We cling to memories as if they define us…but they really don’t….what we do is what defines us….memories are ghost images of what’s scarcely behind us in time, according to the clock. What we do in the present is the only true indicator of the person, of who we are, because it is us here right now.
What if there just absolutely isn’t any definitive answer to our angst-ridden, age-old, search for Truth!? What if we just were not meant to know, or that there simply just isn’t any answer to that immortal question? THAT, I think is the closest we will ever get to an answer, IMHO (in my humble opinion). An answer to the true meaning of life, I mean, of course. Knowing the uncertainty of it sort of makes it certain, doesn’t it?
I think that we all share a reticence, a fundamental dislike towards “what is”, that which is, the very facts of our existence. I think many spend their entire lives in rebellion to this, what I see as, a basic truth, a basic fact–in fact THE basic fact of life.
“What is”, as I see it, is life as, or as we choose not, to see it. It is what is regardless of our upbringing or education or opinion. It simply is that which is–apart from what we think it might, could, or should be. When we rebel against this, or choose to simply ignore it, we end up miserable and unhappy. Could–dare it be–that most or perhaps all of our unhappiness in life stems from our refusal to SEE, to accept life just as it is?
Some people have difficulty conceiving of God, of believing in God. I know. Here is my conception of God, borrowed from Jung. He said, “God is the name by which I designate all things which cross my willful path violently and recklessly, all things which upset my subjective views, plans, and intentions and change the course of my life for better or worse”.
To which I will add, God is the magic in the moment, the spirit in the spritzer. Goosebumps when we know something extraordinarily unusual and unique is happening. The inner knowing in a situation that would otherwise behoove us. The bird that lands close to us during our most desperate moments. A sudden coincidence that we cannot explain. The colour of the blossoms that catch our eye, the scent of the flowers that suddenly overpower us. The fresh breath of a child as they grasp and hold us without expecting. The pictures just sent from my daughter of her son playing languidly in the beach sand. The lingering moment between sunset and darkness that stirs something within our souls. That is God, and then some. Perhaps those reading could add to this in the comments? That would be nice, and another gift from God.
Is that sort of God difficult to believe in? I don’t think so. To me, that’s just the type of God I need! The one I have been longing for.
And in the end, if you still have difficulty believing, ask God — as a pure act of faith, which just means having great hope really — to reveal himself/herself/itself to you in some special way… he will, if you are open to it and looking for it. The little bird in my description above was just one of many ways he did for me. I feed the birds from my patio. Each spring the Junco’s leave for cooler weather in the deep forests. Each fall they return. One morning, in particular desperation I asked God for a sign, anything, to know that he cared, that he was there. I walked into my living room and there flew down onto my patio the first Junco, returning from the summer. I gasped with unbelief, but soon grasped the belief, the sign. That is beyond coincidence. That’s GOD. If he did it for me, many times, he can for you. Just ask! What have you got to lose? Nothing.
P.S. When Jung was asked one day if he “believes” in God, he answered, “I don’t ‘believe’, I KNOW! (that God exists), because of his life-long experiences. At this stage of my life, I can say the same.
Vainglory hope is the answer. How many people have been puzzled by life, hoping desperately to find an answer to the meaning of it all, but die before they find it? I think most, like 99.9 percent.
“Oh, Tim’s full of doom and gloom tonight!”. I may be. But you know, I’m 57 now (2016). 7 years ago, were it not for modern medicine, I’d be 7 years dead. What’s that all mean? That “God” has some plan for me, which is why I’m still alive today? I doubt it. If he has, I haven’t figured it out yet, 7 years later. I’d like to hope that God had some sort of special plan for me, but you know, at this stage of life and living, I’ve learned a lot, and am ok being a bit skeptical now.
The fact is, as I said above, most people die before they figure life out, before they have their epiphany, before they have the “Damascas Road” experience. That’s just the way it is. Why? I dunno.
What can we make of these dismal statistics? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I don’t think we were created for “something special”, folks. Yes, we are each unique and wonderful human beings, but that’s as far as it goes, I think. Whatever we can give or do through to the end of today is itself a huge blessing. I know.
As the bible says, “For today we live and tomorrow we die”. Maybe that’s really it! If we can keep that in mind each day that we awaken, then we might make a difference in the lives of the people around us for that next day’s grace. If we don’t, well…no one will really notice. Oh well.
Today is all we have, folks. Tomorrow is a crap-shoot, a blessing if given…another day to make another day count for those around us. Let’s do at least that.
Yes, Bill has ALS. He tried to convince the doctor that his SEVEN falls in the past two years were due to his dog pulling him over during walks. Well, convincing, because Bill had a young “King Poodle” until a couple months ago. That dog almost pulled ME over the few times that I went up to visit Bill while he was still living close to me. “Would you mind taking Jimmy out for a walk?” he used to ask. Sure, I said. Damn dog tried to take ME for a walk until I smacked him on the snout and told him who was the boss.
Anyway, after the doctors appointment yesterday, which I was able to sit in on to listen, Bill acquiesced and agree that the doctor must be right (after the doctor said he was 99.9% certain that Bill has ALS, and added, “Oh by the way, Bill, I’m a ALS specialist”). Ok, I threw my two cents worth in there two to help Bill SEE the full picture.
Marvelous human nature! Bill still left the office optimistic, because the doc said he was referring him to an ALS clinic where they would be able to fix him up with a brace for his leg that would most assuredly help him to keep walking more steadily, for a while…
We went for lunch afterwards, as planned. Bill enjoyed the Dry Ribs and several of the beers.
Today, I got up early and hustled my arse around the building until about 3. Then I drove out to our swimming pool supply place and picked up all of the pool chemicals that we would need for the season and then stopped by the Red Cross Equipment supply place to pick up a 2 inch riser for Bills toilet seat that he really needed. I got to his place about 5, with a nice cold 6-pack of beer to celebrate the toilet-rising! It was a grand event.
Thank God for lifes simple blessings.
Today I take my elderly (compared to me; he’s 75) friend, Bill, for his follow-up appointment with the Neurologist. I took him to his first appointment about 3 weeks ago. Surprisingly, the doctor invited me in then to “hear the news”. It wasn’t good news. He said, “I don’t have good news for you, Bill. In fact it’s very bad news. You have ALS, Bill”. Bill looked confused. “I thought I had Sciatica?” was all he could sputter, surely, amidst his overwhelming clouds of emotion, with a very confused, searching type of look on his face Meanwhile, I’m trying to remember what the fuck ALS is. I should have asked the doctor. I thought Bill might know. I’d ask him when we leave. He didn’t know. We had to Google it, right there in the bloody elevator as we were going down….
The doc said he wanted to run some tests to rule out “other things” that can mask as ALS, like AIDS. AIDS??? Bill??? Hardly!!! Then the doc said he was going on vacation for 6 weeks and wouldn’t be able to see Bill again until June 7th. That’s today. Meanwhile, two days after that appointment, Bill’s back feels better. He calls to tell me “good news”. No back pain, to Bill, means he doesn’t really has ALS. It’s Sciatica afterall! “Oh that’s great, Bill”. “Ya,” he says with childish delight. Post-script: I can still hear his desperately hopeful voice saying that to me now as I re-read this. (Feb 2018).
I know all the “Stages of Grief“. I first learned all that when I was a cop, then later at university in the plethora of Psychology and Sociology courses I took. Bill classically launched into the “Denial” stage, and has stayed there for the last three weeks. At least he has been able to relax and have some hope for the last three weeks…
I think I’m more nervous this morning than Bill is. Assuming the doctor asks me in again, I know what I’m going to hear. The doctor didn’t say that Bill “might” have ALS a few weeks ago. He said, most definitively that he “HAS” ALS, but wanted to run those other tests, you know, to “rule out AIDS” and the like.
In the meantime I gotta say I’ve been struggling with my own mortality. ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) usually strikes people in their prime. Think Lou Gehrig or Stephen Hawking. Bill’s actually lucky to be getting it so late in life. Once diagnosed, you have a 2 to 5 year lifespan left. There is no cure and sweet all medications to help with it. Not that I’m assuming that I will get it, or God knows what else. There are a host of diseases running around out there. But hey, I’m 57 and very healthy these days–since my near-death experience at 50. But seeing all this happen with my friend Bill really isn’t easy, for Bill especially, of course. I’m ok. At 11:30 this morning Bill isn’t going to be ok. I’ll take him for lunch afterwards to his favourite spot. They serve good beer there too, which I’m sure he will be far more interested in today than the food…
I realized this morning that I’ve lived a very sheltered life. Nevermind that I saw a boat-load of life for the short time that I was in the police department. Since then, I really have been insulated. I don’t know why. Well, our society seems to be built that way. We hide all of the nasty stuff, in sanitoriums or hospitals or rest homes. And I think the police department may have shocked me so much that I unconsciously insulated myself and closed my eyes to many of life’s vagaries and vicissitudes. Surprisingly, I think, in some weird sense, I’ve been missing something important. Time to open my eyes again me thinks, look-see, and write about it, starting this morning with Bill.
Post-script: Bill died in November 2017.
It’s been MANY years since we’ve seen Jesus. Like over 2000 years.
I wonder why? If he was who he sort of claimed to be, then why hasn’t he shown himself in the meantime? Present day Christians need to believe it all on FAITH, after 2 thousand years!
If Jesus was who he seemed to suggest he was, based on the biblical accounts, then for sure he would have manifested in some tangible shape form or imagination since then, wouldn’t you think? Ok, one could argue that he has appeared in many non-tangible ways, such as through miraculous healings and so many new church building funds being successfully provided (!).
Christianity is a lifeless religion today. The founder was very charismatic. For sure. But, since he died, ok, ascended to heaven, there has been very little to support his cause. Paul of Taursus was the last one to supposedly see Jesus. Well, that was 2 thousand years ago as well!
Jesus died, was apparently risen and showed himself as such. That’s been hotly debated and challenged. Christians divided have started countless sects, countless denominations, even started many war’s between them and others. I don’t see LOVE in all that division. Where there is division, there is no love.
If Jesus really was who he thought that he was, one would assume he would have reappeared since then, and really given people a life-blooded reason to believe! But he hasn’t been able to reappear, leaving a lot of confusing Church doctrine asking people to continue to believe. Jesus was Jesus. Christianity is our interpretation of his life’s purpose.
That said, Jesus did preach a good word, about love and compassion. THAT is his enduring legacy. He was an amazing man, with an amazing message, promoting love and compassion. Nothing else. Just that, however, is HUGE.
Love, and compassion. Probably the most humanitarian and important virtues that our world needs to value, embrace and live.
A civil war is a war between peoples of the same place.
All of humanity is from the same place; Planet Earth.
That means we are killing OURSELVES. It’s just that simple.
That shouldn’t be right to any sensible, conscious, human being.
The problem is that things like religion and political ideology mess up the simplicity of the facts…and the slaughter continues.
WHY? Why do we kill ourselves? Ideology? Religion?
To kill another human being, regardless of the religion or ideology, is…there just has to be something very wrong with that, no? Thinking about it, I know and I can’t believe how many people on our planet today can easily, recklessly, justify killing with scarcely a thought–another one.of.you.and.me.
Don’t confuse the facts with ideology, religion or politics. At root, we all know down deep that killing others is just.plain.wrong.
Midsummer night, the birds alight….
Sunset’s now, I don’t know how, to express the thoughts yet so bright
The fields lay fallow but now aren’t shallow, they burst with life and little strife
Seedlings gone, now tall and strong, the sunflower leans and faces high
Cricket’s groan, upon their stones, frog’s all follow into the shallow
Bright moon waning, after such a showing
Too little that we’ll ever know
Not to matter, tomorrow is another day, that I say with crickets groaning, the frogs a croaking almost soaking in this and that and the other thing, another day for us to sing!