Live infinitely, in the minutes…

Lessons from the cows of Lahore

Over the past few weeks, it seems like I’ve been experiencing a number of important life reminders. Perhaps this means life is trying to teach me something. Or more likely it means I’m a bad student and didn’t learn the lesson properly the first time…

So that I’m less likely to forget this time around — and so I can share some cycling pics— I wanted to write a few of them here.

The other day I was riding on one of my usual loops and rode past a rather unusual sight: a cow sleeping rather awkwardly in the middle of 2–3 men. This was unusual because I could only really see the cows head and she looked quite uncomfortable. And also unusual that she would be sleeping in the middle of so much activity… Unusual until I realized that she was not sleeping, but had just had her neck cut open.

After recovering from slaughterhouse images that turned me into a chicken / veg-only eater five years ago, about 30 minutes later I came across a nearly reciprocal scene: a serene river with 10 or 11 cow heads bobbing up and down as they swam nearly completely submerged with what seemed to be — in that moment — not a single care in the world.

It struck me as a possible metaphor for life: that somehow our world can be both finite and infinite at almost the same time. That over the years we are all on a path leading to certain death, but that despite this inevitable demise, it’s possible that we can find some sort of infinity even in the simple minutes throughout the day.

A few weeks later, there was a ride with Critical Mass Lahore to a mosque I had never been to. The problem was — and there’s always at least one problem — that the ride started later than I prefer to ride. So I was just going to stop by / say hi to the CML crew at the end of my normal ride. Except that for some reason I ended up joining them for the ride, and was completely astonished by the mosque.

The reminder for me was that life can indeed be astonishingly infinite in the minutes. But that sometimes (many times?) you have to be willing to be astonished by life in order to live in this infinity.

View from the rooftop of Maryam Zamani mosque, overlooking the backside of the Lahore Fort
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