Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Touching Lives

It is quite amazing how deeply and despairingly we can fall into a "depression" - such an ineloquent and unexpressive word for so profound mind altering feelings. A far more apt word would be "melancholy" there is something graceful about it; and suggestive of more obscure and vastly tangled roots. Which is what it is like when you are in there. Thrashing wildly, desperate for release from the oppressive stifling darkness. Methodically ruminating over each root and trying to find, in the tangled web, some meaning, some logic, some reason, some escape either to the light - a lifting of the melancholy - or an escape to the darkest of the dark places; an everlasting escape by spilling blood or suffocating breath. Which to choose? What way to turn? It is not a choice. Not in that place. There are no choices there.

Life. It goes on around us endlessly in ever decreasing, repeating, increasing spirals. On and on and on. Relentlessly. Even in the quiet still of a desolate field there is a relentlessness about life. Standing on a bridge in a busy city centre watching the waves as they lap at the supports. Never ending, never ceasing. There is no end game. There's just is. It is what it is, we are what we are, they are what they are and, ultimately, we are all one. Passersby rushing to and fro trying to get somewhere, to do something: rarely if ever taking the time to simply breathe and notice. Notice. Not change. Not modify. Notice. See. See what there is to be seen, acknowledge and move on. And still the little waves smack, smack, smack on the bridges feet. The birds fly over the desolate field. There is quiet all around. There is noise all around. The hum of traffic burning in our ears. And still the little waves smack, smack, smack on the bridges feet.

" ... it cannot be communicated by words or mental concepts but by subtle insights, gradual glimpses of the wholeness and connectedness of life. There is a quiet grace under all this ..." ~ Carl Faure

Why do we exist? We know that life goes on around us regardless of our participation in it therefore what difference does it make if we are active, inactive or simply no longer exist?

We have no answer to that. Life is experiential. We exist to experience.

If we do not participate in life then the lives of others are poorer for not having been touched by us. If we actively participate then the lives of those around us are profoundly richer, as are ours, for the mutual exchange. To no longer exist? For some an unthinkable thought, for others a part of their daily lives - do I stay today or is today the day I leave? But to no longer exist makes us the poorest of all. We rob our future selves of future experience no matter if it is good or bad. Out of the bad comes the good out of the good comes the bad. There is no bad, no good. There is no free, no trapped. There is only experience and what we make of it. To no longer exist robs those whose lives we have touched of future exchanges. It robs from and impoverishes the lives of those we would have and were destined to touch had we not left.

To live is a burden indeed. To die a greater one.