Saturday, March 25, 2017

as winter wanes (slowly)


The beauty of our life is that, despite the danger and fragility and outright darkness that lie all around us, we are free. We are free to be something.

Anything can be chosen today; we can take ourselves down any path tomorrow. The day after we can choose another detour. We are free to live, free to die; free to be miserable, free to dance; free to fast, free to gorge.

We haul around an oasis of blood, bone, proteins, enzymes inside these carapaces we call our bodies. They aren't really even ours. They're like pets we wash, feed, exercise or let go. It's not even a luxury ride but a crude beast that happens to be required in order for us to happen.

We're each alone on this road, this place of moon and stars. We become. That's all. Exposed to novelty and chance and circumstance, not to mention our own sense of self and mindedness, we are our own perfect celebration. Unless subjugated or imprisoned we can do anything we want, but even under the most dire conditions we still have a choice.

We never know who will live or how long or whether it is ourself. We're born by lot and die when the time comes and that's a good thing. We don't have an expiration date or a guaranteed lifespan either and who would want that?

At the end we report back to the universe what we've seen.. a lake, a flower, rain, a shawl a mother made. There was a child, a lover, a friend. This is all we have or ever will have. We're free to hold on tight or free to let go. The moment belongs to us.

***

The painting, one of my favourites, is by Michael Sowa, a contemporary German artist whose work is always amazing.

This is a reprise of a post written in early 2009. 
Still works for me..

20 comments:

Tom said...

I wonder about this. I wonder whether the people who died or were injured outside the Houses of Parliament felt these freedoms. At least Germany felt free to display the Union Flag on the Brandenburg Gate. God bless them for that!

Halle said...

There seem to be many indications Tom, that we should indeed seize the day. Not having an expiration date available is indeed a gift Susan. Thank you so much for reprising this post.

susan said...

Dear Tom, I very much appreciate your visits and I'm very sorry that thoughts of mine written years ago made you feel the pain of a recent tragedy. If only every country in the West and Middle East that is sincere about confronting and defeating terrorism established an international coalition to coordinate their efforts. Imagine in such a scenario how different the world might be, and how much progress would be made when it came to dealing with an equal opportunities scourge that knows no borders when it comes to unleashing the slaughter of the innocents.

susan said...

I once read a story about a hermit monk who when he needed to relieve himself had to squeeze past a thorn bush. Every time he considered taking a few minutes to remove the thing he reminded himself that what was important was the meditation itself. Rather than seizing the thorn bush he seized his moments.
Thanks, Halle

Should Fish More said...

His work has always spoken to me also; it triggers memories of living in Germany a few years ago, walking the cobblestone streets at night, feeling the past brush by me, hearing boots marching on these same streets, seeing the promise of the future in young German faces.

Spring is tiptoeing in on little soft feet here, it might get up to 50 today, but my crocus and daffodils are at least a month away.

susan said...

The other good thing about Sowa's work is his subtlety; his skills are high and his humor sardonic.

Your spring sounds not unlike ours - no flowers until May (at least) and then they all bloom at once.

Ol'Buzzard said...

However it is a shame that some people follow the herd.
the Ol'Buzzard

susan said...

I know, OB, not many climb up high enough for a look.

Lindsay Byrnes said...

Hi Susan,
From yesteryears “Rainy day thoughts” as “winter wanes” I think nostalgically about all of the water passing under that bridge.
Best wishes

susan said...

Yes, Lindsay, we've been friends for a long time now and may we always remain so.
All the best

okjimm said...

I liked that. It was good. Reminds me that yesterday was just a short forever ago.

Sean Jeating said...

Gosh! Eight years have passed by since I read this for the first time? All the "things" that happened, since. ... Good to read those 'random thoughts' again. And how nice to see that rabbit walking in the winter rain, again. Not singing. Surviving. Like probably most of us keep going; just keep going. Mostly taking the freedom to blame inherent necessities whenever deciding to cowardly not doing what we would like to do.
Did I write "us" and "we", while speaking of myself would have done? :)
Alright. Most of my crocus has withered, the first daffodils and tulips are in full bloom, and on the meadow are carpets of horned violets and squills.
Soon there will a little boy be born.
Time to say good bye.
Gosh. Whereto has my taciturnity taken its freedom to vanish?

Lindsay Byrnes said...

Thanks Susan,
And to add my opinion to the eloquent discourse is to say it is indeed uplifting to view positively our relative freedom. Albeit, longer term is it not illusory. But we can indeed decide to make the most of things, but to take Tom’s point that casual freedom comes abruptly to a halt because of what is believed and desired in the willed actions of others. So life depends upon where you live and what happened as determined by what was going to happen. Are we not all, to some degree a product of our beliefs and desires? So there will always be diversity in any portrait we attempt to paint far beyond the poets verse. But it’s a topic that will always be debated amongst philosophers because we don’t have any clear cut answers.
Best wishes

susan said...

Yep. Hardly any time at all and I still think Divajood would have made a better president.

susan said...

This picture of Prince Esterhazy is one it turns out I've used more than twice - most definitely for the reasons you describe. Do you know the story? The prince who has travelled to the big city in search of a bride witnesses the fall of the Wall.
I envy you your early spring. Around here winter abides.
Ach! a little brother - what joy!
Gute nacht :)

susan said...

Hi Lindsay,
My eloquence, alas, is fated to be half-baked. How could it not be? While my moods are as ephemeral as cloudscapes depending upon the winds that shape them I find I admire Chuck Palaniuk's aphorisms as much as those of Thich Nhat Hanh.

This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time.
- Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

Because you are alive, everything is possible.
― Thich Nhat Hanh

All the best

Lindsay Byrnes said...

Hi Susan,
Given a clear sky an eclectic collector of eloquent aphorisms according to Hoyle ? B/wishes

susan said...

Undoubtedly, Lindsay, he was a rare one among us.

Things are the way they are because they were the way they were.
― Fred Hoyle

Gary said...

Love this piece.

susan said...

Thanks, Gary.