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Happy in Dawson

Contentment

Seeking a balance between the new and the old, exploring and keeping the comforts of everyday life.

We seek the new and the unfamiliar. A good friend of ours (A certain Mr. Fredrick Gault) once asked us why we wanted to start teleskiing when we were such good downhill skiers. And as we ski precariously balanced in the tele position, trying to stay away from inept skiers careening downhill on intermediate slopes, I ask myself the same thing.

It is the same reason why, with friends and an established, comfortable life in San Francisco, we are considering the move to another city. And why we put ourselves at a disadvantage among serious outdoor enthusiasts in the wilderness EMT class. We crave the excitement of doing something new and different and the satisfaction that results from having achieved it. These enterprises do not always result in success – my unsuccessful attempt at Aconcagua as an example – but when they do, we are enriched with new experiences. And sometimes whole new cultural worlds open up to us; learning Italian showed us entirely new aspects of food, wine, film, music, books. We could better appreciate Traviata and Turandot, Calvino and Buzzati, Fellini and Antonini.

And yet we will always need a multicultural city to live in – I cannot imagine myself living in the country for an extended period of time, beautiful as it is. We have all of our music with us, we see movies on a portable home theater setup, we seek out gourmet food and wine stores, we stay connected to friends and family over the internet. We take a little bit of our life with us.

We like to experience different cultures but enjoy the comfort of familiar activities. It is this balance of the strange and the familiar that ultimately makes us happy.

4 Responses to “The Strange and the Familiar”

  1. Vinay says:

    The familiar is where we take stock. Check where we are at. Assimilate our learnings. The strange offers us the future. Opportunities ahead. Constantly shunning the familiar, we’d be ungrounded. Avoiding the strange always, we’d be stunted.

  2. Vinay says:

    A very happy new year to the two of you!

  3. madhuri says:

    The teacher at this yoga/spirituality class i am attending said the following: we are like electrons in an atom where family is like the nucleus comprising of protons+neutrons. We constantly strive to run away, experience this, experience that, seek out excitement and pleasure in various forms. Where as the the nucleus keeps us stable, lets us run around a little, but not too far so as to go berserk :-)
    You guys have a solid relationship that gives enough stability to go explore unknown more often than an average joe. Besides, some people are content seeking pleasure from tried and tested routes, like having children etc. To each, his own!

  4. Shreesh says:

    Everything that is familiar was strange at one time. Trying new things puts us into a state of unknowing, to become a child again and discover the pleasure of learning. Going over the same ground allows us to understand better that which we already know, or thought we knew.

    It is a continually evolving project…

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