Bookmark #454

In many ways, I had not imagined a life so abundant when I was a child. I had imagined extravagance like children do, but I had not imagined abundance. What is the difference? The pompousness separates them cleanly. I feel a cup of coffee is abundant. A cup of coffee anywhere is abundance. A cup of coffee at the in-house cafe of a fancy hotel, being rested softly on the table with a smile from an attractive server, is extravagance. It is no longer a life I crave; no part of me desires sophisticated luxuries. I pity those who run after them, for they will forever be trapped in a hell of more. I only want an abundant life—where I rarely run out of coffee, music, or joy, for joy is sweet in all its forms, music is beautiful in all ways possible, and coffee tastes like coffee. We cannot change the distinctive properties of things. We can only add a flair of vulgar haughtiness to it all. Good taste is an elitist lie.

And if it is taste one is after, then they must develop not wealth or luxury, but tasteful habits: to read literature and to consume art. No, not for showing it all off, but to experience this world and its infinite pleasures, all with the patience they deserve. There is a sculpture in every tree we look at, an impression in all skies that grace our eyes, and all people who walk on any street of this world are metaphors. And if it is winning one is after, then they must learn to win over themselves: in body and in mind. The body can be a humble abode or a terrible cage; it only depends on how well you use it. The mind can be a brutal master or a reliable friend; it depends on how well you learn to navigate it. To master both is to win continually, over and over, for the rest of your life.

Expensive liquor does not get you drunker, and you cannot make friends out of people who only know you for your usefulness. They will all run behind you, ahead of you, beside you. They will tell you how you need to keep running towards gilded dreams. Keep walking; look around. Look at the field and the lake, how pretty and complete it all is, how fulfilling the familiar face of a friend feels, how abundant life is in and of itself. These are the things of good taste.

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