I spent most of the morning yesterday harassing the mad kitten for pictures. These are cheesy, bad but you can see the ringtail. She is semi-happy, when she is happier it curls into a tighter circle, when she is just busy if lays flat down her back and when she is pissed (as she was later) it looks like a normal cat tail.
Its funny how things seem to move in cycles that overlap from the various areas of life. I would say that I am spending more time alone these days but that is not true. I am around more people and yet I am spending more time in solitude. Sort of a slow gathering – a gathering of contentment and purpose. And, I think I should add…willingness.
One of the things I forgot to mention in yesterday’s post is I was also able to clearly distill what my plans are for the coming year. What was interesting to me was to see how they intertwined, each thing feeding from and through the other.
Then I had to leave my shiny nest (the aluminum transfer barrier is almost done) and go out and about in the world.
The first thing I ran into, literally, at the end of the driveway, was a young child, possibly around 10 or 11 and his crowd of friends, fresh off the school bus (which was still discharging students at the corner) who pulled a 9mm handgun out of his book bag and was laughing and waving it around, popping out the magazine and having a grand time.
The older (or at least bigger child) saw my look and immediate freeze and he said “don’t worry, its just a bb gun.”
At school, in the street, with a group of kids in the middle of the day waving it around and laughing and there was no orange markings on this weapon.
Then I saw the news on the TV in one of the places I had to wait and they were talking about California’s push to get that execution done before the drug required expired. How, in response to the Federal Judges demand that they overhaul the system of execution they had built an $80 million dollar new death facility. And now, I guess there is a shortage of the one drug needed, made by Hospira, so states with the death penalty are pushing through appeals to get rid of them so they can execute prisoners before their does time out. Hospira, by the way, has been vocal about their not approving the use of their drug for executions. But how do they go about denying its use? And if they can, what other pandora’s box does that open in denying use of medications for purposes based on belief?
So I came home and logged on line to do some work. I saw a friend’s status update wondering about if anyone else ever felt like, in what they did, that there was a lack of it meaning anything.
And I thought.
At bedtime, I read the news on my phone. Local news, all in horror at a recent shooting in Boston that claimed the lives of several people including a toddler that they suspect was a gang related execution. And the Mayor stood at the press-conference and said “We will not allow this city to become your playground.”
Soren Kierkegaard wrote a book called “The Sickness Unto Death” in which he describes man’s greatest despair as a realization that his life may lack meaning and that for all his efforts he cannot but fail to fulfill his potential. Other writers, psychologists and philosophers have written on that subject as well.
But for Kierkegaard this despair, this realization of the lack of surety of meaning or of completion, is not something to be overcome. But, like Nietzche’s abyss, to be understood and accepted as a part of one’s life and used to fuel the effort of one’s life towards discovering a meaning that is outside of oneself.
Love is not complete in our discovery of our ability to love ourselves, but in our actuation of the ability to love outside of ourselves without compromising or sacrificing our own lives. Within that process of love comes the realization that we may not be loved in return and we may not love perfectly, yet this, rather than making us closed off, opens us even more to the willingness, choice and action of seeking to love what is beyond our lives.
That feeling of meaninglessness is a gift. It is a rare glimpse into that you believe and what is important to you for it is only for what you truly love, truly have faith in that you would risk living without the security of knowing that you are right.
In our day and age, in this country particularly, we seek security. We want to know that we are right, and everything that exists outside of our rules of security we demean. We refer to other peoples lives and troubles as “playgrounds,” a less than subtle message that their life and death is not important to the whole of the community. We spend $80 million dollars on a facility that is geared towards killing possibly 4 or 5 people in the next 10 years while an entire states population starves and is starved of education, jobs, worth and aide. We turn a blind eye to a child with a near-to-real-gun because it is in a “better neighborhood” and to do something about it would cause a great disruptive fuss.
Alan Watts said that there is only one thing that you need to understand to begin to know the great mystery of life, and that is that everything has an inside has an outside as well, and although they may be different, they are joined together.
Our inside moments when we can touch our fear of darkness, meaninglessness, loss or grief these are things that are echoed outside as well, and from outside they connect to the insides of others. Rather then tell people that “it will be alright” maybe we should ask them “what does it feel like?” and “what do you choose do keep doing even with that risk and how can I help you?”
Ack….longer post the intended and now I have to run.
c.2010 Cassandra Tribe. All Rights Reserved.