Too much, too fast
My principle difficulty with our age is just that: too much, too fast. Too much information coming at us from too many sources. Perhaps it's not really like that, but it is certainly the sensation I have sometimes. Email, in spite of facilitating so much needed communication, often seems like a burden, a sisyphean task that knows no end. Passwords and pins. How to keep track? Bills, bills, bills. Cell phone, voice mail. Do this, be here, don't forget... Of course it's no wonder people are stressed. I was thinking about this last night while I was watching the film El disputado voto del señor Cayo, based on the novel by Miguel Delibes. The film sets a democratic future against a vanishing rural present, a little corner of simple independence in an urban world. Sr. Cayo has almost nothing, but he doesn't consider himself poor. Víctor, the candidate who wants Cayo's vote, yearns for a life of communion with nature and he envies Cayo's simple ways and ancestral knowledge of the secrets of the land. Delibes wrote the novel in 1978 and could not have imagined how the pace of urban life, already hectic back then, would quickly accelerate in ways barely imaginable. Rural life in Spain, and I imagine in many, many places around the world, certainly in Europe, has been radically transformed. Almost no one lives 'off the land' anymore. Isolation is gone and the nature of rural poverty is quite different. I don't know if life in the country would really simplify things or even if I could tolerate it for long, but I think I could. On a day like today, radical simplification and life away from the city seems like a good idea. I just read in The Atlantic that maybe we're all made of many selves with competing desires. Nothing new there, but still, more complication. Of course, the "me" that's telling the procrastinating me to get to work interrupted the reading of the article so I don't know how it ends, if in the end I'm me or we. We (meaning all of us) need repose and tranquility from the excessive pace. Such as the most pleasant meal we enjoyed on Sunday with Daniela's friend Elisa Herrero and her parents, Mamen and Pedro, in the photo above. Elisa was a classmate of Daniela's in preescolar at El Colegio Limonar and they have reconnected this year. We watched some old videos from ten years ago and it was great fun. Elisa and Daniela were inseparable. And the amazing thing is that Elisa is a very serious ballet student also. They started their dance careers together, literally, taking cues from one another on the stage at Tivoli World as four year olds. Very funny. And strange!