beach thoughts


Post photo: Seashells | © Bettina Kümmerle

Right now, my favorite beach is particularly good for getting lost in thoughts, because the weather here is unusual for this time of year and the otherwise little-frequented beach is even emptier. Not to mention the myriads of sailfish that washed up on Southern California's beaches this year and have come to rest alongside the myriad clams and crabs.

Actually, beaches are huge cemeteries and that's probably why they magically attract us humans. Anyone who has ever strolled through a cemetery with me knows that you only really know a city when you have walked through at least one of its cemeteries.

A beach in particular draws everyone's attention in a very pleasant way to the fact that one's own life is finite and death is the real goal of every living being. And we humans all know this very well.

Some of us believe that we can delay that goal by counting on the afterlife—whether many have a correct understanding of eternity is doubtful.

And so perhaps some of us do believe, probably precisely when they cannot believe in a later eternal life, that we can also escape their fate through more and more.

This mystery of "more of everything" is probably what drives us all. Few of us are able to get off this hamster wheel. In our own finiteness, we are still desperately trying to achieve or get more and actually have to be quite happy that someone else finally frees us from it.

And those of us who want to escape this hamster wheel jump straight onto the next one, because less is always more — just more of little; every mathematician looks forward to explaining this to you in great detail.

You might well ask yourself, why do we all want more and more? Why we fail to be content with what we have. The more is probably an expression of change and life itself is change. And so it would be more and more a mere yes to life.

In doing so, we could consider whether there is another expression for change or even one's own life instead of more or less.

I am convinced that one should definitely consider the considerations of e.g. B. — because recently here in the weblog topic — Emily Dickinson or Henry David Thoreau could follow, which expressed very simply that one should find the here and now precisely where one's own life has washed one up.

Each of us achieves our goal in life faster than most would like. And so all attempts to prolong one's own life through the above tricks are wasted time. If you can't find meaning in the here and now, you won't find it later or anywhere else. And if you don't know what to do with your life at home, you won't find a solution to your very own problem in the distance either.

The nice thing about infinity is that you can't just look for it in the distance, but you can find it even in a single grain of sand, provided, of course, that you look for it.

And the nice thing about cemeteries is that they remind you of them and at the same time you can learn a lot from them. Especially since we humans are probably the only known life form that is able to learn from dead specimens of our own kind.

And so my thoughts wander to learning and I ask myself whether it is really so good to learn from one's own "fellow travelers" or whether it would be better to listen to and learn from those who already have your journey behind you?

Especially when their journey was a generally recognized successful one. In that sense, libraries could well be thought of as beaches for our thoughts, you just have to pick them up and collect them.

"In any weather, at any hour of the day or night, I have been anxious to improve the nick of time, and notch it on my stick too; to stand on the meeting of two eternities, the past and future, which is precisely the present moment; to toe that line."

Henry David Thoreau, Walden (2020 [1854]: 14)

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