What then shall we choose? Weight or lightness?
“The heavier the burden, the closer our lives come to the earth, the more real and truthful they become. Conversely, the absolute absence of burden causes man to be lighter than air, to soar into heights, take leave of the earth and his earthly being, and become only half real, his movements as free as they are insignificant. What then shall we choose? Weight or lightness?”
― Milan Kundera
Have you ever considered the timeline of your day?
Your day as in your 24 hours, ticking away in heartbeats, flowing as your blood does.
Your timeline as in the rhythms of you from the moment you emerge from sleep until you return to that place and exist there until you once again emerge from it.
From the very first thought you have in the morning until the very last which you have at night before you fall asleep (or perhaps can’t fall asleep because of it). Those first and last thoughts are sometimes the same yet can be very different, and if they are different, the difference between them can weigh heavily upon you or lighten your load. Even if they are the same, they often are of different weight during the day and at night. And then there are all those thoughts in between the two, like a puzzle where you change one word letter by letter to turn it into another word.
And what about that time in between your last and first thought in a day, what goes on when you sleep. If you dream, are awake in your dreams, then your very last thought of the night before you sleep may become the first thought in your dream, and your first thought upon waking may be due to the last thought you had in a dream.
Night and day are intrinsically linked, no end and no beginning, yet many ends and many beginnings.
Along this timeline of your 24 hours, have you observed all the shifts? The vagaries of mood, of thought, of you, your identity and all those subtle facets which come alive, die, awaken, go to sleep, step into the light, move into shadow, as though you are a sundial… no, that is too static… a vibrating prism glinting differently as moving rays of light hit its surface, as the Earth rotates, spinning around the Sun.
The lightest part of my day is at night, the darkest and heaviest is during the daytime.
At night I can conquer, in the day I am conquered…
“People are always shouting they want to create a better future. It’s not true. The future is an apathetic void of no interest to anyone. The past is full of life, eager to irritate us, provoke and insult us, tempt us to destroy or repaint it. The only reason people want to be masters of the future is to change the past.”
― Milan Kundera
… often the moment that I have my first waking thought.
The smallest thing is the heaviest. The biggest is sometimes the lightest.
The unusual weight of small things, like a thought, is a very curious thing.
How do intangible things weigh so much?
How does something so abstract seem so real?
How does a simple thought become a giant boulder which rolls down an imaginary hill threatening to ruin the village fair.
The village fair being all those things you’d like to do, want to do, which might be fun, which inspire, enthuse, uplift… but because of one thing which you think, a tiny thought of – I have to do this first… one thing which you think you have to do, should do, must do, a chore, a duty, a must deal with this before you have any fun… and because you think of it that way it becomes a boulder and suddenly it’s more important than everything else.
And if you shrug it off, don’t do it… it gains momentum and ruins all those things you do instead with its impending shadow of possible doom.
And suddenly doing what is light becomes as heavy as doing what is weighty, perhaps more so…
Think of love… then think of Valentine’s Day. A day which can make love a burden, turn something uplifting into a drag downwards… in so many ways that the unbearable lightness of being becomes an impossible heaviness.
Sometimes every day is a Valentine’s… with others thrusting their hearts at you that your own heart feels overwhelmed by the responsibility.
“…for there is nothing heavier than compassion. Not even one’s own pain weighs so heavy as the pain one feels with someone, for someone, a pain intensified by the imagination and prolonged by a hundred echoes.”
― Milan Kundera