I watched the first mountain stage of the Tour de France yesterday at Hannes' place (just 300m down the road from where I stay). It's amazing watching it on his 2x1.5m big screen. He has a projector, and the image is so large and sharp it sometimes feels like you're in a helicopter (or cinema) or sitting in the car watching the cyclists moving by an open window. It's that real. Going there again tonight.
This morning I got up early and went to do a spinning class at 8pm. Some of Bloem's stud wives seem to favour the after-the-morning-rush class, because they were there, bursting with silicon and free time. After the class they have a leisurely cup of coffee, and then I guess it's grocery shopping and fridge packing and waiting for hubby to return home.
At 10am I test drove a white golf Chico. 136 000km and a 2001 model. Not bad, R46 900. Doesn't grab me, but maybe I need to be a bit more desperate. Still haven't heard from Heartland, otherwise I might have been capable of breaking into the R50 000 bracket.
Today I have a heck of a lot of marking to do. Andrea also emailed me and wants thumbnails of each partner I had on the fietstoer. That ought to take some time.
Staying sane in a mad world
All the accoutrements of modern society: SUVs, chocolate cellphones, big screen TVs, cargo pants, Jennifer Lopez , junk food, junk mail, reality soaps and 24 hours news – does any of this matter. Does this stuff deepen our lives? I doubt it. It all amounts to stuff, stuff we pursue, stuff we lust after and after a momentary kick, it’s over, and none of it means anything.
What’s an average life these days? Liberty and simple happiness until the age of 6 (usually earlier) when education (work) begins. It doesn’t end for another 18 to 20 years. Some may possibly take a single year off traveling, followed by 40 more years of work (with two week holidays per year). Those 40 years are spent chasing deadlines, rushing around on errands while accumulating debts, and material possessions there is no time to use. In this period of work one might decide to share one’s good fortune by getting married and having children, but there’s a 50% chance of being divorced after a decade.
The infrastructure of this existence involves living in a boxlike structure besides many other boxlike structures that are connected by long black macadam ribbons to faraway multistory boxlike structures. You move back and forth from box to box in a box on wheels (these boxes, called cars, get smaller every year). You pump tons of garbage into your body each day, including vitamin pills, caffeine, alcohol, fast food grease, rotten cows milk (cheese) and black water with about 8 tablespoons of teeth rotting (and mood altering) refined sugar. This diet of artery and cancer inducing goo might be supplemented by mood altering antidepressants, recreational drugs, diet pills, muscle building steroids, growth hormones or some combination of appearance enhancing surgery (stomach stapling, hair transplants, plastic surgery, and liposuction).
Meanwhile the sense of becoming increasingly disconnected grows. We spend more and more time speaking into small silver digital boxes or staring at square digital screens, and all the while we’re encouraged to connect. Connect. Connect at high speed at such and such a cost. Connect to everything through some or other multitasking device.
Do you know how to connect? Go and speak to someone face to face. Touch them directly, hold their hands, look into their eyes, listen to what they are saying, or just read their emotions from their facial expressions and body languages.
Connect to yourself by getting rid of all the stuff, turn off all the noise, get away, go to a place that is beyond everything made by man. Go to a high mountain or a remote desert, go to Antarctica to get away from the artificial light of cities. Leave the emptiness of the world behind you and fill yourself up with the sun and the moon, the sky and the soil and the wild creatures of the world. Once we were wild. In the desert (or mountain or forest or beach) find your wild self. That’s all you need. Connect to what really matters and when you return to Mad World, remember who you are, and what you’re made of.