changing life’s meaning

Every time I find the meaning of life they change it.

That’s the title of Daniel Klein’s book, published a couple of years ago now but one I return to whenever I’m thinking too far ahead of the here and now.

You see, Klein believes that we should all be more like Snookers, his dog, that, sadly, is now only with us in memory alone. Snookers used to think about the present, not the past, and certainly not the future; a sure way to enjoy the happiness of life in all its forms, something the great philosopher, Epicurus, would be proud of, to be sure.

Epicurus is a good friend of Daniel Klein’s, Klein having written about him previously and enjoyed his philosophical aptitude over the years. His ‘brainy quotes’ have lasted since BC (Before Christ) and he is finding his way back into popularity once again. Why shouldn’t he? After all, Epicurus is the man who said;

Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.

‘Uhh’, I hear you say.

Worry not, dear friends. What Epicurus is really saying is be grateful for what you have now because it wasn’t long ago you never thought you’d get it. So don’t think about what the future holds for it might reduce the happiness to be found in the present.

Or, put another way;

Enough is never enough for the man for whom enough is too little

But that ‘brainy quote’ has a negative connotation to it and although it, too, comes from the lips of Epicurus, I’m sure even he would prefer the former to the latter.

I came across another quote this morning, from a different source altogether, my very own blog. It read;

Do we spend Life learning how to Live and the next life living the life we Learnt?

I can’t attribute this saying to anyone in particular, and certainly not Klein or Epicurus, yet I can’t take credit myself, either. Suffice to say, it has the ring of truth to it.

For the non-religious amongst us, it may be a hard ‘pill’ to swallow, but for the rest I’m sure there’s a sense of true belief in taking time to get it right just to know that this life is the dress rehearsal that gives us the chance in the second to right the wrongs we so effortlessly made in the first.

Yet for those of us that know where we are headed once we pass, (and it surely won’t be to the ingress through the pearly gates) I guess we better do as Daniel Klein, Epicurus, Snookers, and my own dog, Kahlua, would do; live life to the fullest, for we won’t see its like again.

Embrace the teachings of Epicurean thought; live modestly but well and tranquility will find you happy in the here and now. For the future comes upon us sooner than we think, and it will be the present, whilst the present as we knew it will be passed.

the path less travelled…

He rose above the helpless throng
He was only one among a crowd
He heard a calling, 'twas a song
Timely, he could not disregard

You've come to me for rationale
You've come to me for saviour
No-one else can take the stand
You've come to me, the one you favour

The steps on which we stagger
From one level to the next
Like climbing up the corporate ladder
Feeling e'er, between, betwixt

The next step up he could not see
The frond led him to the money tree
Ladder of wealth, mendacity
The pathway opened unto me

Who and what and where we were
Why and how we hit upon
Invited, I failed to confer
I took the path less travelled on

Teach

Remind me to take instruction

From the antonym of him

To take my teachings from

The supposition of a fact

 

Remind me to teach myself to learn

From the better part of man

Someone who can read and write

Who has a lesson plan

 

Remind me ne’er to listen

To the man who can’t himself

Remind me to leave his book

Hidden from the shelf

 

Remind me to ignore the man

Who’ll beseech at any cost

Who lectures, says it’s my way

Or the highway will be lost

 

Remind me to be thankful

For what I could go without

Remind me to welcome lost souls in

When others shut them out

 

Remind me ne’er to err on caution’s side

Hesitant, I stay

I should be enticed to wonder

To see the sunlight in the day

 

Remind me to cherish

What I never thought I’d love

To see peace at time of war

To welcome and betroth

 

Teachings and instruction

From the synonym of her

The antonym of ‘I know best’

Is the teacher who tells me;

‘As you were.’

Poem – Belief

Belief is what you see outside

That stands upon the scroll

And pens charity, upon the page

And continues on, enthralled

 

And as the chirping bird is heard

An idea comes to mind

That the morning mist in glory’s gate

Could never deem to find

 

It’s heard amongst the forest

Where the kookaburra’s king

Yet, rarely in the sunburnt land

It’s said most anything

 

Yet as the sunbeam shines

It’s seen to say a prayer

It’s hard to know, from soul to soul

If immortality is there

Oh promises

Oh promises, oh promises

Why are there so few?

Oh promises, empty promises

I haven’t but a clue

 

A leap of faith describes belief

Why is it hard to find?

To lie, to cheat, to steal

Comes easily to human-kind

 

Optimism beaten

By pessimism’s sword

Negate the pathway of success

Reinforce it moving forward

 

Forgive me for forgetting

Why can I not recall?

Memory tries to shut me out

From everything and all

 

A standard test of kindness

Can loss bring it back to me?

Perhaps it’s lost forever

Perhaps it’s wandered out to sea

 

I see it from a distance

Why aren’t I allowed up close?

My manner lost to arrogance

My feelings bellicose

 

But underneath the ocean tide

Compassion lies in store

Empathy waded out to sea –

I stand on the shore.

Poem – What lies beneath…

Dancing on the water

It glistened in the sun

Knowing not what lay beneath

Knowing not what rose above

 

It was the sun that led me there

Nothing else to follow

Knowing not where you were

My life directionless, I wallow

 

Into a hole I’d fallen down

Without your presence in’t

My only expression now a frown

The sun barely a glint

 

In my mother’s or my father’s eye

Before I came, explored

What this fair world, awaiting me

Would represent, would store

 

Hidden away ‘til adult-hood

Was love, that word used oft’

Feelings mixed within melting pot

Like boiled kettle, held aloft

 

I stood close to water’s edge

And saw the fish there swimming in

Was my heart with her or transplanted

To a place beyond where I had been?

 

The fish I saw in glistening water

A glint, no doubt, was in its eye

Was my fate staring me down

Or would I always wonder why?

 

I was lost beneath, within the sea

Dancing water, glistened sun

Was it my fate to reflect or find

Or walk this world, alone, as one?

 

Poem – If only…

If only the sun didn’t carry heat

If only winter did not bring snow

If only the water lapped at my feet

If only I could reap and sow

If only I saw the future, told

If only I could tell what I had in store

If only I lacked regret for days of old

If only I could pick myself up off the floor

If only I wasn’t hesitant and shy

If only I could move ahead with cause

If only I could stop asking; ‘why?’

If only I heard someone’s applause

If only I was missed when in absentia

If only I could enjoy the fruits of man

If only I could avert societal censure

If only I could taste the fruits picked by hand

If only I could travel to foreign land

If only foreign land could come to me

If only I could feel the granules of sand

If only I could walk, softly, on the sea

If only I realised what I can do

You and I would feel okay

If only I knew what I don’t know

Remorsefulness would go away

Poem – After the Fall

Once I was in the womb

Before I made it to the tomb

What went between it matters not

Cherished memories, now forgot

 

Maitre’d to those with plenty

Entree served before main course

Do we get to partake at all

Or just bus and wait on you and yours

 

Transcendental or eternal

With alterations, grass is greener

Grass dies with season ending

Altered, dead, or just pretending

 

The fence makes another’s life look sweet

Fence impales sight

As I reach the fence, other’s life turns sour

Reality bites, pang of guilt felt – quite

 

Ill wind brings chill, cold light of day

Riches of another won’t go away

Pleasure lost, regret in tow

Envy present of friend and foe

 

Path hindered to resolution

Satisfaction’s path be true

To satisfy, life’s conundrum

Regret away, walk on through

 

Consider bird, or tree, or well-bound book

Duty, strain of thought, be gone

Pragmatic not Deterministic

Smile, if present, only wan

 

Well-bound book or bumble-bee

Man-handled or nature’s own

Rejoice on Satisfaction’s path

Regret be gone, enjoyment grown

 

Stow away on path to plenty

Plenty reached after the Fall

Satisfaction now on board

Cherished memories, now recalled.