Saturday, December 12, 2009

not so wordless weekend



Brighton, art installation by Niaomh Looney

I was going to post this photo as a wordless weekend post - I love this.
But then I saw Steve's post on desire over at Shadows and Light.

Which made me think. And add some words.

I do have great desire, my desire is great - but also, Steve's quote resonates, the ideal of "few desires" has a powerful pull, I'd like to aspire to that.

So am I oxymoronic?

Maybe theres a distinction between desire and desires? In the sense that my great desire is not for objects or even for specific pre-defined targets, but for experience - for living life to the full and for the wonder of the world, for love and friendship most especially and for beauty.

Though that does translate into particular desires.... the desire, especially to travel.

And its important for me to be able to state these desires, having recently (and thankfully) begun to grow out of a view of the world dominated too much by duty and an out-of-kilter work ethic.

And I guess thats another part of the distinction - balance; in my case balancing duty and desire and seeking out unattained desires but not "extensively" as Steve's quote says. Or at the very least, not at the expense of other people or other values. Including duty.

So does my desire translate into "seeking to gain a lot"? does it bring with it more afflictions?

Well, I guess that partly depends on openness. Everything is experience, and the wonder of the world, love friendship and beauty are everywhere if we are open to watch and listen and feel.

Extensively seeking out desires could certainly get in the way of that.

I'd like to travel worldwide.

I hope to visit the States again before too long.

I would LOVE to visit people I love in Australia, I have a nice little itinerary mapped out in my head and frequently contemplate strategies which could help it to happen ...

I have a good friend who knows India well and has offered to take me on a tour some time.

M has a friend in Japan who has offered hospitality...

These are desires. Pretty substantial ones actually. And I would regret it if none of them are fulfilled. But I don't think it would be a regret strong enough to afflict me.

I accept that these trips might well never happen and if they don't, it will be at least partly because I am doing other things, experiencing life and wonder and love and friendship in other ways and places. So long as I'm not too wrapped up in duty to recognise it and to live it.


So, am I oxymoronic?
I'm really not sure. This is more thinking than I'd planned to do today.


See, Steve, how may words your post provoked?

19 comments:

e said...

Exactly why I want to visit Paris and London again...

I'm so full of unfulfilled desires I could scream. I definitely do not have your peace nor Steve's about this at the moment...

Did you see my previous post?

Happy weekend!

Gledwood said...

Bon voyage re the prospective travels ~ I hope you get to those places soon...

... I just want to get out of Britain as quick as I possibly can. I always say this in my antidrugs meetings and people think I'm being comedy but I'm not I'm being serious. I am utterly sick and tired of Brown's crazy CCTV Britain ~ I hate it!!

ArtSparker said...

I am right there with you on the travel...I would love to show you around the Bay area, by the way. It can be more satisfying than getting a thing, travel...I still feel satisfied a number of years after spending a few perfect November days in Venice, it feels as if I never left in a way. A friend is definitely planning to travel next year and asked if I wanted to join her for part of the time. Tempting.

...mmm... said...

I'm with you, Lettuce, on all those places to visit. It is my desire to travel to those place and together they are my ravel desires but if I thin kon this too long I will get a headache, no doubt.

I like how you take this little phrase here and chew on it so well, including even this fact of getting removed from an over burdening work ethic and an undue sense of duty. I am learning to re-balance that a bit myself.

Well, I'm sure in time we will see how many of these desires listed here are realised. I hope they are many.

Baino said...

So many desires, so little time but like you if they're unfulfilled life will go on. I won't have a caniption. Travel's up there for me too although I love visitors so put me on your agenda.I'm a worthy tour guide!

tut-tut said...

o, travel, travel, o
think I'shl go
soon enuf and far away . . .

Barbara said...

I love it when one Blogger friend's post inspires another Blogger friend. My feeling about travel right now is more of a craving than a desire. The world is such a big place, but I would like to wrap my arms around all of it!

Brian Miller said...

great post lettuce...sometimes our desires can get in the way of what are truly to be accomplishing as well...

thanks for the warm wishes for my mom today...she came through surgery nicely and is resting.

Ronda Laveen said...

Ahh, yes, balance is the key. The way you've stated your desire(s), sounds like affirmations than yearning.

subby said...

I've a lot of desires just not the resources to indulge in them, wot?

j. said...

LOVELY!!!!
: D

la bellina mammina said...

and you have me in Singapore.... ;)

Reya Mellicker said...

Instead of oxymoronic, how about paradoxical? All truths (in my world view) contain paradox.

I have desires but they drive me nuts. Maybe I am turning into a Buddhist!

edward said...

i desire to see you again.

lettuce said...

I didn't e, I'll try and pop over. I hope you make it to London, but Paris would do, I could hop on a train...

Gledwood I understand that. Did you see about the photographer who was arrested in London? gah.

ArtSparker, "a few perfect November days in Venice". how wonderful.

lets hope so mmmm.

Baino! i'll add you to my itinerary! :-)

TT, hope its this far

Barbara you've started my brain on the difference between desire and craving. hmmm

brian theres lots of food for thought here, isn't there?
glad your mum is recovering well

rhonda, i admit to some yearning too

me too subby, if i'm honest. balanced by an innate heredited pragmatism, that helps!

ta j. And bella. I'd love to visit singapore!

reya you are right of course.

eddy, its quite mutual

Poetikat said...

Sometimes the desire alone is enough to sustain you.

goatman said...

Way too much potential thinking for me!
I hope only for a surprise, a new experience, a splash in an unexpected pan, or a word spoken in a different way. Needn't leave the area for that; but one can I guess.

It seems to be the hoping and the yearning which may be the problem-- rather than just the letting it happen.

Non attachment, maybe

sue said...

travel feeds all the senses :) xx


*If you can't go somewhere..
Move in the passageways of the self.
They are like shafts of light,
always changing. And you change
when you explore them.

~ Jalaluddin Rumi*

Steve said...

I'm sorry it took me so long to comment on this post! :)

I think your comment about balance is the key. My teacher has said that Buddha, when he talked about desire, wasn't talking about aspirational goals or healthy sorts of motivating desires. He was talking instead about craving -- about desire that goes too far, and is ultimately destructive. After all, we need some desires -- to sustain our relationships and our friendships and that sort of thing.