Hurtling to a stop


It struck me somewhere over the Atlantic during the 27th hour of cramped deep vein thrombosis cattle class travel.

A dense, thick exhaustion that settles in the body and begins to grip the corners of my mind. “To be expected” I hear you say and in a way, I agree, but I know this feeling well. A body moving impossibly rapidly through time and space from one place to another, hurtling (a lovely word).

I love people watching in airports. So many moving so fast, each one with a story which is so important to them, so many important stories moving in so many different directions, so self involved, so disconnected from each other. So many disconnected from their selves, their souls. Just moving, like a body propelled through space that continues on a trajectory without asking itself where it is going or why?

I know this too.

Does it make us feel important? Of worth, if we move faster and faster?

At JFK I watched a thousand people (1037) pass as I sat still for almost 2 hours. 637 of them were on a mobile device, many wore earphones, most were alone (975) and so many looked so unhappy (483, to be exact).

Ok, so it was JFK and New Yorkers may not be a representative sample of the Human Condition, but if I were an anthropologist from a distant, more evolved civilization, I would think this society had taken a wrong turn somewhere. I would want to ask these people some questions about their stories, their journeys.

What is so important?

Why is it so important?

Does it REALLY matter?

Is that absolutely true?

What kind of person do you become in the pursuit of this?

How would you feel if you put this down for a while and thought about it some more?

What is REALLY important?

I asked myself these same questions as I flew at 988 kmph,  30 000 ft above the Earth.

Here are (some) of the answers.

What is so important? 

Too many things that aren’t.

Why are they so important?

Because I don’t stop for long enough to think about them.

Do they REALLY matter?

When I put these supposedly big important things under scrutiny, most shrivel and fade…

Who do I become in the pursuit of these things?

A tired, depleted, thin thing who doesn’t take enough time to play, connect and rest.

 

What is really important?

 

 

About the author

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Jamie Elkon http://shrinkrap.co.za/

The author can be found rummaging through life looking for nourishment in the early hours of the morning. He is slowly going sane by using his actual life and relationships to wake up.He lives in Cape Town with his teenaged daughter, two bassett hounds named Thelma and Louise and Digit... the cat. He hugs trees, has experienced numerous dark nights of the soul, collects incorrect Chinese packaging and tracks curious things to their lair.

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