Thursday, July 5, 2012

July 5: Delight to Torture, Self-Reflection, the Moment

"Spirit!" said Scrooge, "show me no more!  Conduct me home.  Why do you delight to torture me?"

Scrooge makes this entreaty to the Ghost of Christmas Past.  Scrooge has just been shown one of the most painful scenes from his life, and he doesn't want to continue his trip down memory lane.  He wants to go back to his sheltered life--little apartment, little office, little family to speak of, and big bank account.  It's a much more comfortable place for Scrooge.

In some ways, I understand Scrooge's impulse.  Without the Ghost of Christmas Past to remind me of all the mistakes and heartaches of my life, I could exist in the moment, like good old Ebenezer.  I could screw people out of money.  I could eat people's lunches at work without guilt.  I could insult coworkers and acquaintances with impunity.  I could intentionally forget birthdays and anniversaries.  I could be cold and distant to relatives I don't like.  For a while, it would be quite liberating.

But then the guilt would set in.  I would start being self-reflective.  The ghosts of the past would set up camp in my head.  In short, I would end up like Scrooge in the quote above, yelling at random strangers, "Show me no more!  Conduct me home!  Why do you delight to torture me?"

Living for the moment is great.  At the moment.  Eventually, that moment will come back to bite you in the ass if you're not careful.  Just ask Scrooge.

Saint Marty is not into self-reflective torture today.

Let me pick the moment I want to live in

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