The mind of the engrossed

So I’ve been mildly busy. I wrote this for Gapers Block, about fair use in film. I performed in The Encyclopedia Show, where I told the world about Floride Bonneau Calhoun, wife of Andrew Jackson’s vice president. And I’m gonna be in the SKALD, which is a storytelling competition hosted by the city of Chicago and WNEP Theatre.

Hey. Cool. But all of this, on top of working two jobs, explains why I really should be heeding the words of Stoic philosopher Lucius Seneca:

The mind that is untroubled and tranquil has the power to roam into all the parts of its life; but the minds of the engrossed, just as if weighted by a yoke, cannot turn and look behind. And so their life vanishes into an abyss; and as it does no good, no matter how much water you pour into a vessel, if there is no bottom to receive and hold it, so with time—it makes no difference how much is given; if there is nothing for it to settle upon, it passes out through the chinks and holes of the mind. Present time is very brief, so brief, indeed, that to some there seems to be none; for it is always in motion, it ever flows and hurries on; it ceases to be before it has come, and can no more brook delay than the firmament or the stars, whose ever unresting movement never lets them abide in the same track. The engrossed, therefore, are concerned with present time alone, and it is so brief that it cannot be grasped, and even this is filched away from them, distracted as they are among many things.

4 thoughts on “The mind of the engrossed

  1. Thanks for the Stoic words. I need to heed them too. There’s got to be a balance out there between “live each day to its fullest” and the sentiments expressed by Seneca.

    For now though, I’m decidedly on the ‘fullest’ side of things, but I think it’s a good problem to have at this time when so many are being forced to idleness due to the economy.

    I wish I lived in Chicago and could come to see you perform in these endeavors. All the best!

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