Ephemeral bliss

It would hardly instil alarm to observe that the bliss of perfection is short-lived (assuming naturally that one has even had the occasion to savour the nectar). Whether one is talking about a superlative meal or a scintillating relationship, a marvellous voyage or a sparkling new acquisition, just about anything we do – no matter how ecstatic – is destined to wane. This is not a dreadful thing. I mean the whole idea of perfection – at least in the kerfuffle of daily human flurry – is all wrapped up in novelty which by definition has a limited shelf life. And further I reckon that even if the initial manifestation were to continue uninterrupted its enchantment and pungency would presently slump, exhausted by time if nothing else. Yet discounting gratification however fleeting runs against the grain. It would indeed be a hard-edged philosophy that dismisses lotus-eating as futile because of its predictable sequel.

So we never stop trying to capture or revisit moments of rapture. And a good thing it is!  Why not greet the world’s pleasures and treasures with the same gusto we welcome the new day! Besides any right-minded bon vivant will acknowledge we’re in for foul weather from time to time.  But all the philosophical arguments aside, the serendipity of life is entirely unmanageable and we can never predict the change of fortune from one moment to the next. Carpe diem! If things should turn sour, what matters instead is that we do what must be done to address the reality whatever the outcome. Fierceness in the face of adversity!

I did that very thing today, starting at 4:45 am this morning. Admittedly I had had a restless night contemplating my early morning mission cajoled by a weekend of spiralling anxiety. But I nonetheless set to with a spring in my step.  By 5:40 am  – buoyed by unstoppable doggedness – I was out of the apartment and on the road, headed for my scheduled destination – the car dealership. Late last week I had unearthed a minor issue with a bit of technology, an “App” which the manufacturer touted as “a viewpoint that considers the entire life of the owner, treating your customer experience as a 24/7 relationship that starts – rather than ends – with your vehicle purchase“.  Weighty words! And while I concede that the rhetoric is mere puffery, I attach enough substance to the bravado to insist that the App works.  Which it did not.  Hence the assignment.  It is the slippery slope of accommodation which erodes the razor-sharp distinction between passable and peerless. As long as I’m paying for it I intend to get value, no matter how trifling the product. More to the point (and not wanting to sound niggardly) mediocrity is galling.

The conjunction of urgency in the resolution of this particular irritant is my singular contribution. I have no patience.  None.  If a problem exists – and if a recognizable answer is within reach – then anything and everything separating the two is inconvenient. I won’t pretend to rationalize the theory with hackneyed adages redolent of the early bird and the worm.  Quite simply the necessity arises from the strategy that there is no time like the present.  Action is axiomatic.

Once the journey is undertaken, relief is at least in sight. And while I won’t shy from an assessment of a duty I never interfere in its performance, the clearest example of which is the capitulation of matters medical to one’s physician. I neither diagnose the defect nor prescribe the remedy. Accordingly it was the conclusion of my participation in the process this morning cheerfully to abandon the vehicle in the hands of the very learned and capable members of the service department and their cohorts.  I immediately thereafter redirected myself in a rental vehicle to the golf club for breakfast. Parenthetically I might add that whenever I have a rental vehicle I am astounded how well it performs in contrast to my expectations – happily though never so great as to inspire a seed of doubt about my own vehicle; it is a comparative analysis only.

Because I had been up so early this morning, and having relieved myself of the wasting obsession of my petty problems, after breakfast in the club house I sat upon the outdoor patio overlooking the fairways, dozing in the shifting sunlight.

Though I had hoped for an earlier report from the service department upon their progress, nothing transpired until after I left the golf club. Because I had endured a not dissimilar concern last year with another vehicle involving a parallel bit of technology (the fix of which was annoyingly protracted over a month) I harboured continuing disquietude about this problem. What little I know of the automotive manufacturing industry is that the primary providers contract scores of independent suppliers many of whom likely overlap. It did of course disturb me to imagine that I was the only feature common to the two otherwise unrelated events. Perhaps because I am so anxious to embrace technology on every level – and as a result I have purchased many varied devices – not infrequently I have withstood similar hitches of technology.

If one were to shrink in the face of these inevitably recurring problems there would be a corresponding lack of gratification. I am therefore content with the ephemeral bliss of life’s exploits. Thankfully I was able to bounce back readily from this latest trauma. The device was at last repaired. Unlike the tale last year, the embedded modem did not need to be replaced; instead it was apparently a matter of reboot only (that stock remedy for all computer dilemmas). Since the correction of the defect, I have twice re-visited the App to confirm it is working properly.  Frankly it isn’t a feature of especial utility but its correction restores the integrity of the automobile.

Adopting an entirely dismissive attitude to the ineludible doubt of life’s travails is an exercise of pure logic and for that reason alone is not completely persuasive. More often than not the paramountcy of rationality is trumped and effectively side-lined by emotion or instinct. But it makes just as much sense to avoid eating if one argues that hunger will ultimately ensue. Ours is an uncertain voyage punctuated at times by hardship and elevated at others by incomparable delight. I know of no one who has escaped the impermanence of euphoria. But its transience has never stopped me from embracing it when I can. Nor will I compromise quality for the sake of either economy or capitulation. Unqualified bliss is within our reach, albeit ephemeral.