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Banbury Cross

a pillow for lost thoughts...

Post details: Purr of the Moment

Purr of the Moment

To my own detriment, I am not much of a planner. I live from one moment to the next. With a bit of exaggeration, I could say that I view every passing minute as a room in the palace of life with multiple doors leading to other minutes. Which specific door I choose to open next depends on many factors. What kind of noises do I hear from the other room? How appealing is the door frame? What is my risk tolerance today? Have I been there before?

And sometimes I open a door just for fun. Out of curiosity.

Needless to say, robots are pretty low on my list of role models. In my system of values, methodical analysis carries about as much natural appeal as hiatal hernia. I would not make a good wedding planner. Nor would I be a particularly competent Royal Protocol Officer. I'd much rather haphazardly roam though the highlands of Scotland than follow a detailed itinerary during a leisure trip to Aberdeen.

I just don't like to see my future bound in the straight jacket of a blueprint or a timetable. Don't get me wrong, life should certainly have a skeleton - I just prefer mine to come from an instinct rather than reason. I have always preferred the vibrant chaos of a tropical jungle to the orderly neatness of a developed farmland. The fact that I grew up in the Soviet Bloc and have personally witnessed the spectacular economic failure of planned economy may have contributed, too. But my predilection for living off the cuff has yet another root - one that has to do with psychology. Planning distorts our perception of reality and thus indirectly affects our happiness.

The moment you plan an event, you create its image in your mind and that image is somewhat idealized. When the reality finally happens, it has to compete really hard with this image and the outcome can be devastating. The more details you put in your plan, the more aspects that your mind carefully optimized can be left wanting. Reality just does not have the budget to beat expectations. And even if it did, by the time the event happens you may not even be in the mood to appreciate it. Not to mention that destiny has a way of derailing the best thought out plans.

Spur-of-the-moment decisions have no standards to measure up to. They enter the ever changing world in the chariot of imagination and have supreme reign over its course. You go where your heart wants to go. Spontaneity leads you through the verdant valleys of now and into the green pastures of very soon. It tracks your mood with a precision of laser guided missiles. And when you absorb all the sensory input you get - the sounds, the smells, the reflections, the noises, the shapes, the harmony - you become a slab of violin wood. You resonate. You realize that a moment can purr like a content cat.

Nothing against planning, but it is my empirical experience that last minute decisions are the ones that often produce the most memorable events. Improvisation is like a trek through the Old West. No roads to follow, no museums to visit, no entrance fees to pay, just the smell of virgin land tickling your sense of adventure.



Comment from: Quixotic [Visitor]
Very poetic.
Permalink 04/11/11 @ 13:24

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