Archive for the ‘Meaning of life’ Tag

I Remain A Traveler In Other People’s Reality   14 comments

Kenne Self-protrate art blogSelf-portrait 

Invoking the Full Meaning of Life

How best to express sharing new life,
when each moment deserves its own face.

What seems apropos for the moment,
when the next moment fosters a new 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. Much has changed since then, retirement and moving 1,000 miles from where we had spent 25 years, putting distance between bonds. In the three years since moving, we have watched the bonds appear to drift away, causing me to question the desire to evoke life, even when distance can’t separate a lifelong bond. 

We had 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. 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.

The other day I read a posting by blogger, Old Jules, “These damned ego-warts.

Old Jules is a 70-year-old hermit, living with three cats somewhere in the Texas Hill Country and writing a blog I enjoy reading from time to time. Old Jules has 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 own 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 has 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.”

Kika_20120101_1163 blog II

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 from where Old Jules is coming 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 effect of attraction takes place between the second and third acts of life’s drama. This 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?

kenne

“Have you not done tormenting me with your accursed time!
It’s abominable! When! When!
One day,
is that not enough for you,
one day he went dumb,
one day I went blind,
one day we’ll go deaf,
one day we were born,
one day we shall die,
the same day,
the same second,
is that not enough for you?

They give birth astride of a grave,
the light gleams an instant,
then it’s night once more.”

— Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot

Seattle Lummi Island & Vancouver_Stacked Rocks_0150 II art II blogImages by kenne

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Making Meaning In A Meaningless World   5 comments

Image by kenne

THE BODY
hears the clock ticking,
having started
in a random selection.
Each day feeling and seeing
the passage of time,
locked in step
with the ticking clock,
living only in the moment.
There is no future,
no past,
only the present.
Change comes only
with each new moment,
to be captured
in a mental image.

THE MIND
uses mental images
to allow freedom
from a passive existence
of the moment,
to see the past
for use in
self-reflection,
imagining the future,
to create meaning,
a purpose
to act,
in a meaningless world.

THE ACT
provides meaning
to life’s events,
resulting from
moment-to-moment change,
the interplay of
gesture and response,
address and answer,
claim and counter-claim
by means of speech,
coming to terms
with the human existence,
providing a future
image of self
upon which
perfection is sought.

kenne

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