cycles, it becomes easy to go through the motion of living. We lose our consciousness and with it beautiful scenes become a faded blur of a sound-bite world.

The silver lining of the past couple of years has been the space to step back from the chaos of life; catch a glimpse of what a world looks like when time is available and not the end goal.

Listen to the heartbeat and life opens up.

Seneca too appreciated the heartbeat of life. He railed against the preoccupied souls wrapped up in the material world, chasing anything but an authentic life – supplying us with the quote:

“So you must not think a man has lived long because he has white hair and wrinkles: he has not lived long, just existed long.” – Seneca

This quote hammered into me the need to unlatch myself from the zeal of business; work hard but relish those moments of peace. Not an easy thing to do.

The beat of time varies like the weather, similar to music and mood. There are days when running around with hair on fire is the only option, and long hours spent on projects a blast ~ but always with an eye on what brings bliss: exploring and learning something new.

Often such exploration comes via a book, a place to capture a different taste of philosophy; ideas of a culture sharing its wisdom. A time to relax, to let the serene pieces of life soak in.

The beat of the heart in harmony with the ticking of time leads the way. For those who know me, family and friends define who I am. It took me years to understand they also help define who I can become.

“How much happier is the man who owes nothing to anybody except the one he can most easily refuse, himself!” – Seneca

Seneca’s words have always had the power to snap me away from the mirage of success ~ “I lose the day in waiting for the night, and lose the night in fearing the dawn.” Shines a light on the false belief: if I could only have this, I would be happy

It is an enlightening moment to understand how simple happiness can be. May not be a professional athlete or atop a business empire as once dreamt, but somehow I’m much better off.

I’ve over achieved. I’m happy.

A happiness evolved from a trust in fate; a natural rhythm dictating the evolution of connections.

There are times in life when things come together. Synchronicity ~ a natural paring.

Explanations are not necessary; when such moments come together, celebrate. Take time away from the chaos and melt into the surroundings.

Melt into the colors, melt with the scene, and then melt perfectly into the love of others.

These timeless moments create a few extra heartbeats, and time stands still. Damn. I love life 😊.

Close your eyes, take a deep breath, listen to the beat of your heart and jump into the unknown ~ it is the logical thing to do.

It is what we were made for.

Solitude of a Night in Prague

I’ve never welcomed the darkness as much as tonight. The isolation clears my head; this solitude of nothingness, paraphrasing the philosophy of the Dao de Jing, …holds everything.

Such silence is rare here on the streets of one of Europe’s oldest cities, where in the daytime each passing second arrives quicker than the last. At this hour, however, time essentially stands still.

The shadow of night creeps through my body, its blackness cloaking my soul to reveal a calmness lacking the past few months.  The lights, blinding during the day, become relief at this hour.  An hour of perception.  An hour of contrast, of paradox.

All encasing a world I seldom visit; deep into the night where elegance and vulgarity sit side-by-side on a curb, fused together through their unique naïveté by the darkness that surrounds.

The grace and coarseness of their melody illuminates who I was, who I am, and who I could become.  Joined with the ghosts of the night, wisdom blooms within the lyrics and by dawn, a new world is created.

These ghosts are to be experienced, neither seen nor touched.  Only deep in the night can their harmonies be heard.

Midnight in Prague, sparkling after a rain, contains calm and chaos, energy and weariness, warmth and chill ~ a place where pixies of the light romance with trolls of the dark.

Simple contrasts scattered around life, demonstrate without one there is no other.  Only through darkness can we understand the light.

Darkness fascinates with its intriguing dance with light.  Either they embrace and find balance or scurry away deep into the recesses of life, waiting for another chance to become one.

There is joy in the depths of night.  A thrill found in the blurred line between light and dark.  Photography can enlighten the dark corners where most people avoid, revealing exceptional dimensions of everyday life.  Understanding contrast allows the mind to accurately interpret the world around us.

Dark and light, good and evil, pain and pleasure, man and woman. Embracing these polarizations ensures a rich life.  Be wary of those who pit one against another, their intent is to distort reality.  There is great value in grasping the thread of similarities between extremes, all which bind humanity together.

Nothing is either good or bad.  Churning within us all is something bright and noble dancing with something dark and dangerous.  And as with the purity of light, the human soul can only be cleansed by the deep darkness of life.

Grainy memories of wandering the streets are encounters I treasure.  I’ve enough experience to know within the darkness, flashes of illusions and imagination roam freely.  It is often within the dankest quarters of life where the heart begins to beat with the energy to ignite dreams undiscovered.

Mastering this balance makes the transformation possible. Where to begin to discover this magical place?

The need, the want and the fear, along with virtuosity can plunge a soul deep into exploring the murky and hidden pieces of life.  Unknown darkness, once recognized, reveals a glistening new view of life, a mystery uncovered.

History has long shown people in power pitting light against dark; exploiting the unfounded dangers within the contrasts of life. Exclaiming misconstrued extremes should be pushed into the depths of darkness, to be forgotten.  This is the gravest error, for understanding differences expands the mind and creates value where before there was only fear.

Throughout the day, tweets of the irrelevant flood the brain.  A thousand pieces of delicate chaos cuts away at reason.  It is in the rare solitude of night when the mind is able to breathe. Those simple words: inhale, exhale. The moment when chaos and solitude overlap, lightness and darkness come together with the realization of their interdependence.

When life is in balance, inspiration flows.  The conscious and unconscious weaves the thread of dependence between extremes and the blur of life slows.  Words form, new ideas take root and soon the faint whispers of the old streets come to life and a new journey begins.

Easy to fall in love here.  To fall for life.  To fall for the darkness.

A soft rain adds to the ambiance and I take a long look across the river to the thousand-year-old Bohemian fortress and imagine the incredible stories it could tell ~ knowing too, within, I hold tales and secrets to match.

Solitude of a night in Prague is to be embraced, to be absorbed.

 

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