beasts and jungles
(where m.snowe ponders what we’re doing now, did before, and might do later).
m.snowe has a problem she feels many people might share with her. When in a moment that is good, she has a tendency to take herself out of it in her head, and thereby create an internal/external discord between present time and present consciousness. Here is a rather basic, un-complex example of this phenomenon: while enjoying a perfect, sunny afternoon, the realization that it will soon be over creeps ever-so-unsubtly into your head, and soon your imagination has taken you away from the enjoyment of the present, and thrust you, unwillingly, into the vague and overcast skies of a potentially rainy tomorrow. Another example: having a few minutes or hours doing something momentous or spending time with someone who fulfills you, but knowing that those moments cannot be replicated in the future. This makes the present intensely wonderful but impossible to experience without recognizing the sound of its dying echo as the time encroaches, and the present recedes into memory.
Most agree that one major difference between our consciousness and that of other mammals’ awareness is that we have a far-better developed sense of foresight. We see into the future whether we are actually given one or not, and have the wherewithal to plan and engineer complex systems to hopefully better our way of life in the long-term. But, because we have this wonderful gift of being able to adapt and prepare, we simultaneously have been burdened with the knowledge that the ephemeral is just that. We are not jungle cats hunting, concerned merely with our next available prey and subsequent full stomach–we worry about all the prey we will ever get to sink our teeth into…thereby making the carcass we’re munching on right now taste nowhere near as satisfying, though sustaining nonetheless.
m.snowe doesn’t mean to say she’s looking for everlasting things, or the ability to live completely in the present–that would be horrible, and utterly mundane. But what she would like are more balanced proportions.