Monday, February 22, 2010

Solving The Riddle

actingThe practice of life is the only thing that can make you feel "divine," "blessed," "evangelic."

Nietzsche
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See results of the weekend contest below.
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Let's face it friends, nobody knows what they're doing. There is no such thing as an authority on life. Just when you think you've got it figured out it changes, or some new unexpected element emerges out of the fog, or you stumble over a rock you didn't see. We are all total amateurs when it comes to life. Life is an unsolvable riddle, an eternal enigma, a jig saw puzzle with an infinite number of pieces. We spend our whole lives trying to discover what our whole lives are all about. How can one not have a sense of humor?

Here we are born with a certain set of abilities which we then have to learn to develop. As helpless infants we soon learn that screaming in rage over our own limitations usually brings results from the big people who serve us. The clever and wily child learns to turn that rage into a more coercive maneuver. Affections grow along with likes and dislikes and slowly a character is formed. After a few years of growing we realize that we are much wiser than the big people. Finally we step out into the world at large and discover that we are not as wise as we thought we were, so we start learning things about life. And that "coming of age" is a process that never ends even though we imagined, in our innocence, that one day it would.

What's really going on, undercover, is a process of coming to understand ourselves. We think. foolishly, that we know ourselves until a major change takes place, a tragedy (heaven forbid) or, better but just as challenging, we fall in love. Oops! What is that? Not something we were prepared for.

When I was leaning how to be an actor I, at first, thought I knew how to do it. But gradually I became aware of the fact that there was a lot I didn't know. My teacher/mentor told me to put in practice what I knew and the rest would eventually follow. He was right. By the time I retired from the stage 45 years later I realized I would never know it all. No one could.

I was a performing artist. That was my career. But whether you're an actor like me, a boxer like Mark, a painter like Ernie, a nurse like George, a philosopher like
Friedrich, a teacher, a wife and mother, a career is a metaphor for life. And as we make our pilgrimage and leave our echoes in the hallways of history what are we really doing but reaffirming life. We are practicing what we know, hoping for more wisdom to follow and putting it into practice when it does. And that's where the blessedness comes from.

I'm still learning, discovering, practicing, but in the long walk I guess the answer is one that I have come to many years later than other men have. It is the living of life every day, with conscious commitment, enthusiasm, expectation, appreciation, gratitude and a sense of humor. And that is the only answer to the riddle, as far as I know.

DB - The Vagabond

4 comments:

pacifica62 said...

As far as I know, too DB

Gerry said...

I agree with much of what you have said here, which I think makes us enough of an expert at living and understanding our own lives others might benefit if we make the effort to distill our history into an appealing enough document people will stay the course with us and read it. Which is what has made me a lover of memoirs or next best to those a biography where the author has carefully read and studied all documents available about that life. Books are what so relieve the tedium of this sometime limited life for me. So let us write the book and struggle through all the obstacles to get our histories out to somebody like us who cannot survive without a look see into many such worlds.

Big Mark 243 said...

It is the living of life every day, with conscious commitment, enthusiasm, expectation, appreciation, gratitude and a sense of humor. And that is the only answer to the riddle, as far as I know.


Wise words, DB.

I know that I would tell people if they really wanted to know me, then watch me box. In the ring you were watching my essence on display.

Sounds like you are coming out of the 'blahs'... good for you!!

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

My theory is that if you strive for relaxation and a simple life, you have a much better chance of achieving your dream. That is my story and I am absolutely sticking to it :o)