Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Still Here

The afternoon of 9/22 I finally finished Still Here, by Ram Dass. My mom's book club read it and she passed it along to me. It was so-so. I had trouble getting into really and almost put it down without finishing it. It was very much a tale of his personal journey than about Embracing Aging, Changing, and Dying as the subtitle purports. Parts were interesting, but I only marked one thing to quote, which is actually a quote of a quote (from Proust):

"Just think of how many projects, travels, love affairs, studies, it--our life--hides from us, made invisible by our laziness which, certain of a future, delays them incessantly. But let all this threaten to become impossible forever, how beautiful it would become again!...The cataclysm doesn't happen, we don't do any of it, because we find ourselves back in the heart of normal life, where negligence deadens desire. And yet we shouldn't need the cataclysm to love life today."

I think I'm actually pretty good at keeping this idea in sight--I think many people do not. I think being "unschooled" helped me develop this perspective and LIVE instead of vegging (like it seems so many do if no one is standing over them [teachers, bosses] cracking the whip to make them productive. I crack my own whip, thankyouverymuch ;-)

Back to Ram Dass. He is best known as the author of Be Here Now, which I have actually never read, though I repeat the title like a mantra when my brain is getting away with me and I'm becoming discouraged with whatever is going on in the moment (I repeat to myself "be here now" and it helps. It really helped during early days with new babies, which is where I first heard it. An LLL Leader suggested the phrase to me).

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