“Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
Ludwig van Beethoven
The Deep Deepening of the Deepest Depths
There is an article on Deep Reading over at the Profound Living blog site. It is good, go read it.
The Mid-Life Crisis has been poorly labeled. What happens is that after decades of toeing the line, following the advice of parents and the dictates of society; you lift your nose from the grindstone and look around. Life is discovered as superficial and kinda stupid and one wonders if that is all there is to it. Maybe you took a sucker bet on life.
This is a profound moment in life and so begins the search for meaning and value to the world. I applaud the guy who buys a motorcycle at the age of fifty, he is hitting the open road and admiring the scenery: he is looking. The dismissal as “he is trying to recapture his youth” is baloney and I hope that he never comes to his senses. He is moving forward, not backward.
Life can feel very superficial and it is time to start looking for depth. If you want, you can try deep reading or deep writing or deep listening or deep eating; you might even try falling deeply in love again with your partner. The through-line with all of this is always at the same starting point and message: slow down.
Skimming the surface has not worked. Dabbling at a hobby won’t cut it. For me, my trap is that as I type this, I have my phone by my hand, the basketball game on the television and a chicken in the oven to which I’m listening for a timer’s chime. Like a conductor’s score, every measure is filled up with many instruments and the sonata never ends.
Frankly, I’m tired of eating a cheeseburger and washing it down with a coke once I’ve sucked the fat and salt out of the food; if I’d stop and think about it — I’d probably spit it out. Deep eating may not be good for my waistline but it would be good for my soul. Really, deep eating means savoring the food; each bite, not powering down volume!
In the folly of my youth, I used to make mix tapes and then later mix CDs. I’d listen to each song very critically because I was endorsing this song to a friend. Compounded by that, the next song had to support the prior and then the entire experience had to have an arc. I’d change the order and reshuffle and listen again until I got it right. Deep listening, incredibly focused with dual points of view; mine and the future listener.
How hard is it to slow down, to lift your head up and look around, to shut down the non-stop needs for your attention? Maybe one simply needs a little practice.
Jump on your bike, go for a ride.