Friday, April 8, 2011

Walking 'Neath the Ever Unfurling and Darkening Sky

Every now and again it is helpful to take a moment to stop, take a deep breath and examine why it is you do what you do.  All of us need something to get us through our day-to-day.  Gibraltar be damned.  No man - or woman - is in fact an island. 

I know not if all of us are guilty of it - although regrettably I know I am - but it is likely more common than not that on occasion we all lose our sense of perspective.  Our sense of knowing the distinction between mere gossamer and items of substance gets knocked asunder.  Maybe the best for which we can hope is that our lapses of reason are merely momentary.  Then again, I think that perhaps the best we can hope is that when we regain our senses, all that we have worked hard for remains intact - that it has survived us.

There always has to be something more than just us that keeps us going.  I am not a religious man.  I do not subscribe to the notion of a higher power, which I find to be more palatable than signing on to the notion that there is a higher power and he is a vindictive, vicious prick who has for years wreaked havoc and rained misery down upon those I love with a lunatic's delight.  I find at least that saying the former aloud in polite company requires far less conversation and prompts significantly less hand-wringing than the latter.

For me, the "something" is not "the man upstairs" as Mom used to refer to him.  I was seven before I realized that there was not in fact a man living in the attic of our house on Canal Road.  The something is the amorphous, impossible to define thing that fuels me and is provided to me by those in it whose presence forms the bridge between simply being alive and living a full life.  Living is more than just inhaling and exhaling.  If all you are doing is gulping in air and expelling it thereafter, then you are nothing more than mechanical.  That simply cannot be all there is to you - or to your life. 

While I doubt (OK - "hope") that I am not the only bi-ped in the animal kingdom who loses sight of the distinction between that which is important and that which is not, I know that I have done so on too many occasions to count.  To date I have been fortunate in that the harm wrought by my lapses has been momentary.  I am not so dumb as to not recognize that the transient or temporary nature of the harm has far more to do with the strength and quality of those around me as opposed to anything I might bring to bear upon the situation.  I am not the bunch's brightest bulb but even I can recognize that fact....

...and for a life-long prisoner of self-inflicted blindness, recognition does not always come as easily as perhaps it should. 



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