Of how many human journeys, literal and metaphorical, is this true? I wanted to recite Cavafy’s poem to the poor, struggling insect:
You won’t find a new country, won’t find another shore.
This city will always pursue you. You will walk
the same streets, grow old in the same neighborhoods,
will turn gray in these same houses.
You will always end up in this city. Don’t hope for things elsewhere
But how do you teach wisdom to an insect—or to a man, for that matter? The wisdom of others is the wisdom we ignore, even if they know how to communicate it.
Pascal said that a lot of our problems arise from our inability to sit quietly in a room. I would add that a lot of our problems arise from our unwillingness to take close notice of what is about us. We think the world is dull and therefore seek excitement, or create problems where none existed so that we have something to distract us from the vacuity of our own minds. I do not exclude myself from these strictures. It has taken me many years to start to take close notice of what is about me.
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