Sunday, June 7, 2009

We Live

'Q: Why are we here?
A: To know, love, and serve God in this lifetime and be happy with him in the next.'
--Baltimore Catechism ( memorized by thousands of Roman Catholic boys and girls in the mid-20th century)

'Life is what you make it. Always has been. Always will be.'
--Grandma Moses' saying

'A single life
Is such a short time
To right a wrong beginning.'
--handwritten poem on a scrap of paper found in a book of poetry given me by my daughter several years ago.
We live. 

I'd like to examine the time 'between the forceps and the stone', the time we spend on this earth. 
What is the point of life?
Is there a universal goal we strive for in the time we're given?
Why do I do the things I do? 

I'm having a lot of trouble getting started on this section. Too many trails to follow. Woods too rough and dark. Life. I don't know. We are born, we procreate, we eat other life, we get eaten. It's all a bit too much for me. I don't want to simplify and I don't want to overcomplicate--but I also don't want to miss the prize. 
I think what bothers me most about life is the eating of other life-forms. Watch a herd of cows or a solitary horse. Drop into a popular lunch spot any day of the week. We spend a lot of time and cash eating other life forms.
 Visit a butcher shop or fish store. By all means visit a slaughter house or spend 3 weeks on a commercial fishing trawler. One student brought in a DVD documentary about the US meat business. We had to turn it off before everyone started vomiting. Melville said it straight: "It's a cannibal universe". So, at the most basic level life is all about eating other life. But, let's climb that ladder a bit. 
What I like about life is the ability to experience--to witness the world. The good, the bad and the ugly. I think of myself as a witness. I see, touch, taste, hear, and smell all the things that I come in contact with. The more I witness the better my journey will be. Again, it's not about beautiful vs ugly, it's about the act of witnessing. Maybe because I can then shape the experience into a story to tell. I have some stories to tell.

1 comment:

  1. If we are all to be eaten, who is to feel sorrow or shame? Taste what you can, lest ye be tasted first, no? And if there be any could claim victory, wouldn't it then be Pyrrhic?