Monday, January 3, 2011

Sublime

One of my favorite episodes of The Simpsons is when Homer thinks he’s going to die. At the end, when he's still alive, he vows to live each new day to the fullest. The program closes with Homer lying on the sofa munching a bowl of pork rinds watching bowling on TV. As the closing credits roll, there is no music. The only audio is the sound of bowling pins toppling and pork rinds crunching. The moment is sublime.

I recall a similar moment of my own. It was a cold, dark afternoon in January years ago, but I was warm and comfy indoors with my ten-week old daughter snuggled close as I nursed her. I, myself, sucked a piece of peppermint candy as I watched Oprah (I confess!) on TV. I was totally content and completely at peace.

As I think about sublimity, I’ve concluded it’s simply complete and pleasurable satisfaction of all senses – hear, see, smell, taste, and touch – at the same time. More often than not, it arises from simple pleasures – soaking in a hot tub listening to music or gazing at majestic mountain scenery in pine-scented sunshine. The trick is to recognize and cherish the sublime as it happens because it’s usually fleeting.

It’s so basic, yet think how much energy we waste seeking the ultimate thrill or consummate experience when sublimity is attainable almost every day. Is this what they mean by “living in the moment”? I think I’m finally catching on.

Given a second chance, most of us like to think we would live each day to the fullest or accomplish something important to humanity. But isn’t this really self-flattery? When all is said and done, aren’t most of us happy enough with a chill out moment in front of the TV with a bowl of our favorite vice food?

And what’s wrong with that?

1 comment:

  1. There's a bit of Homer (or a lot of Homer!) in all of us!

    ReplyDelete

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