Are you an 'aesthetic' like me? One who sees life through the grid of the visual, is driven from vision to action with an aim of experiencing each goal as a cinematic and creative experience?
Or perhaps you are, like my wife, a 'concrete'...One who sees life through the grid of accomplishment of physical tasks. Who sets goals and accomplishes them so that greater goals can be achieved, building blocks of life, ascending from glory to glory?
I have noticed that depending on which view you espouse (and I'm sure there are many more, but sometimes it's just so self-indulgent to say "there are two kinds of x in the world..."), your understanding of the other's method for obtaining and achieving success in the world, their life, or perhaps a calendar year, can be shadowed by quizzical-ness, and stalled with confusion.
And, depending on which of these two views you espouse, understanding the other viewpoint may seem to you irrelevant or unimportant. After all, it's not your viewpoint and you don't understand it, you never could, why even bother?
If you are a concrete, you provide the world stability and momentum. For better or for worse, that is what you do. You move tasks forward, paving the way for more and greater tasks. Even if the tasks are repetitive, without momentum or crescendo to speak of, you are still pressing time forward, laying the tracks of time, tie by tie, brick by brick, line by line.
I know this is a terrible burden for you, and that you appreciate the help of those who can team up with you to lay track. There is a lot of track to lay, mortar and brick to be laid, and an unending list of tasks to do. You do not wish to be alone.
Because I am in time, as you are in time, I promise that I am here with you, and that I will help you lay bricks. And tracks. And lines.
As we lay the bricks, I will be thinking about the bricks and noticing their color, texture and shape. I will think about how we are building a house for meaningful experiences, and I will imagine what those meaningful experiences may be. They will provide inspiration and motivation for me to keep laying bricks.
As we lay tracks for the train of time to run on, I will be thinking about the tracks, and how the sound of the train whistle and the clink of the hard iron wheels on the hard iron tracks means something - something about the "getting somewhere" of life - and I will notice that the track that lies behind us moves toward the rear horizon line and how, with perspective from the here and now, the parallel lines, while remaining parallel, move together and join at the farthest point on the horizon. I will think about what this means for the tracks that lie ahead and, imagining them, how they also move toward each other and join at the farthest point of the horizon ahead.
I will think of the concept of perspective and remember the lines that I drew on paper in school to practice "perspective" and see the synergy and connection between the three actions of brick-laying, track-laying, and line-drawing. And this will motivate me to keep laying tracks and bricks and lines, knowing that there is value in what I am doing.
Because thinking about these things - the very thing which gives me the energy to keep moving forward - requires some energy and can distract from the speed of my execution, you may find yourself frustrated with the pace with which I execute. You may feel that I am not helpful. You may feel that if I would just stop thinking about it all, if I would just stop slowing down the process to take it all in, to notice the texture, to imagine, to look retrospectively back and seal these things in my mind...if I would just stop stopping and start finishing, that I would get us further down the track, and therefore be more fulfilled, happier in my accomplishment. But I say to you no.
I would not be happier. I would not be more helpful. I would not be being true to myself and who I was created to be, what I was created to do, if I were to move faster and stop thinking about the pie, instead of just my slice only (task, do, execute, continue). I am an aesthetic and my purpose in life is to see the connections, the values and the hues in all of life around me, and to sing about them, to say what I see, to forecast the future, to tell tales of the past, to record and to write and to paint the wall, and to ride the train on the track that I lay, to make merriment of the execution, to warm by the fire in the house that I am building, to taste of the flavors borne here by said train, and stored in said barn.
I am an aesthetic, and it is my job, my task, my calling to remind you that you too are called to taste and to see that it is good. I realize that you will be happier, you will feel more helpful once you have refreshed out of necessity, so that you can get back to the track and the brick and the line - for you are being true to yourself, true to your calling, true to who you were created to be. But for now, you are tired, come sit here lazily with me, and let's think of all the fun we're going to have in 2011. Maybe we can take our time getting things done, enjoy getting there and if we don't make it to Rio by December, we can always set a course for 2012. The world's not going to end this year - we still have time.
Love you, and hope your new year is spectacular, full of cinematic moments and high marks on the scales of your progress-to-goals.