I’m sitting at my desk, 9am. Soon the world around me will wake. Cars are already pacing their way down Olympic to a world of work, office politics and action lists; meetings in which decisions are disposed to sentiment. Human nature begins at dawn.
For me the peace of my nightlight extends until the first cup of coffee is poured. Until then my own task list sets the standard of the day. Light, reflecting from the surfaces of blinds and leaves is the first treasure of a day soon to be forgotten by the tasks at hand. Like ants in a fable we prepare for the ambitions of winter. But, for us every day is spring and winter. The hustle is a reminder that what goes up must keep going up lest it stagnate and stagnation is paramount to going down. The morning is a resolve with the rest of our day. With it a pact is made with the experience of our lives.
The first cup of coffee, a slow and gentle drag on an electric cigarette, sitting quietly and waiting for the day to begin. Rituals that prepare us for the marathon till dusk.
Mornings are the same in countries with a climate like California. There’s hope in the sun. It is the hope that a fresh start can be had each morning. The sun can drag us down in the heat but, with the distance of shade and the coolness of the earliest part of the day it also springs opportunity to decide what the day is, how it is and for whom it is for.
This morning is action. It is potential realized. Who’d have thought that physics would so aptly apply to the psychologies that motivate and judge. Potential was, when I was younger my enemy. “he has all the potential in the world” my parents heard too often. But, today the world is my potential. It is the potential to move, to create in the greatest act of creation, the act of creating our own lives.
Is that not creativity, to decide and to make not through a haphazard falling by chance but, through direct decision. Creativity begins with a vision and end with a shape, realized as the potential of that vision. In that process we find the self makes, that fights and fights with courage and ease. Zen for the self and force against the world.
Schopenhauer was right and wrong. Will, the will that satisfies moments is a hell. But, he was wrong about perspective. Men may be for the self and the decisions of men may be made without reason but, that is collective man caught in a moment, a psychoanalytic tragedy of self. However, the individual, free to decide his future, equipped to plan, work and pursue can also decide that his freedom is his future.
And future for him is no less than the series of moments that lead him there. This is a Roman empire. One in which poetry must be cynical and work must be useful. Even the Romantics were cynical of man. But, there is room in this world for Whitman. There is room to look, each individually at the world around us, reflect at the start of our day. Frame the consequence of our lives that day and begin.