Gouache on paper, 2002

Why would men so mismanage their lives? Greed, he thought, was what ruined so many. Greed–that desire to crowd into a moment all the enjoyment it would hold, to squeeze from the hour all the emotion it would yield.

– Paz Marquez-Benitez, Dead Stars

How guilty are we of this? Of savoring every moment, milking it for all it’s got. How could such an attempt be so bad? I’ve never thought of it as greed before… it was, for me, part of being Present, of taking in what was to be taken, of letting up and letting what’s before us engulf us and do its thing–whether it’s to pass through or permeate our insides. But could there really be such a thing as stepping over the line, as taking too much from an encounter, a kodak moment, a memory?

Is that what it means to restrain, and beautifully so?