Over the past few weeks, I’ve discovered one of my favourite pastimes is finding patterns, something I’m so fond of I can find little time to do anything else. Every experience, thought and feeling I have undergoes rigorous testing and interrogation, in the hope of answering the question: “Why has this happened, to me, right now, and how should I react?”
This enquiry is so inherent in my thought processes, it’s taken me ages to realise that it exists, and also that such analysis is not carried out by every member of our species. Recently, measuring how my future spirituality, career, friendships and relationships should pan, and trying to draw them into a coherent entity has taken up almost all my energy. As this has been mostly internal, it’s been extremely difficult to communicate this externally. How can you tell someone that you’re assessing the fundamental values of everything you hold dear, when even your preferred methods of communication are being thrown into doubt?
The other evening, I asked myself for the first time, “What if there isn’t a pattern?” It’s true, many things that happen to us are meaningless, at least in the sense that they had no positive or negative intent. I don’t believe in a supernatural, micromanaging deity, or people are always trying to exert influence over any other person or situation. The majority of the countless actions and gestures that are enacted each and every moment of every day, are no more than random occurrences.
But such a train of thought can only lead to apathy. However trivial day-to-day life may appear, I want to capture every possible moment of beauty available. The mundane can be constantly surprising. Even though I walk the same route into town every time, I am consistently surprised and overwhelmed by small details: facial expressions, the curves of roads, building aesthetics, and the sun shining through trees.
Conversely, I have also found times of artistic immersion, such as trips to the cinema, and album listening sessions, to be not only enjoyable, but essential. Such periods allow me to realign myself to what is most important. In the same way it’s important not to live in a fairy tail, I don’t want to stop hoping for the perfect ideal.