The Temporal Buffet

November 1st, 2021

When you’re paying attention, even the most mundane details can illuminate personal progress.

Last weekend, after a day spent doing that business-art thing, some of us went out to a Mongolian grill. I hadn’t been to one in a while, but the premise is simple: fill up a bowl of fresh and raw ingredients, bring that bowl to a counter, and watch them grill your handpicked stir fry right before your eyes.

When I arrived, I was a little shell-shocked from the day and a lot hangry; I picked some imitation crab and spicy sausage and built a bowl on top of that.

It was good.

Now, usually, when I would go back to the line and start a new bowl, I would create something brand new. A new base, new meats, new veggies, new sauces.

This time, I decided to refine and elevate the original dish. I again chose imitation crab and spicy sausage, but now I used what I learned the first time to create something better. I got rid of what didn’t work, and added what I now knew would.

And you know what? It was amazing.

This isn’t about the way I eat. This is the way I work, too. Finish something fast and move on.

And it’s the way I live. I think there are a few of us that live this way. We spend a lot of our time ripping off band-aids: trying to get through our days as quickly as possible with the least possible scrapes and bruises.

We try not to live in moments, we fleet alongside time. We can find ourselves deeply in love with nostalgia, but only the moments that give us unadulterated joy; every other awkward, lonely, miserable scene we try to hit fast-forward on in our heads.

Just like I’ve been able to do with my own work this year (see: the special edition re-releases of my earliest books), this new ability to not only live in uncomfortable and imperfect moments, but find the best in them, has bled into real life. Into the way I eat, even.

I want to remember them. Learn from them. Cherish them. And reconcile every disparate moment of me into one whole ass person.

I don’t know what kind of unfortunate events I’ll be stumbling into tomorrow. But, in the weirdest possible way, I know I am hungry to find out. And that I will spend as long as I can living in them.

Published by dennisvogen

I'm me, of course. Or am I?

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