Friday, March 30

Scratching the surface?


Say the word progress and the first thing that usually springs to mind is movement: moving forward, leaving something behind. But recently I’ve become much more interested in another type of progress, the kind that goes deeper, the kind that's about learning more.

Take yoga for instance. Instead of always reaching for new and increasingly difficult asanas, what about focusing on the ones I already know, and really getting to know them, spending time in them, and if not perfecting them, at least attempting to make them as beautiful as possible? Mmmm… the idea is very appealing, it almost exudes calm.

The same goes for books… so much of the literature that is produced today is designed to instantly gratify, but like junk food these books rarely hold any real substance. Just read it, chuck it aside and move on to the next. But I yearn for a book that makes me think, a book that challenges me. I long for a book I want to return to over and over, always finding something new, something I hadn’t noticed or understood before.

I guess I don’t want to just scratch the surface of life.

How do you want to progress?

Photo: www.sunandmoonstudio.com

18 comments:

Bearette24 said...

Take yoga for instance. Instead of always reaching for new and increasingly difficult asanas, what about focusing on the ones I already know, and really getting to know them, spending time in them, and if not perfecting them, at least attempting to make them as beautiful as possible?

I love this idea. I think it's what yoga is really supposed to be all about, but Western civ has made it "strivey."

Sacred Suzie said...

Oh boy, can I understand this post. I've been looking for good books to make me stretch and give me something to think about that I haven't already obsessed about...still waiting.

I want to progress by opening up to what is and what may be. Relinquishing the fictional control I think I possess but don't.

Magdalena said...
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Magda said...

Progress as deeper, more conscious experience - it's such a wonderful concept Waspgoddess.

I love books by Susan Hill - they seem so layered, and set in their own mood - I go back to them again and again.

serrin said...

Italo Calvino writes books that draw you into a whole new world. Try "If on a winter's night a traveller". It turns in and on itself so many times that when I think of it in my mind, the book looks like a ribbon tied in a knot.

It's a book that propels endlessly forward before returning to re-cover past ground, and eventually just dives deep into madness.

If you read it, tell me what you think :)

edvard moonke said...

what do you expect from a throw-away culture that is fashioned towards people with the attention span of fruit fly? you, dear girl, have substance.

I've recommended it before, but have you read The Sea by John Banville and Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee? marvellous books. :-)

oh, and 'the king of cool', moi? it's very sweet of you. :-)

KatieBelle said...

This is really thought provoking.

I think it's hard to progress because of where we're at in popular culture. We're always being enticed to get the new thing or embrace the latest trends before we've even gotten to enjoy the "old."

As far as literature, I've always had better luck embracing the authors of the past...Faulkner, Dostoevsky, Hemingway etc. They seem to say so much more than many of today's authors. I sometimes think I was born in the wrong era, hehe ;)

BlueJude said...

OH MY Wasp...this is definately one to think about! Will get back to you! lol
OH and the kittys are waiting.....

Gypsy Purple said...

What a great post!!!!!

Cherrye said...

Wasp Goddess, Great post! I think we've turned into the "microwave generation". We want WHAT we want, WHEN we want it and HOW we want it. You can miss out on some things...

Lynne of the Dancing Rose said...

May I suggest an author? I've found Gabriel Garcia Marquez worthy of both thought and return to reread - and frequent episodes of "what does THAT really mean?"

AM said...
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Waspgoddess said...

Thank you for some really interesting and inspiring comments. And I love all these great book recommendations...

Magda: I've never heard of Susan Hill. Must check her out.

Serrin: I'm actually reading Invisible cities by Calvino at the moment and it's beautiful. Must try the one you recommend too.

Marcos: I read Banville's The Sea and didn't enjoy it at all. It just didn't grab me.

Katiebelle: I too often feel that I was born in the wrong era. I'm way too old fashioned for now.

Lynne: Of course I've heard of Gabriel Garcia Marquez but for some reason I've never gotten around to reading him. Any particular one you would recommend?

I'm off on holiday next week and I'll be bringing Lionel Shriver's We need to talk about Kevin, mainly because I've heard many good things about it, but also because I'm going to a talk by her in May. I'm not convinced it's your typical holiday fare, but I'm sure it will be very thought provoking.

acumamakiki said...

I love this idea, of taking something and doing it really well, rather than always moving onto the next thing.

My Marrakech said...

I want to progress. Really. But right now, going deeper somehow means sinking. I am just rying to keep my head above water...

[a} said...

Ohh this post is sssoo true!!! I relate to EVERYTHING!!

Deep progress is lasting progress, I think. Like a tree's progress...the vast roots are forever, and it takes slow time!

I find yoga like a slow ballet. I LOVE yoga so much. It's my exercise of choice :) This pic is lovely. She has this look of concentration and effort, but she's so graceful and balanced... It speaks of all that yoga aims for!

But I yearn for a book that makes me think, a book that challenges me. I long for a book I want to return to over and over, always finding something new, something I hadn’t noticed or understood before.

For me that is the Quran! :)

Yóu're so deep, waspgoddess!

p.s. i moved to kal-kya.blogspot.com, sorry, forgot to tell you!

cheeky said...

I am green with envy. I want to do that physically and in life. I'd settle for being able to do the splits again.
Scratching the surface is like eating junk food, it never satisfies it just fills you temporarily and it has ugly consequences.
Nice post and thought provoking. Thanks.

Caro said...

You are so thoughtful.

I eat my feelings before they can catch me. :)

I'd much rather be like you.