Monday, September 20, 2010

Who Art Thou?

One of the reasons why it is so difficult to "know thyself" is because there are things about thyself you don't want to know.

Dana Bate - The Vagabond
Like everyone else who has ever lived I come far short of being an expert at fact facing about myself. Why should that be? After all I know more about myself than anyone else does. I live with myself 24 hours a day. I know where my aches and pains are. I know what my dreams are. I have records, both material and mental, of my failures and successes. I can wave the banner of my good habits and hide the dirty linen of my bad ones.

Like many people I am not satisfied with how I planned my life. I take life as it comes and sometimes what comes is not that good. "As the twig in bent so grows the tree" so the old saying puts it. Two things my mother said to me I distinctly remember. One was "You'll probably always have trouble with your teeth>" I don't know why she said that but her prescience was accurate. The other was "You'll end up being a lonely old man" Well guess what? I'm a lonely old man. But there are antidotes for that and the most important is that I haven't "ended up" yet.

I"ve read a lot of self-help books and I always joke that those books all start with chapter two: You can achieve whatever you want in life, blah, blah. But chapter one, which is newer included, says: You can figure out what you want in life.

Contentment may or may not be happiness, and if it isn't it's the next best thing. But if we aren't careful contentment can be akin to tolerance, putting up with things the way they are even though you might want them to be better.

"I'm always wanting something" said Robert E Lee. "The opposite of desire is death" wrote Tennessee Williams. The sky gives me sunshine, clouds, rain and snow flakes. What more do I want from it? The earth gives me food to eat, tress and flowers to please me and the aroma of newly cut grass. What more do I want from it? I do not want my face on a coin or a place in the Guinness Book. I don't look forward to being remembered or memorialized. So what is the something I want, the desire that keeps me alive? Is there anything that once I've accomplished I can say "There. It's done." Or is my life just one long, continuous process of discovering myself? And if it is are there really things I don't want to discover?

One thing I know is that I am not content with contentment. If I were I wouldn't be writing every day. I've been bent and so I grow. I accept the sun shine, the rain and the aromas of life. And all along the root filled trails of my vagabond journeys the questions remain Who am I? and Do I really want to know?

The curtain is coming down on Summer any minute. Have you made you entry yet? No? Well get cracking.
(This is not a contest.)

Who are the 2 (two) most important people alive today? Why?

Only 8 responses so far.

(I'm open to suggestions for an Autumn Question.)

Thank you.


pacifica62 said...

The difference in depth between a rut and a grave is closer than one might think. Being in a rut of contentment can seem like death to some people. We cheat ourselves of experiences in life because we feel too safe and comfortable in our little ruts. If, for some reason of discontent we manage to crawl out of our rut perhaps we would find more meaning in our life, find out who we really are and of what stuff we are made. That, however, involves risk.
If you ask the question "Who am I", then you have to be prepared to accept the answer and it might not be the one you are looking for.

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

You are a man, with a past and a future. The key is to figure out how to share.