26 January 2022

Marcus Aurelius comes to Australia!


Above is a repost from 2, April 2012. I noticed in the Stats file that someone had accessed it recently so I was curious to see it. I retrieved it from the archives in Google Blogger and I liked it, especially accompanied by the drawings, both recto and verso. They were made in a small sketch pad I used to use often from one of the ubiquitous Muji stores in Paris. Their thin paper, slightly yellowed and inexpensively bound in a small softcover book  have a good feel and I used to buy them by the dozen.

What surprised me, upon re-reading it is that during those weeks I was in the middle of big move out of the Belvedere in Dieulefit. I had sold it and had to be out on by 12th of April 2012, so like everyone who has ever moved house I was losing lots of weight by the day, and also I felt quite frazzled. There was one day in particular when I looked out from the top floor of this big house and almost jumped out the window because I had thought of all that I still needed to do, and I didn't believe I could get it done. But I did, of course, mostly alone. Even years later when I imagined that my current problems and tasks were overwhelming me, I would still remember that moment on the top floor and remind myself that if I could make that move, I could do anything. Ha Ha,,,, 

But it did become a marker for me, in a funny kind of way, for a while anyway. Since then of course, almost ten years later, there have been other 'overwhelming tasks' which have sort of replaced that one. But as we all know, this is what life is all about when moving on from problems and 'dramas' which feel way too complicated in the moment. We forget that fact too readily because mostly, they are just perceived that way by a fragile mindset in the very moment.

About this time I had been reading Marcus Aurelius's Meditations each morning with coffee. And for about a year or so I created another account called Meditations by Marcus Aurelius in which I noted his wisdom down as entrees and accompanied them with photos or drawings of my own content. It was a fun habit and not too time consuming but also allowing me to read and transcribe his delicious thoughts about life. What amazed me when I came across this entry is that even despite my frazzled 'mindset' during my move, I still kept these two blogs up, indeed, it must have become a kind of life buoy for me. 

Now ten years on, I marvel at how his musings and metaphors, his original viewpoints, and his friendly wisdom have continued to shape my own desire to behave more like a thoughtful man. I have absorbed his words and metaphors no doubt though maybe not his wisdom, but his deliberate stance for the Good, edging always closer towards more human light, has been his great gift to me, and certainly to so many others over 2000 years. 

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