The French writer Marcel Proust slugged through his aptly titled magnum opus, In Search of Lost Time, trying to answer a simple question. What causes us to lose time? Losing time in this sense referring to the sinking of our existence into daily banality. How do we go from the daily wonder of our childlike mind when puddles from the rain were to be played in to our adult selves where our motions ironically become mechanical like the pieces we keep time with, or should I say, lose time with.
Over a million words later in this large body of work, what he found would be wrapped in possibly one of the most beautiful lines of literature a pen would ever see.
The voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in seeing with new eyes.
Over time, we grow from our state of childhood everlasting wonder into teenage bodies of ideal thought. If you try hard enough to remember, perhaps you can recall a time when you believed in love without reservation. You might have even believed in world peace, seeing ultimate good in the nature of fellow humans. And then life happened. A series of heartbreaks, the disillusion with perfection seeing your parents struggle to hold unto what you barely recognize to be a marriage. The news, oh the fucking bloody news! The one where nothing good is ever reported save a few dots that might have as well been commercials.
Through our memories of experiences where failure is recorded, and through a million voices echoing fear in admonition for safety; we restructure our modes of thought to place us in the most harmless position possible.
No one wants to fall in love without a parachute. No one wants to chase a dream without an exit door held open just in case. We live measured lives where passion is tamed in the name of reason.
In this state of existence, we see all things in projected futures and lose all sight of the present. When last did you look into someone else’s eyes and allowed yourself to feel all the feelings and not feel bad about it? When last did you let yourself believe that happiness is within your human grasp? When last did you jump up and down on a bed and allowed yourself enjoy every breath you lost to it? To see with new eyes is to constantly renew your perspective by filtering out the habit of projection that dampens our spirits with fear of collapse. It is to see art in the mundane and to be open to the possibilities of dreams. It is to become the master of your destiny without the dead weight of your past constantly crashing on your shoulders.
Picture if you may, dying, and then returning to earth only for a day after which you would be dead, again. How will you dance in the rain on such a day? What will the roses smell like? Will you be passionate and savouring with your kisses, or practiced and calculated? Would the weight of your ‘I love you’ to loved ones carry more than lips you have spat them from?
To live a life void of passion is to die wide awake. Live…today, always.