Thursday 2 December 1999

Screenshot: Pigs

Pic of the day: Do they know it's Christmas time at all?
(In much of Norway, ribs of pig is the arch-typical Christmas Dinner. The connection between pigs and the Norse yule tradition presumably go back to the ancient midwinter-blot, a religious feast held around the darkest night of the year for future fertility. A symbol of the fertility deity Frey was his riding animal, a golden boar.)

Plans of mice and men

I wonder how you people think about the future? Not what you think - that would surely be too much information! But how you relate to the future.

I have a vague idea that many people, especially those not too old, "live in the future": That they think about it a lot, lay detailed plans, and daydream about future events. I also suspect that these people are frustrated a lot, since future rarely conforms to expectation, at least unless your sole aim is spiritual growth...

With me, it is not like that. I typically plan ahead about 1-2 days. Meaning that yes, I do buy a bit more groceries on Saturday. But if you ask me what I am going to do on next Monday, the answer is likely a shrug and "The same as every night: Try to take over the world."

I am aware of scheduled future events, like Christmas and Y2K. I react to them if needed. I sometimes make appointments, and generally keep them. However, I do not actively meddle in the future. I do not take initiative. I do not try to achieve anything, or change my life or my job (much less someone else's life). I do not make detailed and needless plans. And I do not daydream about the future.

If I were to do that, this could be a fine time to start. Unless I have severely misunderstood, I'm invited to spend this Christmas too with the most interesting girl I have ever known, and her family. Since this girl is nice, smart, sociable, beautiful, musically talented, makes some great food, and is my best friend in this world ... one would be excused to think daydreams were forthcoming. But nay. Not even my plans get laid.


When I tell it like this, I seem kind of ... childlike. Living in the now, unworried. It is not quite like that. As I said, I am aware of the future. I am unsure of how to react to the things I see coming up there, though. Does it make sense to grieve before death visits? Does it make sense to stop loving before a relationship is ended? I think not. And yet I see these changes there, and there is not a thing I can do to stop them. So I choose not to worry. After all, I do not know when I go to bed that I will wake to a new morning. Each day I feel thankful and humbled that I am allowed to live yet again, even though I have not proven myself worthy of it.

I guess that touches the core of it. To meter out the future, to lay claim to the hours of its days before they have even arrived, feels to me like the ultimate hubris. To act as if the days to come were bought and paid, and not each one a gift delivered from somewhere beyond the veil of time.

Yesterday <-- This month --> Tomorrow?
One year ago

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