Sunday, 23 June 2019

From Peace of Mind to State of Elation

Peace of mind comes from not so much an absence of intractable issues in one's life - financial worries, problems at work, health woes - but being on top of them. Not letting them wear you down, nor letting them dampen your spirits. I would argue that 'a contented consciousness in a sound mind' is an even more important goal than 'a sound mind in a sound body'.

How to get there?

A very important part of this is, as Jacek Koba once wrote in a comment to a post on this blog, ensuring that the ratio of your expectations to reality is 1:1. If you expect more from life than you can realistically expect from it, you will be pulled down by bitterness and regret.

Another important life lesson I have learned came from this billboard edict to distinguish joy from pleasure, to make the act of the distinguishing the two a conscious one.

I am contemplating the notion of replicable joyful experiences. A walk at dusk - 'magic hour' in film-industry parlance - amid trees and lakes. A back-roads bike ride on a sunny day. Discovery of the new or spending time at much-loved places? Which is more likely to bring about elation?

Much joy is to be obtained from spending time in good company, cheered by a glass of fine wine or foaming ale. I have pretty much limited all my alcohol consumption to that knocked back with people I like spending time with.

Going on holiday to somewhere new, somewhere that your your soul has not been calling you all your life, is not for me. Likelihood of disappointment, a sense of money and time wasted, no real, deeper connections with spirit of place. I'm not a fan of exotic foreign holidays; I have no atavistic connection with the Middle East, Far East or Africa. No curiosity, no drive to visit those regions.

But returning to Warsaw after a fortnight in rainy London filled me with elation indeed; the cloudless sky, the warmth, the easy-going nature of people enjoying summer... The weather plays a important role in my state of mind; a few dismal days I can take, but without sunlight, the joy goes out of life.

Below: summer in the city, Warsaw. This is the third week of blue skies and jacket-free heat. So good to be back!

In London I was fighting with an intermittent fault in an SD card in my camera; on return home I found that my SD card reader had been lent out without my knowledge or consent. I have bought a new SD card reader (and a two-terabyte external hard disk drive to back up photos on), so regular blogging should resume soon.

This time last year:
Last summer before S7 works begin
[Over-optimistic again. Work won't start next summer either.]

This time two years ago
Nostalgia, ideology, aesthetics, emotions

This time four years ago:
Civilisation and barbarism - how the former deals with the latter

This time five years ago:
Ahead of the opening of Jeziorki's Biedronka

This time six years ago:
New views of Jeziorki

This time seven years ago:
Motorway finally links (the outskirts of) Łódź and (the outskirts of) Warsaw

This time ten years ago:
Kraków Air Museum

This time 11 years ago:
Quintessential Jeziorki

This time 12 years ago: 
Little boxes, Mysiadło 

No comments: