1/2xXP week

Disappearing like water under the bridge…

The title today comes from the fact that today is 2xXP weekend (double experience points) at City of Heroes, for the last time before CoH changes into City of Heroes Freedom, a free-to-play MMORPG retaining most of the content but with a number of changes. I used to play the game most days of the week for over 7 years, but as I have mentioned earlier this summer, my enthusiasm is dwindling.  I did play it a few days after the terror attack in Oslo, probably not by coincidence. But now, even if it is double XP weekend, I don’t find it all that interesting.

The other component of today’s title was my realization that it was Friday. I had been at work perhaps a couple hours when I noticed that the coworker in the next office wasn’t there. I wondered whether he was sick or just taking time off (we have somewhat flexible work hours). Then I realized that he has Fridays off, and today was one of those. Really? Not Thursday or possibly Wednesday? No, it really was Friday. That was disheartening.

This is not because I love my job, although these days I kind of do. Helping people and getting paid for it is an awesome combination, although I keenly feel that I am not helping as much as I should. Even though I have tried, I seem unable to become really competent in my job. I guess I am harvesting something I have sown for many years, even decades in a sense. But I can whine about that another time. Today I will dwell on the fact that time is slipping through my hands.

It did not use to be like that. I have for years been blessed with more time than other people, or so it seems. Time seemed to pass more slowly for me. I did not always get much done, but I had a sense of being there and experiencing it all, even when I could not consciously remember all of it. Now, both this week and the week before, the days seem to just fly by. It is as if I am not completely there, as if the hours run and only part of them pass through me. It is a loss that I find profound and disturbing, although it seems that almost all humans have it this way at my age and even long before. I have been blessed with this for so long, and I feel the loss of it as if an important part of my life has left me.

I don’t want the years to just pass by and suddenly it is all over. I don’t want the missing days to grow into missing years and missing decades and the last years of my life to be only “half experience” or even less than that. And so I feel this regret, a sense of somehow having gone wrong and destroyed something precious.

I can’t help but wonder if this is not related to the long string of slightly unlikely events that have happened the last couple weeks as I tried in various ways to get more than a little broadband to my home again. I kind of succeeded, I guess: Today I watched the first half of The Ten Commandments on Voddler, a Scandinavian movie streaming service. I loved it.  I have not seen that movie before, and it reminded of just how cool Moses was. So it is not all bad, I guess. But I still wonder if I have somehow deviated from my destiny.

Perhaps the meaning of this unexpected and unwanted move was exactly this, to begin to disentangle me from the immersion in the online world, to give me a chance to become more quiet and introspective, to read more and meditate more and even pray more. There is a part of me that wants that, but there is also the outer part of me that likes to play games and read news and participate in social networks. They stand against each other, so I cannot do what I will. Both cannot unfold at the same time, at least most of the time.

Earlier this summer I read a quote by St Gregory the Theologian, or St Gregory Nazianzen as he is also called. I don’t really like names with Nazi in them, so to me he remains St Gregory the Theologian, even if that is supposedly the Eastern Orthodox name. Anyway! Look at this quote:

“Nothing seems to me greater than this: to silence one’s senses, to emerge from the flesh of the world, to withdraw into oneself, no longer to be concerned with human things other than what is strictly necessary; to converse with oneself and with God, to lead a life that transcends the visible; to bear in one’s soul divine images, ever pure,  not mingled with earthly or erroneous forms; truly to be a perfect mirror of God and of divine things, and to become so more and more, taking light from light…; to enjoy, in the present hope, the future good, and to converse with angels; to have already left the earth even while continuing to dwell on it, borne aloft by the spirit.”

I feel like a hypocrite for even saying this,but I was struck by the beauty of this quote. I had to go back and read it again. The voice in my heart was like: Yes! This is it! This is it exactly! This is what we tried to describe in that blog entry on prayer. To emerge from the flesh of the world, or the world of the flesh, to converse with oneself (or commune with one’s heart) and with God, or with angels and saints. The beauty of the divine things, the hope of receiving, into the heart, light from Light.

I hope you agree that the quote is amazingly beautiful. It isn’t just me, right?

But when the events in my life took a turn toward this, starting almost immediately afterward (or so it seems to me), I was upset and went to great lengths to counter it. I slapped the hand that tried to pull me up, and stuck with the things that please my outer self. So eventually, after this long process, I seem to have achieved what I strived for, at least to some degree. And it was not the beauty that St Gregory saw. Then again, I am not St Gregory (I sincerely believe). But I may have passed up a chance to become more like him, in which case I would probably have needed correspondingly less broadband.

I am sure God would still have granted me enough bandwidth to keep y’all updated.