I saw this Sartre quote the other day and paused. I've been thinking about it for a bit now, rolling it around in my mind.
I run toward the sort of thinking that romanticizes the past, particularly periods in history that I deem (vis a vis cultural archetypes, I suppose) better than today, more cultured, simpler, slower and more refined.
I picture myself, for example, in Paris in the 1920s, perhaps walking over to Shakespeare & Co. or sitting outside a cafe sipping an espresso but only until it's a reasonable hour for absinthe. I'm wearing a wool skirt and cashmere sweater, probably gloves, definitely a bold red lipstick.
I've had absinthe and I hate it.
I don't think Paris in 1920 smelled very good (it doesn't always smell that great now).
I'm also allergic to wool and look terrible in red lipstick.
Sartre's quote is actually a bit longer than that above. It reads:
There may be more beautiful times, but this is ours. Look back, look forth, look close, there may be more prosperous times, more intelligent times, more spiritual times, more magical times and more happy times, but this one, this small moment in the history of the universe, this is ours.
And let's do everything with it. Everything.
Doesn't that make you want to go outside and breathe in some fresh air and stop thinking you may have been born in the wrong era or romanticizing another time in history or even wishing you could go back to another state, another house, another job?
And what would it look like to do everything with this beautiful time? Everything? Just the thought of it pulls me right out of a rainy-week rut and makes me want to get to work.
There is a lot of negativity about our time right now, about this beautiful moment in history. There are school shootings, political dramas, poverty and war. I realize, as I think about Sartre's words, that we've forgotten how beautiful this time is....right now.
I hope everyone is having a wonderful Saturday. I've got a cup of French press beside me and a peanut butter cookie.
I'm a bastion of health and beauty.