Life is a voyage that's homeward bound.
I got a chuckle out of a tech support fellow one night. After finishing the session he asked if there was anything else he could help me with. I said "No. Not unless you can tell me the real meaning of life." He laughed a good natured laugh and said he was sorry but he couldn't help me with that one.
I remember seeing a card on a woman's desk one day. It was circular and on it was printed "A Round Toit" as in I'll take care of that as soon as I get around to it. So someone gave her a round toit.
One of the implications in the woman's work situation was that she was going in circles, and sooner or later everything comes around. In fact isn't that the way all of our lives are? We live in constantly repeating cycles: the days of the week, each with their special duties, the months of the year, the seasons with their unique circumstances. Special occasions recur: holidays, birthdays, anniversaries.
To live in cycles means to be in orbit. Our circles are not aimless, they are all going around something. The moon circles the earth, the earth circles the sun and, who knows, maybe the sun is in orbit around a much larger force than we can see.
For most of my life I knew what I wanted, to get roles and play them. It didn't much matter who the characters were I was portraying or what the plays were about. I had honed my skill to the point where I could take on any type of character, from the silliest to the most heroic, from the grandest to the most villainous. What mattered was that I had a script in my hand and a contract in my pocket. That was enough for me. I was living my life in the arts and that was exactly where I wanted to be.
Then about 15 years ago I began to ask some important questions. I wasn't questioning what I did, even though I had to put up with decades of prejudice from people who didn't know or thought they knew what life in the theatre really was. And I wasn't questioning why I did it. I already knew why. The questions were much broader and taller than that. Inadequately put they were questions about what I was orbiting around. What gave me the authority to be on the stage? What gave me permission to be an actor? What allowed me to entertain people? What gave me the right to interpret the human race to itself?
I was searching for the light giving, life enhancing sun around which I was orbiting. I was asking for the answer tech support couldn't give me: the real meaning of life.
Now, after 15 years of asking and groping, I don't know if I am any closer to finding an answer or even if it is possible to. In the process I've learned some important facts: that life is unfinished business, that prescience is a valuable but uncertain practice, that our capabilities far outweigh our achievements and, that no matter how many times we live through the cycles of our lives change is constant and inevitable.
And I am on the cusp of understanding something else. There is a spirit that gives existence to our lives, that justifies human endeavor, that defines nature and gives impulse and impartation to the arts. A great cosmic energy cell around which we orbit that asks nothing more from us than to be understood and expressed. It is the inspiration for all beauty and honest achievement, on stage or otherwise, it is where we artists come from, our spiritual home, and, maybe, the answer to the real meaning of life.
DB - The Vagabond
(This is not a contest)
What was the most significant event that happened in 2010?
Only 7 responses so far. Winter is almost over. What's your answer?