Victory over pleasure is cold comfort

May 2, 2011
Sculpture by Dalton Ghetti

Speed is the form of ecstasy the technical revolution
has bestowed on man….

Why has the pleasure of slowness disappeared?

Why, indeed?

How many promotions have we seen for books, workshops,
DVDs that want to teach us how to do more with less?

How many employers want us to put in the traditional eight hours
and then three or four more so we — they — can get to the finish line sooner?

How many of us are on medications for high blood pressure?
Or have stress-related ailments?

We live our lives in double-time, it seems, at least while we’re working,
and may not even notice that pleasure’s gone by the wayside.
The pleasure of slowness.

It’s less the pleasure than the conquest of pleasure that attracts….it is not the desire for pleasure but the desire for victory that is calling the time.*

Victory over pleasure seems counter-productive. Where does it get us, really?
Ground to the nub, like these pencils.

Question is, what are we going to do about it?

*from Slowness, by Milan Kundera

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