the act of totality
Whilst treating my friend Dayna to a coffee at the hidden gem of Hout Bay I asked the owner, Paul Myburgh, if he missed living with the Bushmen. For a bit of context Paul spent seven years living with Gwikwe Bushmen in the Kalahari Desert, and has written a novel, The Bushman Winter Has Come, detailing his physical and spiritual journey. His response to my question resonated through both Dayna and myself; for put so simply he managed to answer some of the more complex questions about humanity.
When this concept of experiences and things becoming a part of you is applied to real life situations it really seems to hold such a deep truth. When I think of say going to watch a movie, afterwards I don’t tend to ‘miss’ watching the movie, and that is because I was fully engrossed in it, while in that moment. In some sense that film is now who I am, in terms of my memory, and my knowledge of it. This seems simple enough, but then again it is an experience in which you do properly, and in totality. When thinking of deeper things, such as an experience like traveling it becomes much more difficult to admit that you may have done it superficially.
To be completely honest, I can pinpoint instances where I realise how superficial my intentions were – this is mostly with trips from when I was younger, and probably didn’t fully understand how to immerse myself in my actions. That, surely, must be one of the key answers to this concept; awareness of your actions. So often I do something without thinking about it, and often those are the things that I do tend to miss. Whereas when I am aware of how beautiful, or privileged my experience is, I tend to take it with me instead of missing it in the past. Something like this continual awareness must grow with age and wisdom, and become more entwined with your soul.
That could be the reason for elderly people being more soulful and appreciative of what they have. I don’t know – this could be a complete nonsensical ramble, but in some ways it seems to make sense to me. I guess the challenge is to encompass everything you do and experience, and all the people you meet, and carry them with you, thus removing the need to miss things altogether, as you need only look within to return to those moments.