When you don’t have time for anything, you don’t have time to mull things over either. Some discontent may be there, saying you should be somewhere other than where you are, or doing something other than what you’re doing. However, if the to do list is growing endless, one’s better off by just carrying on. Keep walking? Pondering over the problems may be left for later. It’s easier to be just running around, doing stuff like a man possessed, in order to (attempt to) calm down these thoughts, unappeasable as they are, no matter what you do. At least something will be done. It seems easier, indeed, than to think why we want to do so much. Without realizing, nevertheless, that for every new action performed, new impulses to do even more inevitably come up. It seems like the dissatisfaction with what you do feeds on doing more. And it makes you do more. Until you burn out. Kaput.
Even in idle time: lie down on the grass at the Vondelpark for a whole day and enjoy the scarce Amsterdam sunshine when you have the Rijksmuseum, the Stedelijk and Foam to visit? What about Anne Frank’s house? You better get there early, or else the queue will be too long. Even when you arrive early, the queue is too long. By the way, I wonder what is inside that makes so many people wait hours to take a peek at. There must be something beyond the pleasure of surviving the queue. Maybe the advantage that a queue resembles some kind of duty, a punishment, hence, making the waiting time not to be questioned by anxiety, even if it’s not cool. In a two-week trip, time is short. We must make the most of it.
What about Anne Frank’s house? I wonder what is inside that makes so many people wait hours to take a peek at. Something beyond the pleasure of surviving the queue? Maybe the advantage that a queue resembles some kind of duty, hence, making the waiting time not to be questioned by anxiety.
I was recently on a trail towards one of those dazzling hidden beaches in Ibiza: Es Portixol. You walk along the cliff, woods on one side, turquoise sea on the other. You arrive at a little bay, almost deserted. It may take up to half an hour just to count the shades of blue. However, that day, it was hard to relax. Something like: enjoy the scenery and think of nothing. Live in the moment. In the old times of lack of time, it would have been even worse, given the temptation to go around visiting the other 87 beaches on the island. Or because feeling good would be mandatory. It’s holidays after all, and the landscape is amazing. I’d be better off just forcing myself to be happy and that’s it. It’s easier to work with clearly set goals.
Self-hypocrisy. Simply because you can see your feet in the water is everything automatically supposed to be fine? If laziness had a deadline, I’d make myself believe so. But no. I’m glad I had time: if that day, that beach, didn’t bring me that peace of mind, it would come some other day, at some other place. Better off to just accept restlessness than being anxious because I can’t be anxious.
By definition, we don’t know what goes on in our unconscious. But an ibicenco landscape as that sure makes it effervescent. Thousands of colors, the sound of the sea rocking the pebbles, the smell of the plants. Audous Huxley at his best: doors of perception, start revolving! Who knows what kind of thoughts or emotions may be triggered by all of that? It’s as if every step in that trail shook about a chest long forgotten in the mind. Some lost things emerge, others move around.
Things that got lost because the lack of time in the good old busy times prevented them from being heard. Things that were overwhelmed by the to do lists. Or things we’d better not mess with: a precarious but known balance is preferred to the risk of stumbling on something that’s lost in the dark. In any case, the chest moves with me wherever I go. I’d rather know its content. It may well be useful in the future. Or simply be chucked away. But not ignored.
Is a precarious but known balance preferred to the risk of stumbling on something that’s lost in the dark?
It may be too boring to have to clean up exactly when you want to go to the beach. However, sometimes all the mind wants is to be heard. Letting that passive imagination roam free sounds like a good answer against that uncontrollable impulse of doing things. Instead of overwhelming the anxiety with even more actions. To understand what my mind wants I have to allow it to speak. I had better create time.