Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Time Keeps Going By

We’re less than a week into this brand new year but rather than yield to a temptation to rue and regret what was in 2015, perhaps we might mentally better prepare for what is coming and already started (assuming we believe ourselves to have some control over what is to come).

I've met those who see themselves as hostages of Cruel Fate or an Indifferent Deity as if we had been plopped down on this orb and abandoned to our own devices. I'm not sure I can articulate specifically or enumerate to any detail, but I respectfully disagree.

Yes, we are each our own Captains, lashed to the mast of the ship that is our life, alone in an ocean of souls, but it's a big ocean and we've each found ourselves here somehow and, at least for me, coincidence isn't really going to ever explain the how much less the why.

Thornton Wilder's The Bridge Of San Luis Rey is regarded as his personal contemplation on the value of his own life, speculating that there's a land of the living and a land of the dead and his belief (or hope) that the bridge between them is love.

To his own question, would his death matter to God (Wilder was a veteran of World War I, with carnage and brutality never seen in the history of our species, who became in spirit, if not in fact, part of The Lost Generation), he was willing to ask the complementary question: how do we make our lives have a meaning beyond our own lifetimes?

Not the cheeriest of questions to ponder while the old year's days crept slowly to their appointed end and we embrace the next with the same wild-eyed frenzy we did the last, and look at how that turned out. And if the question disquiets you, what of the answer? "Between the idea and the reality. Between the motion and the act, falls the Shadow."

In New England, and across the United States, we are surrounded by memorials in stone, from monuments to buildings, dedicated to the selfless sacrifice of all those who have preceded us--who have set the bar for the rest of us to clear, each in her and his own way.

Not all of us will become a general, but all of us can be generous. Not every one of us will be President, but each of us can be present when a helping hand is needed, be it next door, around the block or halfway across the globe.

We each have the power to save the world, at least, the small plot of it on which each of us stands. Where can we be this time next year if we strive to be great from here on out in this year? We have a (leap) year to work on the answer and make one another forget the question.

"The Space Between the bullets in our firefight is where I'll be hiding, waiting for you."
-bill kenny


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