On Progress

As I write this post it is the second of September. Yesterday the second school semester started. The last few days I have been working on an essay that might become two essays if I do not watch out. While writing I also had to confront myself with the next six months of school, projects and deadlines. In short I have to make significant progress.

The emphasis on everything I do in the coming six months and coming years is on “progress”. In the spirit of Basho, the great writer of haikus that is reason enough to give in to the ah-ness of “progress”. In case you are wondering why I refer to a haiku poet from the past, read haikus in silence while you recite them for yourself. Haikus sometimes act as subtle reminders of how we progress from impression to perception, time and time again.

Progress is like change. In philosophy it is stated that change is constant. From one moment to the other something has changed, be it of small or great effect. Progress is similar as you go from phase to phase, one step  at the time. Think of walking where in a continuous movement one foot touches the ground while the other foot lifts from the ground.

The measure of progress is something I always find fascinating. First you have to describe the transition from phase A to phase B. Then you confirm the achieved results and report them. After that you move on to the next phase and repeat the process of description, confirmation and reporting. When numerical data is involved you can find increases, decreases, growth, decline and all sorts of trends. How data is interpreted in the matter of making process requires scrutiny and a critical approach.

As you read this post, you progress from letter to letter, word to word and capital to full stop. Progressing perception and interpretation are natural processes that are so obvious that it is easy to overlook them. In the spirit of Basho I close with a haiku.

As fall begins soon

Sunlight and warmth become less

More clouds and more rain

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