Astronomers scanning our universe in search of places that could support life as we know it.
That phrase, life as we know it, always gives me a shudder.
Is the way we know it so great?
How about searching for life NOT as we know it!
Life, as we know it, not just a societal term, is a personal one.
Each of us, on our personal journey – not some collective one.
Each of us can, and I believe we should, do some personal discovery. More than taking a class or marching off to distant drum beats (probably a bad garage band rehearsing) as we seek more from life.
Where is peace?
Where do we find it?
Not this state of non-war, but personal internalized calm, within our self? Hemingway went to Ketchum, but did he find it there?
We live on this magnificent yet largely conflict-zoned planet of litigation, mitigation and fright, fight and flight, which seems to go back as far as times when early civilizations fought – city state vs. city state. King vs. King. Country against country. For land, power, greed. For freedom. Over every issue, large and small – sometimes it’s even about air, water and food supply. Mostly, we fight about other things.
I wonder if we’ve ever, in all history of our species, found that state of calm. As nations, as families, as individuals – do we ever get to Namaste?
At best, we pause for it.
We put things in order, take a break before we escae – to restore, revive, rejuvenate, re-something. Come out whole. I know this, been here before. I’ll be here again. I’ll look the same, but I won’t be the same.
I’m off to find Hemingway. Last I read, he went to Ketchum. I know, he died there at this own hand.
I believe, not sure how, he is still there.
I know it.
I’m on my way to find life as he knew it. Not to become like him, but to perhaps better appreciate and understand him, icon larger in death perhaps than he was in life. Incredible talent. Man, husband, father, grandfather, adventurer, writer – a man who wrote of fear and fearlessness as few ever have. He was of us, for us and about us all.
And, he was just flesh and bone, like all of us.
He put keystrokes to paper – just like this.
I might come away changed.
And if I do, will it be because of some experience I have there, or just from being there. I’ve not been there yet but I have this hopeful feeling I’ll be back again …
P.S.: Amazing day yesterday – left Calgary at 4AM, got to Missoula before 1PM. I drove through scenery similar to the Whaleback, that Highway 22 experience – only different , so solitary, very little traffic … some hills lightly dusted with snow. I liked the drive, the feel of this place, mountains of leave in this land of huntin’ an’ fishin’, and my awesome dinner last night at Ciao Mambo – enjoyed it as much if not more than I did when I was here in July.
written / published from Missoula, MT
morning walk: -4C/25F, morning light was just arriving – full moon, clear sky, stars bright – and quiet disturbed by a trout stream under the bridge, there are piles of leaves on every street always swept the way you pile snow in windrows to make car passage possible, night gives way to day …
I laughed when I read your article. Not because it was funny or not serious but the face that I recognize myself in reading it! I've always found it curious that I can make decisive actions in my professional life but balk a bit when it comes to decisions in my personal life. Mark, thanks again for the slap on the head and a clear reminder to focus, focus, focus!, RA, Calgary, AB