Thursday, April 21, 2011

Is That All There Is?

Oh, you know, I hate to use my PEW's insanity as a muse for essays, but I have to credit her downright nutty-ness for inspiring two bits this week. I present the following response to the similar thread as mentioned in yesterday's posting, with her response indicating how far she can take a simple request and simply run it up the flagpole. It's lucky I type fast. So, without further a-doo-doo, here's Swan Song, version 23948, in OhMy!-nor . . . gents? . . . . anna won anna too . . .

On Thu, Apr 21, 2011 at 6:59 AM, <> wrote:
Let's see you weren't Jewish and then you were and supposedly unitarian, you're no longer xxx and instead mostly xxxx, and now you're perfect in every, wow....the things you did are unforgivable and you pretend you didn't, which is I guess how you survive. I don't forget.

Dear _____;

You, or whoever gets to read all this sorry-ass stuff at some point, presumably in paperback, will notice how I manage to avoid dragging you through whatever my imaginary mud might be or even the actual  "things you did" that are "unforgivable." You know what those things are and I actually hate to have to accept the possibility that it tears at your mind that you weren't more careful or callous. But it doesn't matter, because that was long ago, a few incarnations back, in another life.

Had the spiral into insanity been broken, and I will point out that it was all in your hands as the alpha-mother, it would have worked out. I don't want credit for trying to do the right thing and I don't want an eternity of suffering for the wrong things, either. To take it a little further, your point of view, if I can be generous enough to call it that, is skewed by inappropriately rabid levels of ire so that it's not actually possible to either reconcile or to forgive. No one wins at such games, except for the short-term satisfaction of scoring a single tactical point. Emperors, kings, presidents, generals and diplomats all understand that hatred is ultimately destructive and counterproductive and not likely to reflect well on their respective office.

All major religions have reconciliation and forgiveness at the core of their systems. Though neither of us are religious, such practices are typically integrated into the secular world in the cycle of human relations. It is reasonable to expect that, after a time, the warfare must end and the healing begins. It's how we all manage to get along. Otherwise, I'm sure the Hatfields and McCoys would still be shooting at each other and clearly that's just no darn good.

I survive by trying to accept that things are as they are and that people are, for good or ill, how they are at this point in time, and that includes me. It helps to recognize that one is not the centre of the universe but only one fraction of roughly six billion people currently on this planet. This individual existence is only one of many generations who have gone before. Each of us and all of us will pass through the arc of time and sooner rather than later, our individual and collective experience will simply and finally fizzle out. No matter how much drama, real or perceived, may exist in one's life, the sun will still rise, and set, and rise again. And with the start of a new day brings the potential of a new beginning, a chance to try again, perhaps to win and maybe to lose, but in the end, to live.

There's a Peggy Lee song written by Lieber and Stoller that pretty much nails it for me. It's mostly spoken with the choruses sung, as if she's telling us a story with a certain palatable amount of wistfulness mixed with a dash of unhurried regret. Toward the end, she says and sings:

Then I fell in love, with the most wonderful boy in the world.
We would take long walks by the river or just sit for hours gazing into each other's eyes.
We were so very much in love.
Then one day, he went away. And I thought I'd die -- but I didn't.
And when I didn't I said to myself, "Is that all there is to love?"

Is that all there is, is that all there is
If that's all there is my friends, then let's keep dancing

I know what you must be saying to yourselves.
If that's the way she feels about it why doesn't she just end it all?
Oh, no. Not me. I'm in no hurry for that final disappointment.
For I know just as well as I'm standing here talking to you,
when that final moment comes and I'm breathing my last breath, I'll be saying to myself,

Is that all there is, is that all there is
If that's all there is my friends, then let's keep dancing

So, I keep dancing. After all, what else is there to do?


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