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Sunday, August 3, 2008

Misty water coloured memories...

Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to see when you've got Niagara Falls in your eyes?  

I remember as a kid being on Maid of the Mist. Ok, all I really remember is getting sloppy wet and having a blast doing it. Thinking back, it really was the ultimate form of jumping in a puddle! Then there's the shared experience that comes only with certain situations. Ever imagine what the first fella of capitalism was thinkin?  "Let's get a butt-ugly tug boat, cram it full of thrill-seeking tourists, and drive the sucker up to the bottom of the Niagara Falls!"

Then there's the whole Clifton Hill experience, what with the wax museums and scary monster chiller horror houses of horror!

Let's not even talk about roller coasters!

Seems like we humans are perfectly willing to part with our hard-earned dollars to introduce specific emotions-- like stain-your-underpants horror! --often exactly the kinds of emotions we spend the better part of our days otherwise avoiding!  Sheesh! What are we thinking!

It all just gets me thinking: Epictetus really was right! It isn't so much what has happened to us, rather more how we interpret what's happened to us. So as we're approaching the bottom of the falls, as we're racing on a roller coaster... we're really very aware that this is a time-limited exposure to something we otherwise wouldn't want to be experiencing, say, in our cars...

Learning that we have the power to control our emotions is the serious message in all this. Part of the "trick", if you will, is to be able to tell ourselves that, in fact, these emotions - no matter how bad they feel right now - they too will come to an end at some point... just like the roller coaster.

How wonderful to be able to control our emotions in this kind of way. More on this in the future.

For now, just a final thought. There are only two good reasons to look back in life: one is to relish the memories (... to smile, to laugh, to induce that warm and fuzzy feeling that comes with cherished pictures, for instance) and the second is to learn from the past. That's it. Every other reason isn't likely a good one.

Happy memories to you all!

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