Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Egg and The Mountain

Eric has an impressive aptitude for avoidance. Not in the way that many go about it: where the subject of avoidance sits gnawing at the back of the mind. This avoidance is numb. Anxiety grows rapidly as his thoughts approach the subject and, like an Egg being pushed up the side of a smooth, conical, mountain, it takes careful and sustained effort to keep his attention -- the Egg -- at the top. But the Egg gains momentum as it wobbles downhill and Eric engages earnestly in anything interesting or fun that the Egg comes across in the valleys below. This freedom makes Eric happy. Of course, this stifles Eric's progress on the subject, which in most cases is a problem but this acknowledgment and the acknowledgment of this acknowledgment are just more mountains for the Egg to roll away from. The bigger problem is that mountains cast shadows. And each shadow is a vague but powerful sense of guilt cast in all directions. When there is nothing else to notice -- in the empty space between moments -- Eric notices this shadow of guilt. This vague sense of guilt makes Eric vaguely sad. But when the mountains are small and the sun is bright, these shadows are barely noticeable and Eric is happy and productive on the endless tasks he spots as the Egg wobbles through the valleys. But with time, the mountains grow and their shadows spread until it's too dark to work on anything in the valley. All Eric can see are the mountain tops. And they are so far up. It takes courage to roll the Egg up these giant peaks but the preparation takes much longer than the journey. And when he makes it to the top, Eric balances the Egg at the center and feels very proud. For a while, he works diligently. Chipping away at the mountain whilst making sure that the Egg stays balanced on the peak. Subtly, the mountain starts to shrink. This subtle progress makes Eric subtly happy. But breezes and bumps threaten to send the Egg rolling back down into the valley. Often, Eric reaches out just in time to catch the Egg as is starts to wobble down the mountainside. But being on guard like this is not sustainable. Thinking about thinking about the task at hand takes too much thinking. Looking away at the wrong moment, a breeze or a bump sends the Egg wobbling down the mountain and Eric sets about another task that the Egg comes across. Or does nothing at all.

1 comment:

  1. Is it weird that this kinda made me hungry? What can I say, I like eggs.