Review

It is that time, the week between Christmas and the New Year, a week designed for introspection.

That is not to say I do not spend time examining every aspect of my own life through the year, in order to understand the universe you must understand yourself, adjusting your measurements for your own biases. This week, balanced between a celebration of life and an acknowledgement of death, is designed to cause even the most narcissistic wanker to examine his path.

The courage to act on such an examination comes from an unexpected place, which may be why such action tends to be rare. In the same way we fill this week with events designed to distract us from introspection, we fill our minds with concepts designed to distract us from taking action.

We call the distraction “maturity.” We believe the child is inferior, and actually exalt “synaptic pruning” as a path to clearer thinking. Machiavelli was a clear thinker, is his the mind you would emulate? It is the child who acts, believing in change, “maturity” is often code for “not making waves.”

In a previous chapter of my life, I was a digital technician. As new products were introduced, I would attend technical classes to learn the intricacies of the product. One year my Senior Technician (Dennis) and I were returning from a class in Maryland, and stopped for lunch at Burger King, which was selling goblets promoting the “Lord of the Rings” film along with children’s meals. The goblets contained an LED and batteries in the base, and lit up with a lovely rose hue. I bought two. Emma and I often drank wine in bed, the light would make the goblet easy to find in the dark.

Dennis was an excellent technician, when he approached a problem he wanted as little information as possible, in order to avoid any preconceptions. He saw the two “toys” and said “Isn’t that just a bit…childish?”

I was surprised, and responded “No Dennis, not childish. Childlike.”

Maybe it is just my brain, my particular collection of synapses, that prefers the wild growth of neural connections; they serve me well. As Multiple Sclerosis does its best to block my neural paths, the ability to reroute the data is invaluable. I am certainly capable of reducing a problem to its simplest elements, but grand, complex solutions require seeing every aspect of the situation. There may be several correct answers, but there is only one best answer. Such an answer is rooted in the balance of every issue involved, such a balance cannot be recognized if those issues have been eliminated in the name of reaching the answer more quickly.

You may think me simple. Perhaps I am. I am a man who has repeatedly accomplished that which was deemed impossible by others, although there have also been a few colossal failures. It remains ever so rare for success to result from a lack of trying.

As I review 2014, I recall hundreds of beautiful moments. I was married to a woman I loved with all my heart. I attended a number of great concerts. I met some wonderful new people, and reconnected with some others from my past. I created a couple of fabulous new recipes. I visited a couple of museums, feeding my mind with visions of beauty created by other artists. I learned a number of things, most notably the lesson Lu Ann tried to give me thirty years ago, love is a second hand emotion, giving love to someone does not create a debt they must repay.

I have seen many of the horrors of inferior intellects, yet I choose to judge humanity by its high points. Individuals reserve the right to prove themselves unworthy, but I still require that proof. I do not mind being slapped on the head and called foolish for believing in the power of love, even when such beliefs fail to achieve the desired results. Being a good person is its own, and sometimes the only, reward.

I enter 2015 with my mind as open as ever. The Dalai Lama is credited with saying “There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow, so today is the right day to love, believe, do and mostly live.” A friend reminded me the situation is more immediate. All we have is this very moment, there is absolutely no amount of time budgeted for waste.

Be kind, you may never have time to make amends for being less.

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3 comments on “Review

  1. Mari Collier says:

    I wondered where you were. A blessed, belated Merry Christmas and wishes for joys all through the New Year. I would never deem you simple. My introspection doesn’t go nearly that deep.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mike R says:

    Blake, what an excellent bit of writing. You had my mind churning and turning all the way through. So many pearls, as well. The concept of adjusting for own biases really struck home. Surely this is the most important step to finding truth. I am reminded of having to first adjust the reticle of a telescope to my own vision problems before I can use the main focus to bring the object into focus. Another thought was having to account for the difference in magnetic north and truth north when navigating with a compass. Yet if we are unwilling to acknowledge that we all have bias issues, it is hard to move on. It has taken me 60 years to arrive at even a modicum of understanding and realization of that fact. I could write pages about the one page you have just written.You have stirred my thinking more than it has been stirred in a long time. Your intellect and clear view of life remind me of some of my favorite blog writers. One of the sites is takimag.com. The writers there are not controlled by societal norms. I may not agree with their particular view of the world but they often cause me to have to examine my own belief, and yes, make some bias adjustments.

    My prayer is that you writing finds a larger audience. Not that it would be more valuable, but that more people would benefit from your life experiences, reflections, growth, and the willingness to share all of those things. May you find peace and joy in the coming year, at least as equal to that which you bring to your readers. (You have a knack at stirring things up and then bringing the reader to a thoughtful but peaceful conclusion. I like that. Not unlike my current pastor. He can make you feel as though you are about to be condemned by his next words, only to be given the beauty of the Gospel of Peace and Grace.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • kblakecash says:

      Thank you Mike, may your year provide you with the joy of discovery.

      I do not have a large audience, but I do have a thoughtful one. Real changes start small.

      Like

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