19 June 2006

Live Now

Last week, I was chatting with my friend, Marjolijn, who is back visiting from South Africa. She discussed her love for the Out of Africa film.

This week, I am house-sitting for my friend, Maggie, who is in Croatia. She has the Out of Africa DVD.

The first time I saw the film, years ago, I was impressed by Karen’s story-telling craft.

I wanted to live where real people would sit across the dinner table and entertain each other with their stories.

Watching the film again this week, I am struck by the conversation where, because he once had an assistant who was half Masai, Denys starts describing the Masai people:

Denys: “They’re like nobody else. We think we’ll tame them but we won’t. If you put them in prison, they die.”

Karen: “Why?”

Denys: “Because they live now. They don’t think about the future. They can’t grasp the idea that they’ll be let out one day. They think it’s permanent. So, they die. They’re the only ones out here that don’t care about us and that will finish them.”

Karen: “What did the two of you ever find to talk about?”

Denys: “Nothing.”

Karen: (pause) “So you knew I would come.”

Denys: (pause) “It’s an early day tomorrow, why don’t you get some sleep?”

Karen: “What happens tomorrow?”

Denys: “I have no idea.”

I’m trying to figure out if Denys’s description of the Masai way of living now is different than my understanding of staying in the moment.

Are the Masai impatient? Or are they authentic? Are they foolish? Or are they very real?

If I live more in the present and think less about the future, how could I possibly build something that might last a long time? Does it then happen by accident, rather than by planning?

If I live more in the future and think less about the present, how do I not compromise my reactions to all the moments that happen in between? How do I not lose myself on the journey?

Is there a perfect balance to be struck? Or is it another oil and water construct?

I can imagine the future in my mind, but I will never experience it.

Technorati tag:


Post a Comment

<< Home