Arrivals

“Beware of arriving,” I once read. It was implied that arrivals mark the culmination of a journey, and hence the motivation that drove us and gave us something to look forward to ceased at the end of that journey, when we arrive at our destination.

For once we have achieved that goal, what lies ahead?

Of course, there is that feeling of completeness and a sense of satisfaction at arrivals, but very often it does not last and is followed by an anticlimactic flatness, and a restlessness to find a new pursuit.

Even if we take time to pause and enjoy the achievement, resting a little on our laurels, it is not long before we need a new destination to look forward to.

Another problem with arrivals is that if all we do is focus on our destination, we miss the beauty of the journey. After all, most of life is a journey: we spend over 99% of our time on journeys, interspersed with brief moments of arrivals. Living solely for arrivals is to deny – lose sight of – our time alive.

We are so bound by our perception of time. We live from moment to moment, and as soon as we arrive, that moment quickly recedes into the past and becomes a memory. Life then becomes a series of memories, with each memory a memory – or an interpretation of previous memories, which are in turn reinterpretations of the memories before.

To fully appreciate the entirety of one’s existence, therefore, is to appreciate the journey of life, as each moment becomes a memory to be continuously interpreted and reinterpreted as it recedes into the past. This act of interpretation and reinterpretation is our way of “transcending” time and giving meaning to transcient moments.

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