Obscure Ruminations

“Keep your target firmly in your mind”, or  “Big Goals, small steps” are the kind of things I read in passing or hear on the radio or wherever all the time. You cannot fault them. Both of them ring true and make perfect sense.

There is another cultural perspective evident all over the world which talks of the quality of the moment and treasuring each minute of your day. Of course that rings true as well. One person might say that life is an assault on a mountain range, and equipping yourself with the right materials, and showing dogged determination will get up to,  or near, your chosen peak. Another perspective will say you are already in a desired location, and it is the appreciation of this you need to develop  rather than staring at any career maps. These are often cultural divides. Both of them hold truths.

In  Hollywood much of the output is to do with action: good against evil and “goal driven” plots where the villain is finally vanquished or exposed. I love all that together  with some popcorn or a hot dog of my choice. There is another kind of film, where events and plotlines are hard to discern and they are more about the growth of awareness, sense of moment, or a change of relationship fuelled by the smallest glance. I love those too, and they nourish me long after the titles have scrolled up the screen.

I saw an Argentinian film recently called “Las Acasias”  . Long passages were spent without dialogue and with just the lorry driver holding the wheel. I thought as I watched it, that Hollywood could never make that film because such a scene would be too expensive: they fear the audience’s attention span is too small, and they like to underline each point with several colours of a ball point pen. Perhaps I am being unfair but that is my prerogative (he he he ).  Oops better start another paragraph.

At the same time we have all seen the man standing dazed on the path,  whose eyes were  firmly set on some horizon so that he did not see the lorry  of circumstance coming down the road as he crossed it. The man who believed in faith or destiny then lived to reflect on his lack of foresight. The  tragedy of those who mistakenly believed that salvation is necessarily just round the corner.

The point is that having your goal in focus is a powerful weapon for strategically navigating your life, and focusing on your goals too much is a great way to waste it.. It is not the obstacles before him which define a man, but his manner in facing them. With the passage of each day I reflect on this.  The beauty of a moment is often in its passing.  The secret of balance hides behind a curtain hard to draw, but I am attracted by the task of drawing it.

About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
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20 Responses to Obscure Ruminations

  1. Interesting thoughts here and something I’ve personally been reflecting on recently. I’m a big fan of cherishing the moment and I think in our world this is something we sometimes need to gently remind ourselves to do. I agree that goals are powerful in our life however I also think there is a balance to be struck. Sometimes if our goals are too rigid we forget to look left and right at the other opportunities, often dismissing them as they don’t appear to fit in to the plan. I really do believe that our ability to cherish the moment makes us still long enough to see a glimmer of the things in life that can sometimes be hidden in the shadows of our goals. Right, that’s my tuppence worth for today. Interesting stuff here, thanks for posting it.


    • I think your thoughts are worth considerbaly more than tuppence. I’m not entirely surprised that your view chimes with mine. Thats whats so nice about meeting people in Blogosphere. I go over to your Blog but it seems to take quite a long time to load on my computer. Perhaps I need a bigger screen !


  2. Abby says:

    Very deep, my friend. Unfortunately/fortunately I’ve been thinking entirely too much on my new “mindfulness” journey and although I could write a million posts about it, I’ve written only one or two the past month (but have tons of notes for myself.) It’s interesting how I can gain awareness of so many things and feel content in one minute only to decide it’s all crap in the next, usually the result of a return to a reality filled with motivational posters on how I’m supposed to be striving for something great every second while being happy with things that I have.

    My issue and frustrations often stem from not knowing what it is that I want. While I can be content in the moment of “now” much more than I can in planning for an uncertain future, I’m still seeking that “thing,” that “calling” that I imagine I’m destined to do. Not knowing what that is-or how to get there-is what takes away from my “now.” I’m working on it and trying to trust that I’ll be okay either way, but I too am full of obscure ruminations. See? You got me rambling. 🙂


  3. Al says:

    I try very hard to live life one moment at a time. One terrifying moment at a time.


  4. Shonnie says:

    I had to learn that life is about the JOURNEY … not the destination. To live in today. To love in today, because tomorrow is NOT promised. Life is hard and then you die. Not as depressing as it sounds. you know I work to live in joy. I found joy in understanding that life is hard. I found ways to rejoice at the smallest blessings. I want to have lived my life when I die–not planned for it. 🙂 lovely as always!


  5. I think balance is needed – a goal to focus on and head towards and not to lose what is in your life now!


  6. I love the clever way you wind your way to the crux of your essay. You never leave me disappointed, Peter. In Buddhism, we strive for balance or equanimity. It’s never something we achieve, but always something we keep in our awareness.


  7. Julie says:

    I wish I were as good of a writer as you.



  8. nelle says:

    You sum it all up well. Sometimes a closed mind and oppositional tasks sabotage our goals. We can be our own worst impediment. When we tear down the artificial obstacles only we see, life tends to look different and our paths clearer.


  9. “The point is that having your goal in focus is a powerful weapon for strategically navigating your life, and focusing on your goals too much is a great way to waste it” – Huzzah! That entire last paragraph is pure gold. This would have been a fab guest post for my blog 🙂


  10. Caroline says:

    The mantra of “Enjoy the Journey” holds true for us all. Especially if one’s Now isn’t how one wants it. To be flexible to explore the ‘lefts and rights’ whilst at the same time not giving up on a goal which is important. Not to be dissuaded from achieving it is vital – especially for those going through tough times.

    A very thought provoking piece. Thank you for reminding me!


  11. –Ducky,
    your words are like small prayers. Xx Love.


  12. Lady E says:

    I loved that film, it completely transported me… But as you said, most of my friends would probably fall asleep watching it because let’s face it, not much happens or gets said.


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