Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Acceptance is All

Things die. Ideas, hopes, dreams, aspirations, animals, people. Sad, yes. Also, natural. What is there that has outlasted its immaculate self, its best self, its prime self? Yes, there's restoration and preservation. Yes, there are monumental embodiments of mans' deference to existing. But eventually? Look on my works, time, and see the dusts of disrepair. We all die. Everything, eventually, is replaced. It’s there, or it isn’t.

Like the Canada Goose I saw stumble, and fall. Had it not been in the road, in front of a bus, other accidents might not have happened. But the unforeseen obstacle, right where a busy intersection had customary traffic plying away at the hustle of needing to be somewhere else, created a consternation of calamitous proportions. Tires screeched. Brakes squealed. Did fenders bend? And the goose, unable to move, seemed shocked into non-reaction, resigned to accepting its fate. But since my vehicle was not in its lane, I steered cautiously past, and was soon away (again).

We are affected by all that goes on. And we affect so much more than we normally might imagine. Our actions have an impact that creates the chaos of fragmentation, disintegration, and the redirection of an otherwise usual flow of things. But not all is negative. We may well fly like butterflies and sting like bees, but we might in our wake engender a great deal of positive energy; create a climate of loving actions. Because one brakes for the deer that unexpectedly crosses the road, might one also not be at that crossroad when the goose falls? Perhaps not be at that coincidental spot on the road when from between parked cars the five year old girl runs out to retrieve her errant ball!

Thing is, there is a difference in responsibility once one knows the possible consequences of one's actions. Whether an individual, a group, a populace, a city, a nation, or even a species, we humans know better! Yet we persist in overpopulating. We persist in plunder and pillage and even raping our natural resources. We persist in divisive and hateful polemics. We persist in war and terrorism and avenging the past. We persist in greed. We continue to use and abuse and want more and more. I do. Do you? It is deep in our nature not to be able to stay small and self contained and satisfied with seeking, beyond sustenance, inner peace. The answer appears always to lie out there, somewhere, away from where we are. So we venture out and change our geographical locations, our familial ties, our familiar ways, and we challenge (or build) walls, and cross borders, and assume a new citizenship (at least, I did), and generate with our being a whole host of consequences that affects the traffic and the flow and the lives of all those who each must make some slight recalibration in their very existence to accommodate the fact that you too are on the road. It's natural. But does it have to be a Carson-ian 'Silent Spring'?*Thing is, once you know that you affect others, you become yet more responsible for your actions!

Drunk drivers are an example. They show us how seriously maligned our sense of responsibility can be. So too for petty thieves. So too for each act that breaks ethical sensibilities. So too for the malcontent that no longer gives a damn about the noise he or she makes, or the bumping and bruising created by barging through another's psyche. We go quiet in the presence of hummingbirds. We teach children not to shriek with excitement in the presence of nature. We teach respect, accord, deference, gentleness, compassion, and love. Why is it that, generally, there are so very-very many who do not get that lesson? What happens to make people shoot and kill and harm and vilify and denounce and segregate and go to war? Is that what Lieutenant Cable cries when he sings "teach your children"?** Just where does history end but in the death of everything that exists, and the giving over to something else that in turn, too must die. Such is history. It alone, 'lives'. Acceptance is all, indeed, but in the meantime....  Take care!

* Carson, Rachel (1907-1964): Silent Spring.
** Rodgers and Hammerstein: South Pacific (the musical).

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