DEEP AMBIVALENCE about dueling western&eastern approaches to achieving the successful life path. Modern mental medicine has set our destination as contentedness, or happiness, for which all else must be sacrificed. Wisdom of the ancients (read: grandparents) stressed fortitude in the face of adversity. No longer. This was before the eastern philosophies weaseled their way into the consumer mindset. The zen of the perfect life, full of inspiration and happiness.
I’m not mocking it, but it seems to lead to much wandering, too much. Is stability a threat to the good things we have been promised? How can you achieve anything long-lasting without a stable base? If you have no home to return to or rest in, how can you recharge to fulfill your artistic destiny? A writer needs a nest. Anyone might need one. The thing I keep turning over in my mind is: it takes time to build anything of significance. You do your homework, you take your time. It only takes a second to wreck anything, true, but it takes time to build.
Here I sense my own deep Greco-Roman roots. They took their time to build things that are still standing. It took dedication, endurance, hardship. It required strength in the face of adversity. But there was a pay off — longevity. Rather than spinning around in cycles of wanderlust, they pushed ahead with their plans, guided by a vision of what could be. Set the goal, achieve the goal. Not the deadline, not the submission, but the greater, spiritual goal.
Building anything requires patience. It will be hard. So what?