Life is big, my stomach is not
Maintaining direction is tough, especially the more time I spend on social media or the web generally.
I’ve always had a strong inner direction, personal interests that aren’t much changed (even if judged) by others, but as I get older, the world is actually getting bigger. That means I see more and know more, and in experiencing that I also see less and know less. It’s the paradox at the heart of Daoism, at the heart of life. As I say often, Life is Big.
So I wonder.
What matters? Do those things that drove me when I was younger still drive me? Should they? The answers aren’t the interesting thing. It’s the questions that are always most interesting.
What excites me is finding better questions. This is my litmus test for maturity, for growth, for human life. Strangely, as most people get older, they seem to seek and hold onto answers, however silly, rather than seeking new, better, or refining questions. I have family and friends who take great comfort in their vision of immortal parents who provide answers that let them rest easy. They have stopped, just stopped. But that isn’t life, after all — to stop, to rest, to be at peace. That is the opposite of life, isn’t it?
So I wonder.
Is comfort the goal? Has it ever been important to me? Should it be? Still, I know and seek the comfort of a full belly. In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, I’m quite fortunate. Or perhaps I’m quite unfortunate. Once life’s immediate needs are satisfied, what’s left but the things not of the moment…not my belly, which can be satisfied but my mind, which cannot.