There is nothing like it. At least, that’s how the usual advertisement goes. There’s nothing like marmite on toast. There’s nothing like the rain in Spain. There’s nothing better than…. Nothing like vanilla! No belief like…. And then, “How dare you touch my things? I’m absolutely furious!”
Absolutes dominate. They get launched in declarative phrases that are designed to swallow one whole. We are susceptible to their impetus, and are supposed to go shop, and to try on, and even to go to places we’ve never been before. After all, there’s nothing like a tequila sunrise. Nothing like morning coffee. Nothing like a hiding! Nothing like being shamed. Nothing like….
Yes, girding oneself against the grievous onslaught of those who would grab out of one’s purse becomes an exercise in discernment. (Huh? Ok. Watch how one spends one’s pennies!) It is not easy to determine that nothing is true. Well, absolutely true. Ok then, if concrete facts are irrefutably true, then what about the fact that nothing beats a fair election. Nothing? Midst the extremes, surely, is the happy hunting ground, whether in the grocery store, comparisons in any given fish pond, or even among the clouds of hope and possibility. Nothing like dreams! We want a slice of the pie, at least. The perseverance of hope persists. There’s nothing like it.
Absolutes tend to slide us toward the slippery slope of disillusionments, or elevate us toward the improbable. We’ve absolutely got to clean our house. Dust! Yet we’ve reached the moon, and mars. We’ve come out of caves. We’ve turned our stones into tools, our clay into ores, our minerals into mechanization, and our ethers into chemical additives. We’ve conquered the world. We’ve increased our population density, exponentially, (despite the absolute fact that history has given us plagues and pestilence and wars.) And we absolutely know what we know, and even know what we don’t know. Absolutely. Well, absolutely partially, then, ok?
“But what boils my blood,” a friend used to say, “is that nothing gets accomplished by the incumbent party. They sit on their backsides and make absolutely no sense at all. And every bit of our tax money is wasted. And all of their time is wasted. And not one of us benefits. It all is a bloody shame!” Boiled blood, indeed. Nothing like sharing one’s irritation. Nothing like being annoyed. Nothing like reacting. Nothing like feeling so much of life is a waste of time.
Thing is, in-between all of the crisis of life there are the ‘perfectly’ average mundane moments of washing dishes, making the bed, doing the laundry, and catching up with correspondence. Or are they meant to be mundane? If everything is indeed to be made interesting (rather than something making things interesting for us) then so much as a soap bubble, an ant, a misspelt word, a stray thought, or a resurfaced feeling can be of interest, absolutely! (Well, alright then, 'somewhat'.) And if we are to live in a state of grace and gratitude, or even an awareness of enlightenment (as a journey rather than a product) then we are absolutely to find a sense of completeness within the moments, breath for breath, without waiting for some exterior provocation to prick us into sensibility. We are entirely responsible for ourselves, ultimately. Response needs dictate to a reaction, and reaction needs inform a response. After all, there is nothing like unbridled passion, whether in pleasure, or in pain. And anger is indeed a product of personal pain, or why take on so?
Absolute anger and absolute pleasure, as polar opposites, are impermanent at best. Life is a Ferris wheel, a roller coaster, or maybe even the tunnel of horrors? But there is life, or......? So we need be ok with the ride, exercising choice wherever we can, accepting the state of things otherwise, and having the proverbial knowledge to go the distance. Nothing like it, for each of us. Unique, to each of us. And yet the same, for all of us. Breath for breath.
Absolutely angry at something? Yes, but in actuality, just for a little while. So too, one notes, for pleasure. La petite mort. It all, comparatively, is just momentary, for each of us. Nothing like it!