The Guilty Party

Friday, January 21, 2011

Not a Wise Use of Ones Time, Is It?

As mentioned in the previous entry, my wife, our daughter and our visiting Australian student went for a brief hike in the Superstition Mountains this past Sunday. There are many things to recommend such an excursion: the beautiful scenery, the friendly greetings from fellow hikers, the fresh air and the good ol' physical aspect of pushing at least a bit beyond the everyday sort of effort. But maybe the best part was what we all like to call Getting Away From It All, even if it was for just under a couple of hours.

There is no cell phone service along the Peralta Trail, or at least I didn't get a signal. And while this undoubtedly would be viewed as a distinct Not Good Thing by anyone who might find themselves in some sort of pickle requiring outside assistance, like a badly twisted ankle, rattlesnake bite or unexpected encounter with the ghost of Jacob Waltz, for me it also meant the removal of any temptation to see if somebody somewhere has bought a copy of Boomerang in the last fifteen minutes or so. I was out of range of Immediate Reporting. No minute by minute updates on my smart phone telling me how the book was doing in the UK, which direction my Amazon ranking was going, whether anyone had responded to a forum thread I started. I was officially out of touch. And that, I found, was a very good thing. It forced me to pay attention to where I was and more importantly, where I was going. Each step along the trail requires attention if one isn't interested in the previously discussed twisted ankle or even a quick, bumpy and abrasive slide in some unanticipated direction. It is really, really important to be in the moment. To be where you are right then and make the one after the other decisions about the best places to put your feet so you can make progress. To look forward, but not too far forward. And to not look back too often, because looking back requires stopping and every time you stop to see where you've been you're just adding that much more time that will be needed in order to get to where you're going.

Have a great day. I hope you make progress.

1 comment:

Anna said...

Alan, I just have to respond to this.

The impetus for writing my current book started from a sermon in St Paul's Cathedral, London, England. It was new year's eve, so the theme of past and future was entirely appropriate. That theme has cropped up in my life so many times since. Not past, present and future, but past and future.

Just recently though, the more usual emphasis on the present has returned to fling itself in front of my eyes - and here it is again. What we do in the present gives us something to look back on! And we are not promised tomorrow so it is best to make the most of the day we have.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

A Bit About Me

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I am a writer with a longtime interest in photography. I'm a dad, husband, photographer, and not very good guitarist. My first novel, Boomerang, is available in both paperback and ebook form at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and As a matter of fact, my second novel, The Baer Boys, can be found at exactly the same places.