Tuesday, November 27, 2012

An Autopilot Life

   It’s become fairly clear to me that I have spent a sizeable portion of my life in a somewhat haphazard, halfhearted state. I’ve been running mostly on autopilot, doing a thousand things each day with very little actual awareness. I’ve gone from task to task like a mindless machine. Day after day I’ve worked through my to-do list the way a factory apparatus produces products. That may sound harsh, but I think it’s accurate. The truth of it hit me especially hard recently when I realized how very little awareness I have of my own body. I’ve had this body for 71 years, and in all that time I have paid little or no attention to how it feels or what it’s doing. When I’ve been sick or in pain, my awareness has switched on, but otherwise I’ve transported my body around like a strange and distant encumbrance. How peculiar, that a person should be an almost total stranger to the body that gives him gifts like eyesight and the smoothness of a steady heartbeat! How odd, that a man should live a fair part of his life with a virtual scarf around his eyes, doing his daily tasks in a mechanized, world-weary way instead of in unceasing thankfulness for the startling life he’s been given! 

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