The Space Between Being and Doing

by Nicolas Hoizey, via Unsplash

Today is Sunday. Quiet day, at home, with a few hours dedicated to writing.

Yet, even today I have always had something to do in my mind. Projects, a new website, the next post.

I have to reactivate my professional life, and I’m looking for a compromise between my personal goals and what can be considered a job.

In the last year and a half, I tried to restore my being. Now it’s time to focus on doing.

However, there is a strange dichotomy in every moment of our lives, not just on Sunday or Monday.

The moment you do, when you are busy in intervening on the world, even if you remember being yourself, where you are and what you are doing, you are still giving up a good part of your simple being, contemplation, enjoying the being alive. Time does not flow; rather, it runs away.

But when you pause your acting, while recovering your full integrity, you lose your identity in the world, your function, the opportunity to achieve goals.

In life, they ask you what you do. Nobody asks you who you are.

They’re interested in what you can do for them, what you can do for your family, how you put yourself in the world, what your skills are, and how those skills are transformed into action. What opportunities and what threats you present.

Who you are is not of interest, if not in a very relative way and to a few people. And it’s funny, because everything should start with who you are. The only way to do, really, is first to be.

How many forget to be. And they do, all the time. Uselessly. Dangerously. Hastily. Absently. Opportunistically. Irresponsibly. Associatively.

Knowing to be there, really, happens when you put your world on hold and you look at it without judging it, when you know where you are, in space and time, and you breathe.

But in this stopping the action and letting time flow, your intervention – your work of transformation of the visible – is missing. Your identity in the world is missing and the ability to shape your future, for what is granted to you.

It seems that I live only in the moment suspended between being and doing.

When doing, I need to be. When being, I need to do.

On the one hand the quiet, the magic that allows me to observe at the same time the moment and eternity, which allows me to know who I am, and where I am going.

On the other hand, the necessary action, which makes me terribly mortal, futile and temporary.

It’s exactly the instant suspended between being and doing what I need. I’d like my whole existence to be made of the matter of those moments.

Without, I’m just nothing.