Tilt Republic. Johannesburg. New York. Cape Town. London.

Finding joy in the small things.

We don’t celebrate the small things enough anymore. There’s an unspoken hurriedness that envelopes us. A desperateness that drives us. We are busy and that busy-ness blinkers us, closing us off to the subtleties that surround us every day.

I sometimes wonder at what drives this numbness. Could it be a fear of failure, of being left behind, of not ‘making it’, of  keeping our parents proud as they push us too hard to gain a grade, to make the team, or just. be. ‘good enough’.

Maybe it’s simply the unspoken – but impossible – vision your subconscious devised of who you ‘should be’ or who you wanted to become and you’re just not getting there. It might simply be the necessity of feeding your family or pressure from your spouse – or the Jones’ – to maintain the status quo and it’s become an all encompassing distraction.

So distracting that only the over-exaggerated ever makes an impact. More and more I’m finding that we need a louder volume to wake us up; to break through the fuck-can’t-think-must-just-do that clouds our heads.

For some it’s getting blazed, others drinking more than they should. Maybe it’s something more hectic like a mild Cocain addiction – if you get such a thing.  Or even one of the good ones; an over reliance on gym.

Or maybe it’s something more passive like filling our evenings with media. In this regard, the current trend towards the extreme – whether sexual or violent – is testament to this need to escape, a perverse compulsion to smash at our brains harder than ever before. Just to feel. To experience. Something. Anything.

But this continuous onslaught has left us numb; and I propose a different approach: A reclamation of subtlety. To find, again, the joy in the small things. It is a slow process and one that forces us to reconnect with life instead of escaping it. It requires us to be aware and to face what’s going on around us.

And it’s fucking scary.

But, honestly, it needn’t be. We can develop a sort of interaction switch. A way to be selectively sensitive. In this society, the numbness is a required component of survival and we need to learn to live open handed and sensitive to those things that matter and yet keep ourselves protected from those that don’t.

As I’ve started on this journey of rediscovery, I’ve found a few things that really stand out for me, some of which I’d like to share with you in the hopes that I may impart some sense of awe or wonder into your lives as it has been reintroduced in mine:

The running tackle-embrace of my little girl, arms clenched tight around my legs as I walk in from a day at the office, laptop bag still in-hand.

The shy-flirty smile from a pretty stranger as our eyes connect across a room, on the dance floor or simply passing by on a busy sidewalk.

The 5-sense arousal of a perfect blended coffee. For me that’s a double shot of freshly drawn espresso, full-bodied with chocolate & cinnamon undertones, topped with just a dash of  steamed – not frothy – full cream milk.

And that most perfect of unions:
The morning shower, warm water cascading over sleepy bones, with a morning pee – warm water cascading over.. you get the picture.

If you take one thing away from this, let it be the knowledge that there are few things more satisfying than a morning shower-pee. The combination of the near euphoria of releasing a full bladder with the warm-hot streams flowing all over your body. It’s truly a great thing.

Water meets water in a consummate union of sorts. The warmth, the release. If you have ever tried it, you’ll know, it is a powerful experience. And if done right, the release together with the warm cascade, it brings a new understanding, a heightened perception of perfection.

I would be remiss to leave out one of the more important points here. For once we don’t need to aim. Or we can aim ANYWHERE. This doesn’t happen often. Controlled by social pressures and loved ones alike, we are forced to make sure we keep it inside the bowl. But not during those bliss filled minutes in the morning when we can cast all fears aside and truly live free. It takes some getting used to and don’t be surprised if, for the first few days or even weeks, you’ll find yourself dutifully aiming at the drain cover too ashamed to broaden your boundaries. But over time, if you allow yourself the pleasure, there will be nowhere within that sanctum of liquid warmth untouched by your exploration. A consummate marriage of warmth and wetness.

The shower-pee is the coup de grâce to the numbness. It is the reawakening of the soul. As the slumber falls from your flesh, so the clouds of distraction are released to swirl away into oblivion, revealing this golden lining amidst the euphoric double-tap of this so subtle a joy.

It is my hope that you allow yourselves this guilty pleasure and that in doing so you may regain the joys of these small things that make living alive.

November 22, 2012 Early Tilt