Invoking the Full Meaning of Life   6 comments

I’m Just A Traveler In Other People’s Reality — Image by a Fellow Higher On The Trail

Invoking the Full Meaning of Life

How best to express sharing new life

when each moment deserves its face.

What seems apropos for the moment,

when the next moment fosters a unique experience.

Is it in a number?

The number of days?

The number of thoughts?

The number of heartbeats?

The number of turns?

The number of prayers?

. . . you can count the ways,

only to still not know life’s score.

Is it in a word?

Loving?

Caring?

Sharing?

Giving?

Sheltering?

Words to communicate thoughts and feelings

when manifested in knowledge and experience.

Or is it in art?

Transforming thought,

expressing feeling,

experiencing emotions and

the desire to evoke life,

even when distance 

appears to separate a lifelong bond.

I wrote this in the 1990s. Since then, retirement and moved 1,000 miles from where we had spent 25 years, putting distance between bonds. In the twelve years since moving, we have watched the bonds drift away, causing me to question the desire to evoke life, even when distance can’t separate a lifelong bond. 

We moved to the Sonoran desert with the illusion that friends and family would be beating a path to our new home in the desert southwest — not such luck. So we try staying in touch through social media, often questioning whether the bonds were ever real — confirming that we remain tourists in other people’s reality.

 I once read a posting by blogger Old Jules, “These damned ego-warts.” 

Old Jules was a 70-year-old hermit, living with three cats somewhere in the Texas Hill Country and writing a blog I enjoyed reading from time to time. Old Jules, who passed away April 21, 2020 at 74, had concluded that he has spent over a third of his life “being insignificant in the lives of others.” 

In 1992, after 25 years of marriage and a career of 20 years, he began a new career and life in Santa Fe. 

All secure in the knowledge the extended family and friends remaining behind were part of my life in which I’d been and remained important.”

Over time he concluded it was all an illusion. 

“Kids, young adult nephews, and nieces I’d coddled and bounced on my knee pealed out of my life-like layers of an onion. Most I never heard from again.”

He began to realize that he was merely tolerated, “. . . a piece of furniture in their lives.” 

Over time he rebuilt his life with a more potent dose of skepticism concerning his worth and place in the lives of others, which resulted in his becoming a hermit. 

“I no longer assume I’m important in the lives of other human beings and get my satisfaction in knowing I’m at least relevant to the cats. 

Because cats, though sometimes dishonest, aren’t capable of the depth and duration of dishonesty humans indulge regularly.”

Old Jules had come to believe “. . . that life is entirely too important and too short to be wasted in insignificance.”

His new awareness of life is now in teaspoon measurements, “. . . measured in contracts with cats not equipped to lie. A determination in the direction of significance measured in teaspoons of reality, 

as opposed to 55-gallon drums of dishonesty and self-delusion.”

“Teaspoons, I find, don’t spill away as much life in the discovery 

when they’re found to be just another ego-wart of pride and self-importance.”

Bonds, illusion or not, have difficulty being when the moments are separated by time and distance, becoming gleams of light, for an instant, in the long night.

I understand where Old Jules was coming from and feel his disillusionment. There is, however, a binding force that comes from a homesick longing to be whole, to have completion, as Plato described in the myth of the human halves passionately striving towards one. Like all mythical totalities, humans are subject to the triple dramaturgical rhythm of primal completeness, separation catastrophe, and restoration. The most significant attraction effect occurs between the second and third acts of life’s drama, which is where I find myself today — maybe this is also where Old Jules is. I am learning to understand myself from a new divide, one half experienced, the other inexperienced — in such a way that I’m learning to understand myself in new ways. 

But then, there are the darn cats!

Kika, what do you think?

Kika (She passed away December 10, 2011.)

6 responses to “Invoking the Full Meaning of Life

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  1. Very thought evoking read. Mary

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: 2022.08.23: becoming – Longing For Water

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