the lost man chronicles
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itchin’ and sctachin’

Michel de Montaigne wrote over 400 years ago “Scratching is one of Nature’s sweetest gratifications…” Desire works much the same, for all we need do is but scratch satisfaction and our yearning does wane.

Of course, this is not an absolute rule, because as with the physiological, our pinings of love and lust pang less and less if we just balance prudence and all the lessons of experience with the vim of youth and the bliss of ignorance.

It is when we overdo one or the other that we face the scourge of our excesses. It is when we do not stop scratching that the itch becomes a prolonged, oozing obsession that impedes upon the sanguine relish of the rest of life.

Fortunately, most often most of us merely exceed well enough to remind us we have dug in a little too deeply. Discipline overpowers our somatic inclinations and so we suffer the subsequent sore and irritation for little less than a day after out inordinate indulgence.

And as with the making of muscle, hopefully we grow by our pains, and we learn not to entertain these existential inklings so intemperately the next time.

Oh, but just as might wanes with inactivity and complacency, so does the memory of both our hearts and minds, once it reaches beyond the vine of our last overmeasure.

Ultimately, our happiness is measured in the balance of these extremes. And this, hopefully, is the one rule we do remember when that itch taunts us again.

Happiness is having a scratch for every itch.
~ Ogden Nash

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