Thursday, May 28, 2009

Rousseau and Me

In the morning I walked with Bella down to the Spring Point Pond. The sky thick with mist shrouded the valley below, and for most of the walk, we could hear only our footsteps and birdsong. When we arrived at the pond, we watched a duck stream out from the shore followed by seven of her young. First they followed in a V formation but closed together to appear as one large duck instead of many small ones. The camouflage was almost flawless. If hadn’t seen them before they reached their formation, I would have thought I was watching only two ducks. The mist rose of the water and the air smelled sweet from rain. And I forgot time for a moment. Later, I read The New York Times’ column, “Happy Like God,” by Simon Critchley. He included the following quote from Rousseau:

"If there is a state where the soul can find a resting-place secure enough to establish itself and concentrate its entire being there, with no need to remember the past or reach into the future, where time is nothing to it, where the present runs on indefinitely but this duration goes unnoticed, with no sign of the passing of time, and no other feeling of deprivation or enjoyment, pleasure or pain, desire or fear than the simple feeling of existence, a feeling that fills our soul entirely, as long as this state lasts, we can call ourselves happy, not with a poor, incomplete and relative happiness such as we find in the pleasures of life, but with a sufficient, complete and perfect happiness which leaves no emptiness to be filled in the soul."

For Rousseau, he spent countless hours on a Swiss lake. For me, I spent a few moments by an island pond. If only we could all take time to have moments like this.

No comments:

Post a Comment