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  • Danielle Feerst

The shortest distance between 2 points

In sailing, when we sail upwind, we zigzag. As in life, we usually do not progress linearly to a destination. The process of becoming, the process of change, is the secret of creation. For therein, lies, the truth: that we are forever changing and nothing stays still and all that we are is not ours to own, but that of the past spilling into our veins. Our heart is beating because of those behind us – the people long forgotten who paved the way for our now. As I type this, I think of how it would be hard for my thoughts to flow so freely if I used pen to paper instead of the computer. I can edit this sentence as I type – edited. Done. Sailing downwind now, linearly, crashing over the waves of my mind like those over the bow.

It’s so easy to stream my consciousness onto the page and instantly share the stream with followers, friends, and family. But, just because I can say more, faster, better, and with fewer errors, is it more meaningful? Perhaps not. As it will get lost in the shuffle of the other data that you, my reader, inevitably had to process earlier today or will have to process depending on your temporal context.

Intuitively we know that the person who barely speaks, is listened to more closely the first time she opens her mouth. Her words have power because of the preceding silence. Albeit those voices who are loudest are usually heard well, our memory of the quiet voice tugs on our consciousness. Oh how I wish I was more comfortable with silence. I’m working on this concept. I would love to hear the silence of the 17th century: no cars, planes, trains, and less people. Sometimes I search for silence. Lately I find it when my thoughts still. Zig zagging now… Where can I go to still my thoughts best, so that I might find the source of happiness and the feeling of alive?

I wonder if life meant more in the past, when it was quieter, because within the quiet the truth of creation is felt more deeply. Happiness could land like a butterfly because there was less distraction to detract from its source. What is the source? Is it where my thoughts flow from, to the page, to you?

Alas, we may find greater meaning in life today since we can share it instantly, virtually, with all we know via social media? Funny though, this concept does not seem to bring greater joy. In fact, it has brought about anxiety, depression even. In the comparison of ourselves to others, the frenzy to share and analyze, we forget the moment we are in, and what we are doing. We lose our sense of reality for our life’s journey. Instead we think of edits, deletions, and insertions to improve our current experience. Lately, I think that we are playing off of each others’ nows in this online game.

Yet here I go – I’ll share this post. Now. Wish I were sailing.

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