Monday, March 21, 2011
So the ancient question beckons: What is the meaning of life? What if there was no meaning? What if it didn’t exist? What if the meaning of life is the process of life itself? If that were the case, then maybe the proper way to approach the age-old query is to break down the process. Of course with my limited knowledge, what is divulged can be only theory. I guess theory wouldn’t even be the right word, maybe a shot in the fucking dark.
1) Knowledge: Life is about the process of acquiring morsels of truth. Bits and pieces of truth gained from the attainment of knowledge. Now this knowledge is not to be hoarded through books or through lecture. It does not come from a degree or from a position atop the social hierarchy. Instead, this is knowledge cultivated from the experiences of living. Life as we know it, is but a series of moments, strung together over time that envelopes us in a vast labyrinth known as experience. This experience is what allows us to judge what is truth and what is not. It is the barometer, which influences all future decisions. Like the cliché states: he, who knows not history, is destined to repeat it. However, the most important aspect is to realize that the smartest man in the room knows, that he knows nothing.
2) Joy: Bliss. Pure unadulterated happiness is another facet of life that cannot be underestimated. A kid chomping on an ice cream cone, their two front teeth missing, while a smile stretches across their face wider than the breadth of the Grand Canyon. It is what allows us to understand the meaning of misery, as misery is to joy as light is to dark. Without one, there can be no appreciation of the other. Of course, happiness is fleeting, but the ability to measure oneself, to sit down and appreciate the very moment of being happy, is a truly remarkable experience that should never be bastardized. By this, I mean, we cannot allow outside forces dictate to us what it is that makes us happy. Happiness is not found in a brand new Bentley coupe, and it is not found within the white sandy resorts of a place that most of us will never have the monetary means to get to. Instead, happiness is the small things. It’s the warmth of a hug from your grandmother or even a perfect stranger, as long as they have showered and they don’t seem too creepy (the stranger, not your grandmother). It’s the first day of summer, when the day is at its longest, and you know that you have your plan set and you are not going to waste a minute of it doing what you don’t want to. Joy in its purest form comes from within; it is not manipulated nor bestowed by or from others.
3) Love: Now many may say: Well isn’t Love just a facet of Joy? Not necessarily. Love can be a painful son of a bitch. Love can be a thankless endeavor chased by the lonely, or ignored by the heavyhearted. Yet, love is as much a part of humanity as is breathing. It is what makes the most mundane of conversations, the best night we ever had. Or the warmth that is felt when she smiles at you and says she’ll be right back. Love is an expansive word. Warped by the commercialism and false hope of the media, it is not a physical item that can be purchased at the drug store. A card stamped with Hallmark cannot even begin to fathom its depth, for it is the strongest part of our soul and yet the least pliable. It cannot be faked and it will not be bargained with. It is an emotion vested in all of us that some never get to measure, and that others tap into all so well.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Monday, January 10, 2011
What is beauty? The dictionary definition is: the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations, a meaningful design or pattern. By that rationale, beauty is a set object, a sensory perception that is inspired by that which surrounds us. However, beauty is different to each person. What appears to inspire a positive reaction in one person may not instill the same thing in another. The definition may hold true, but no matter how depressing the cliché, beauty is most definitely in the eye of the beholder. Whether it be watching your child take their first step, speak their first word, or break their first inanimate object, what may come off as annoying or spoiled to the outside observer, may be a cherished moment in the eyes of the parent. So what is beauty? How can it be defined as one to all people? How can the same instance be one and the same to all? It can’t. It never could be. What defines us as a person is not necessarily based on what we do, for perception is as much of a factor as any action we partake in. Beauty is the sun setting over the ocean. The golden ripples on the water slowly fading in and out as the sun descends over the western horizon. Beauty is your 5-year old niece telling you to not be so angry on your worst of days. It is the soft sigh your lady gives you in the earliest of mornings as she turns over and her short breath slowly catches the side of your neck, while still in the throws of a satisfying sleep. It’s Keith Richards’s guitar on Gimme Shelter. It is the utter exhaustion yet elation your dog feels after it’s just sprinted two miles with you on a deserted trail. The sound of your mother’s voice on your sickest of days as a child, telling you that she’s made you something to eat. Beauty is the bride on her wedding day. Her hair perfectly formed, her dress perfectly adorned and a radiance that forces one to never look away. Beauty is the voice of your best friend cracking as he gives his wedding vows to the love of his life. It’s the taste of grape lip-gloss on her lips as you lay the softest of kisses on her. It’s the smoky yet sustained voice of Nina Simone, wailing that black is the color of her true love’s hair. Beauty is none of these things and it is all of these things. It has no definition and it has no timeframe. It is timeless, and it is without comparison. Beauty is that which we cannot get enough of and it is that which we rarely get to experience even though it exists around us on every waking second of every day. It is the roses that we were told to stop and smell. It’s the written word. 26 letters rearranged to create the most poignant of dialogue or the cheesiest of blog entries. It is all these things and more. It’s all we can hope for and all that we can never find.