So. Oprah does this thing in her magazine (or used to; I haven’t picked up one of her magazines for a donkey’s age) called “What I know for sure.”
I’m adding in the “Now” part in this posting of mine, ‘cos I think these times we’re living in are pretty extraordinary.
I expect you’ve noticed.
Some of us have been pretty sure for a while that our species is in its terminal phase. On its last legs.
Maybe more of us are getting this lately? I suspect so.
I do know I personally surrendered to our species dying quite a long while back now – & also that, as the downward trajectory speeds up, I am struggling to handle it well.
Some days I don’t handle it too well at all! 🙁
But one of the things I do know really well – down to my bones, I guess – is that it’s best – essential, actually – to deal with life
So that’s what I keep trying to do my best to do. One. Day. At. A. Time.
Here are a few other things I know for sure:
The phrase “balancing act” implies the difficult challenge inherent in maintaining one’s … well, balancing act. Some days are gonna be better days. Easier days. To stay on this side of the loony bin, I mean. Picture a person up on a high wire. Think of the concentration required to not go crashing off! And, hey, this life really is one heck of a balancing act. More so than ever, maybe.
Speaking of loony bins, I think the words “sane” & “crazy” are pretty relative terms.
“What sane person could live in this world and not be crazy?” – Ursula K. LeGuin
“It is not a sign of good health to be well adjusted to a sick society.” – J. Krishnamurti
“It is good to realize that falling apart is not such a bad thing. Indeed, it is as essential to evolutionary and psychological transformation as the cracking of outgrown shells.” – Joanna Macy in World as Lover, World as Self – Courage for Global Justice & Ecological Renewal
Centipede season (in my apartment) is over! For this calendar year, anyway, apparently. Now I’m sharing space with an occasional mouse visitor. S/he is smart! As of yet, traps with peanut butter are not working. [Oh dear. There have in fact been recent centipede sightings. Dang it all…]
Pretty sure I am going to go to my grave tired-tired-tired-tired-tired of all the lies/lying/liars/bullshit our lives are rife with. Argh! @(#*%_$)(&^_)$(&^)_#$(^&
“Lies are infinite in number, and the truth so small and singular.” – from The Lacuna, a fascinating novel by Barbara Kingsolver
“We tell lies when we are afraid … afraid of what we don’t know, afraid of what others will think, afraid of what will be found out about us. But every time we tell a lie, the thing that we fear grows stronger.” – Science-fiction author Tad Williams, quoted in Deep Truth – Igniting the Memory of Our Origin, History, Destiny, and Fate, by Gregg Braden
“The liar’s punishment is not in the least that he is not believed but that he cannot believe anyone else.” – George Bernard Shaw Irish dramatist & socialist (1856 - 1950)
Oh, & also fatally tired of ego. &, hmmm, okay, also greed & stupidity. Waste. Pollution. Hypocrisy.
& so bummed that we human beings are so easily duped! So easy to manipulate. Lambs to the slaughter. Fodder for the lies & hidden agendas of unscrupulous “leaders” and corporate raider/pillager/rapists. Suckers for all the advertisers / PR gimmicks / marketing ploys to which we are subject from Day 1. Argh. We swallow so damn much Kool-Aid…
And, convinced most of us are as insecure as the day is long. Yes. Even (maybe especially?) those among us who appear so self-assured. Most of us are not just like sheep (we are indeed like sheep!), we’re like ducks. On the surface? Swimming along. Underneath? Paddling like hell.
Full disclosure? The human race has disappointed me grievously. Sigh. So has the existence of so much lying, deception, manipulation, control freakism, selfishness, short-sightedness, idiocy, & even evil behaviour – among the members of our species.
“The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” – Albert Einstein
“You assist an evil system most effectively by obeying its orders and decrees.” – Mohandas Gandhi
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” – Edmund Burke
On the other hand, look at the list of things that have never disappointed me. Never!
Reading / Books / Learning
Finally, I do think we all need purpose in our lives. I think. I’m pretty sure. Even in the face of potentially maybe soon-to-arrive (i.e., near-term) extinction. Now is likely a pretty good time to stop & not just smell the roses, but ask ourselves, what does it make sense to do now? As most individual human beings with a terminal diagnosis will do. How shall I spend my days … now?
After all, life is, as they say, not a dress rehearsal.
&, as they also say, life is short.
p.s. One final thing here. I want to add in this tough little truth. I am heartbroken. I admit to this not in order to solicit anyone’s sympathy. I believe it is an entirely reasonable thing to be heartbroken, if not by circumstances in one’s personal life (& let’s face it, we likely all have those), then by the state of the world. We are allowed to feel heartbroken! Grief is a totally reasonable response to what we are seeing & hearing all around us. Grief is normal. Numbness? Not so much – though understandable in this very odd “culture” of ours. The Collections posting has quite a few items about grief, including some very helpful resources. I think people are talking about grief more & more, now. & that’s a good thing, in my view.
A Few Quotations
“I was stunned. I was, and I knew it, an ordinary person who long after he was grown up retained the childhood assumption that the people who largely control our lives are somehow better informed than, and have judgment superior to, the rest of us; that they are more intelligent. Not until Vietnam did I finally realize that some of the most important decisions of all time can be made by men knowing really no more than, and who are not more intelligent than, most of the rest of us. That it was even possible that my own opinions and judgment could be as good as and maybe better than a politician’s who made a decision of profound consequence. Some of that childhood awe and acceptance of authority remained, and while I was sitting … it seemed presumptuous that ordinary Simon Morley should question the judgment of this board. And of the men in Washington who agreed with it. Yet I knew I had to. And was going to.” (from the amazing novel 'Time and Again' by Jack Finney - published in 1970)
“For the great enemy of truth is very often not the lie – deliberate, contrived, and dishonest – but the myth – persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to the clichés of our forbears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.” – John F. Kennedy
“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.” – Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
** simply gobs more great (& inspiring) quotations in the Quotation Central section of the blog.