After my ‘change of pace’ this past month it has been a bit of a task to ‘get up to speed’ in terms of writing here. Sisyphus and his rock come to mind. Not that writing here is Sisyphean, that’s a task that is both laborious and futile. Very far from it.
It’s my daily intention to write here but while on ‘quiet time’ I purposefully let that intention fade into the background and turn my attention more inward. Once any kind of intention drops away it takes a deliberate effort to get back at it. For example, the intention to sit formal meditation every day can be hijacked; a day or two might pass and not sit because of other pressures on precious time. It might then take months of absence before girding oneself to sit again. Many people ask about this, ‘how can I establish a regular formal meditation practice’?
It’s too easy to say, ‘just do it’ but there are probably reasons why one’s good intentions fade,; priorities change, circumstances change. In my case, as time goes by I start to wonder if I’ve anything real to write about, or is it time I gave it a rest? Are there more important things I could be doing with my time? Excuses? Possibly.
In the end, and that’s what I’ve done, one basically just has to put one’s shoulder to the rock even if convinced writing is laborious and futile – Sisyphean! Similarly, perhaps the intention to walk regularly or to take some time to relax is eclipsed by more pressing matters? Walking, relaxing? Futile, laborious?!! Over the next few days, I’ll ponder on transforming one’s intentions into actual practice. Especially around the area of purposefully relaxing, resting, renewing. Having a ‘change of pace.’ I’ve certainly benefited from that.
Sisyphus was doomed to a life of pushing a heavy rock up a hill, then having reached the top of the hill the rock rolls back down again. Constantly. Are we too ultimately doomed to such meaningless toil? Or on the other hand, doomed to endlessly attempting to reach that ever-receding goal; out there ahead of ourselves and our lives? In search of an ideal life or at least better than ‘this’.
I’ll not be writing on the level of; get fit fast, find enlightenment pronto, or even be a nicer happier person. I feel intention/wish lies at the heart of our waking moments as humans, so this will be about deciding to do something then doing it. We would call that ‘grasping the will’, I’d say it’s about making choices and then following through.
Albert Camus, in his 1942 essay The Myth of Sisyphus, saw Sisyphus as personifying the absurdity of human life, but Camus concludes “one must imagine Sisyphus happy” as “The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a persons heart.”
Replacing that last sentence to read, ‘Living life itself is enough to fill a person’s heart’, causes Sisyphus, and us, to be happy/content simply to live life.