“All is flux” – Heraclitus
Yesterday I started the move to a new office just down the hall. I’d been in my old office since I started teaching at UMass Boston in 2003, and when a new office opened up I was asked if I wanted it. It has some advantages. It’s (slightly) larger than my old one, it’s off the main hallway (i.e., a bit more private), and it has a better view. But another factor is that I simply felt like moving. Sometimes change is good for its own sake — a breath of fresh air.
To make the move easier, I did something I’m normally not too good at, which is letting go of things. I recycled a lot of old files and articles that I had held onto for years. Some of them I’ve kept since graduate school, even though I’d not revisited them in nearly 20 years. It felt good to dump them.
I’d like to say that I don’t need anything. At an intellectual level, I understand that everything is impermanent — organisms, mountains, relationships, nations, memories, jobs, planets. Time devours all things. On the other hand, when we’re in the present moment, some things appear to be really important and worth prioritizing and holding onto.
Maybe I don’t need anything. Except of course, the chair, the remote control, and the paddle game. And that’s all I need. So I do need some things.
I believe that the Heraclitus quote was actually “All is f*cked” but was overheard incorrectly. Either way… feels about right. I’m guessing you moved so I can’t find your office.
Maybe he was misquoted. Well, there were no cell phone cameras in those days.