April 2, 2024: A Very Partial Story of an Old Man in the Woods in the Midst of Life’s Transient Things

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Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.  Mark Twain.

He had spent decades in a semi-desert home, planting and tending and caring for things that would not otherwise begin or be there. It was a Sisyphean task, gladly and deliberately undertaken. It was, is, and will remain for centuries yet, a beautiful area, though pock-marked by the recklessness of a feckless minority.  He raised a family there. He had a career involving rooted beings, another involving people. He had many sacred, intimate moments with loves that might be, but did not become so—yet another Sisyphean endeavor as it turned out, gladly and deliberately undertaken, even if became clear there was not enough goodness-of-fit.

Like an old-desert prospector when no gold is left, he finally realized his sojourn was at an end.  He left the property, the area, the state, another try at intimacy, and headed into the unknown, looking for the place he would spend the remainder of his life.

And he has become an old man in the woods, his now adult children and now adult stepchild and his family, still very much in the old man’s life and he in theirs, though there are pock-marks in that arena as well. And grace always there, has come back into his view, despite the pitfalls.  He is alone, yet not.  He is incredibly filled with sorrow, yet also joy. The doors of intimacy closed, yet a crack somehow remains.  He is both relevant and irrelevant; embraced by some who see some bit of wisdom in the old man, dismissed by some with singular data points to decide a category,

A walk on the transient way can be very disconcerting—so many tributaries call out, so many ways to lose one’s heading.  He has done that, and yet not.  Somehow renewed, he is back dancing with life and death, smiling until it hurts.  He is aware of just how lucky he is—so many labor under so much weight, foisted on them by a few who feel entitled to dispense with others and take whatever they want. And yes, like so many, he has had to be careful what he bought into, to just how much he believed what the few self-anointed were selling. No matter how much joy one may personally feel, there is a hole in the soul for those who do not have much joy.  We could stop it, he thinks, in a near heartbeat. It could have been stopped by the many when one was on the cross.

He wonders about fictions and facts and the many attempts by himself and others at a kind of “suicide by emotional and cognitive denigration.”  The “Self” itself many be a fiction, much the same as the criteria for self-worth—are we not born with a worth that is not a fiction, even if it rapidly becomes a fiction?  If we are to have fictions, why do we choose so many that make it easy to denigrate along with so many that make it hard to live up to?  Joy might be a fiction, but why not use the “Lego Blocks” at our disposal to create wonders and safe places instead of quicksand and a place of eternal sorrow?  Born free, but determined not to be and to make the cost of freedom the blood of ourselves and others?  Fascinating.

It is a rainy Sunday, fire in the hearth, warmth and sorrow in his heart.  There is no better way for him to be near the end of his days or to live a long life—both troubled and full—and still be so full of life in such dire times. He knows there are many who would change his wonder and full life if they could, just to show him how wrong he is. Another unnecessary fiction by some who dine narrowly from such a broad menu.

Scribblings on Post-it Notes:

It is a false categorization to think one’s life is either worthy or not —and a major way we get tangled up.

Realize, again for the first time, how hard the Kosmos has been working to get our attention.

Waiting for Godot is like trying to understand something while tangling it all up.

It is both embarrassing and humbling to realize things are still working on behalf of our best interests when it was us tangling it all up to begin with.  Perhaps we tangle to see if we are worth saving?

And the feckless minority?  Sapiens still, the only species of the genus Homo still around.  There is no room to de-sapien-ize, to pretend some sapiens are children of a lesser god, though we can see those who tossed the stewardship of wisdom into the sewer and should not be followed there.  And we can also see there is much diversity in stature and standing, wealth, education, health, and wellbeing within the species Sapiens.  We are not all equal in those categories, but we all are sapiens. And there are many other sentience species on this planet besides us.

And so many shrug

And allow the thug,

Or just fail to see it.

Wounds from another day,

Still blocking the way.


A Metaphor Morning

Stewardship is not an obligation,

It is inherent.

Obligation is an agreement.

Be careful in the handshake.

Stewardship a recognition.

Be careful not to lose it.

The straight and narrow

A doorway,

Quick passage

Over life’s thresholds.

Vastness on each side.

Death is Dante’s Virgil,

Life and love, Dante’s Beatrice.

Death advises doorways,

Listen well.

Beatrice invites to linger,

Home, always there,

Found again.

The heart of things uncovered

Is the heart itself discovered.

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