May 16, 2015

Rubber Time

Life is "wheely" short. The transition from baby carriage to wheelchair can seem like a quick one.

Life can be short. Way too short to waste in activities like shopping for things we don't need. Or working jobs we dislike, or staying in relationships that are toxic.

But when we concentrate on the things that are important, like sitting quietly beside a brook and listening, time can stretch out. When I play guitar or garden I am not even aware of the passage of time. Timelessness.

Seneca was a stoic philosopher that left us with a collection of ageless wisdom related to the art of living and the nature of time.

“It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it. Life is long enough, and a sufficiently generous amount has been given to us for the highest achievements if it were all well invested. But when it is wasted in heedless luxury and spent on no good activity, we are forced at last by death’s final constraint to realize that it has passed away before we knew it was passing. 
So it is: we are not given a short life but we make it short, and we are not ill-supplied but wasteful of it. 
You are living as if destined to live for ever; your own frailty never occurs to you; you don’t notice how much time has already passed, but squander it as though you had a full and overflowing supply. You act like mortals in all that you fear, and like immortals in all that you desire. 
You must match time’s swiftness with your speed in using it, and you must drink quickly as though from a rapid stream that will not always flow…" 
- from Seneca’s book De Brevitate Vitae, or "On The Shortness of Life"

Life can be short, but it can also be long enough. From experience I can say that there is a time shift when we abandon the distractions of Consumerland. Life is different on Rubber Time - it stretches and life feels not only better, but also longer.

Less pursuit of luxury, and more of simple living is not only ecologically approved, but Seneca approved as well.

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