Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Effort of Stasis

There is a simple realization that I keep having over and over again throughout my life. And maybe it's no different than the Buddhist concept of "flux." It's just the idea that everything you see is in motion, on a course or a path, and that our perceptions are as immediately artificial as a snapshot. You gather a concept of a person or a thing in your mind and refer to it as if it were fixed, when in reality, it never is.

As a child, I used to see a thin or fit person and think, "Wow, they don't have to worry about what they eat," not realizing that every person's body is the shape of their habits, that what I see when I look at a person's shape is the accumulation of thousands of little actions, the routines by which they conduct themselves.

As I have become a home owner, I've learned that the same is true of buildings, that the picturesque homes through which I've walked are in a constant state of repair, one piece or another always being taken off and replaced. They hold their shape and appear fixed only because of constant effort.

All things are like this. In order to maintain the appearance that something is unchanged, we must change it constantly. Nothing requires more effort than stasis.

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