Moments of Grace

The profundity of life can sometimes be right here in the present moment – it doesnt need to be out there, somewhere special.

Once when I was a student, I spent a full weekend, Friday to Monday, day and night, sat at my computer building a graphics rendering engine in assembler and Watcom C. I know during those 48 hours I must have slept, and I know I must have eaten; perhaps I did, perhaps I didnt, I dont remember. I do remember running through the front door of my house literally laughing with excitement as I ran upstairs to my bedroom, buzzing with ideas on how I could build my graphics library. Somehow, as I closed the door to my bedroom and dimmed the lights and sat down to my 186 PC, I suddenly found myself touched by grace…

From the moment my fingers touched the keyboard, some train set in motion, and I couldnt get off. Moment after moment blurred with the next, faster and faster. The sun set, the sun rose; I didnt notice a thing. Body and mind dissolved into one, and from that place I crafted design after design from the code, and I was simply consumed in the experience of what some would call flow. I lost myself to my designs, to my ideas, to the experience of building something amazing; the whole world was simply me, my computer and the train on which I travelled.

Monday morning, unshaven, tired and exhausted, I emerged from my bedroom, my graphics engine complete. I went into the bathroom to to clean myself up, to bring me back to this world. Bending over the washbasin, I splashed my face with cold water, and looked up into the mirror, catching myself looking back at myself. “Phuhhhhuuuu” I uttered to my reflection…”What a rush.”

I’ve been deeply fortunate throughout my career to have had many experiences like the one I describe, enriched even more by the fact I’ve taken the similar journey with my colleagues; my friends. Everybody has a reason to get out of bed and reach for the sky, and this is mine – its why I’m so passionate about the things I do. To dance with grace, to experience the bliss of being part of something special, this is what gets me jumping out of bed each morning to reach for the stars – striving to be a part of something special.

“Effortless activity happens at moments in dance and in sports of the highest level of performance; when it does, it takes everybodies breath away. But it also happens in every area of human activity, from painting to car repair to parenting. Years of practice and experience combine on some occassions, giving rise to a new capacity to let execution unfold beyond technique, beyond exertion, beyond thinking. Action then becomes a pure expression of art, of being, of letting go of all doing – a merging of mind and body in motion. We thrill in watching a superb performance, whether athletic or artistic, because it allows us to participate in the magic of true mastery, to be uplifted, if only briefly, and perhaps to share in the intention that each of us, in our own way, might touch such moments of grace and harmony in the living of our own lives.”

– Where ever you go, there you are.

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    • James
    • May 12th, 2007

    Awesome.

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