Is there truth in beauty?

I remember, earlier this past summer, admiring the flower garden outside my window.  It was early morning; the sun low in the sky created sparks of light as it reflected off of the drops of dew.  The birds were active, singing brightly as they are wont to do as the weather warms.

I called my friend to the window so she might enjoy the scene as much as I.  Look, I said, isn’t nature beautiful?  My friend took in the scene for some time, then remarked that nearly everything she saw she found unpleasant: pollen made her sneeze, the wetness of the dew was cold, the birds squawking was abrasive and the brightness hurt her eyes.

Well, I just couldn’t believe what I was hearing; natural beauty seems so universally true; so many images by so many people verify it.  It’s hard for me to believe that the truth of beauty isn’t absolute.  Woody Allen famously said: ‘I love nature I just don’t want to get any of it on me.’  Maybe that’s where my friend is at; unable to separate natural beauty from nature’s physical presence.  Perhaps I could get her started watching the Nature Channel, then dinner on the patio, a walk in the park, eventually a climb up Half Dome.  I think she might come around in the end.  with Pearl3

Psychoanalyzing Sigmund

Dr. Freud determined the libido controls man’s nature.  He thought the male child was engaged in a constant struggle to overcome his father in order to claim his mother and demonstrate his power in the world.  He said he figured this out because of his own attraction to his mother and jealousy of his father and if it was the case for him it must be the case for everybody.

The female child, meanwhile, was in envy of male potency as symbolized by the male genitalia. I guess he was saying we are all controlled by our physical bodies and our minds simply respond to our animal natures.

Dr. Freud must have thought about sex quite a bit; he ended up having six children.

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Meaning of Life

Sometimes I wonder about the meaning of life; is there purpose in my existence.  Buddha says life is suffering; relinquish your desires to find the way to enlightenment.  The Dao says be frugal in thought and action and you will come early to the way which will allow you to immerse yourself in the flow and stay centered.

Maybe purpose has nothing to do with it.  Maybe I just need to live my life moment by moment, in the flow, on the path to enlightenment.  You know, wake up, smell the coffee.

I think there may be some self-discipline involved here.

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Revisiting the Magic Dragon

I was visiting with Granny Applehead the other day.  She was telling me about being a flower child back in the day: the communal living, free love and days of care-free frolic under the influence of the magic herb.  The way she tells it there was such optimism then, a sense of unlimited potential in overcoming the materialistic trappings of her parents’ generation.  I don’t know if she was remembering accurately but the memories certainly were pleasant for her.

Granny’s not getting along quite as well as she used to; her knees are stiffening up and her face is starting to mold.  She thinks it will soon be time to move someplace where she can get help with her basic needs.  Well, at least she won’t be lonely; being a baby-boomer she’ll have lots of company.

She seemed pleased when I told her the government appeared to be easing restrictions on marijuana use and possession.  Wouldn’t it be nice, with all these seniors moving toward assisted living, if we could provide a special brownie with their afternoon tea?  Then they could revisit the magic dragon during their afternoon serpent3

Belief is truth to the Believer

Boy, it’s really hard to know what to believe these days.  I read in a news magazine my hero, Mr. Rogers, was a former Navy Seal with twenty five confirmed sniper kills during the war in Viet Nam; truly mind-boggling.  But, then I went on line looking for details and found out that the story wasn’t true, that it was just an urban legend.

I got to thinking that the safest thing to do is doubt everything, but my friend told me that it’s impossible: to be skeptical of everything is to be skeptical of being skeptical which is a logical contradiction. (I guess he didn’t know about Godel’s Incompleteness Theorem).

My friend said I should have faith that some things are true, that belief is truth to the believer. I guess people with a strong religious faith believe God is truth and that when they’re in doubt they can ask God to direct them, which means they have a way of communicating with a supernatural entity.  I don’t doubt their sincerity but judging from the variety of interpretations different people have for the Biblical texts I wonder if they’re all talking to the same Being.

Well, maybe it’s just that wires get crossed sometimes.

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Nothing new under the sun

I was reading Ecclesiastes the other day.  One verse says: ‘what has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.’  The whole book is about the meaninglessness of life.

From the other side of the aisle, Nietzsche says in an infinite universe with no God to direct it, the finite experiences of human existence must necessarily repeat themselves eternally; over and over and over……….

Seems pretty depressing to think there can never be anything new and fresh.  Still, the other day I was having a conversation with my alter ego, the daring flamboyant me who’s always trying to get me to push my limits, to step beyond my comfort zone.  Daring me convinced shy, reserved me to accept an invitation to tell my story to an auditorium full of junior high students.  When the time came I was petrified but somehow made it through.  They even applauded and I felt pretty good about it in the end.  It gave me a new found confidence.

Still, I don’t see it happening again.  I know my true nature and I’m not talking to her any more.

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Evil me

Are you ever inclined to do something you know you shouldn’t?  It’s not like you’re afraid of reprisal or that you desire retribution but something else; some sort of primal impulse, as if you had an evil you within demanding to be released.

Well, the other day I met these Lego people; they were so docile and friendly.  They always had smiles on their faces.  I spent some time with them and I don’t know what it was, maybe it didn’t seem reasonable to me that they should be so worry free all the time, but my dark side emerged.  Once I realized how flexible these folks were I started removing parts.  I pulled the arms off of Fred and attached them to his feet; I put Veronica’s head under John’s left leg.  I found myself engaged in frenzied activity; body parts were everywhere.  Gradually I regained partial control and stopped, but evil me couldn’t resist hiding a ways away to watch them.

I know it was a horrible thing to do but it really didn’t turn out so bad in the end.  They all were able to obtain fairly well paying jobs with a traveling circus.

evil me

Remembering Christmas’ past

I used to love the holidays.  The Christmas tree smelled so good and decorating was such a great family production; we spent hours placing tinsel strand by strand. There were gifts for everyone from everyone; tangible indicators of our mutual love.

I wonder what happened.  As everyone grew older we still all looked forward to getting together but the focus on material got a bit overwhelming.  There was just too much stuff.  I guess we became victims of the not so subtle marketing campaigns that seemed to take over Christmas.

If you’re wondering about a gift, I could really use……….actually I don’t need anything.santa shrine 3

some people even think I lack personality……….

I know I’m plain.  I’m very aware I have no outstanding visual attributes. I stand out only in my ordinariness.  Sometimes even my friends will pass me without noticing me.  I suppose I could try harder to enhance my appearance; maybe a little eye shadow, although it doesn’t seem to adhere well to plastic.

I just don’t think it’s honest to pretend to be something I’m not.  Still, we are social animals.  Everyone needs friends.  Maybe if I worked out people would like me more.  A svelte body is everyone’s dream.  Beauty is symmetry, slimness, fitness, healthy skin, good muscle tone.  But, is this really me.  Better to just try and fit in as who I am.  I will seek out friends who feel good about themselves; who aren’t afraid of being who they are.