A time for reflection, a time for rejoicing. What inspiration!
You might think I was sitting by the river contemplating the manifold, multifarious majesty of Life when those words came to me.
Nah. I was walking through the back door on to the receiving dock of a fairly large supermarket. The receivers, unable to abide the smell of the outdated and rotting meat I pick up, usually cry out in disgust at sight of me, before high tailing it up front. This particular receiver and I usually share a laugh or two before he flees and I go about my business. So, today as I strode onto the dock I was declaiming to a chorus of ‘Aagh!‘ and ‘Let’s get the fuck out of here…‘ : ‘Gentlemen! The time has come for rendering! A time of reflection, a time of rejoicing!‘
‘Damn, that’s good,‘ I thought. ‘I’ll use it!’
Make no mistake. Breath in and then breath out. You are alive and more or less midstream in the Grand Flow of Life this very instant. All history, all time, stretching back nearly 4 billion years for the earth and our solar system, 16 billion for the current incarnation of the universe has culminated in this ever flowing moment that is precisely Now.
Spores of Life are ubiquitous throughout the universe. When conditions are just right they awake from their long sleep. And then the game begins. Did I read somewhere last week that scientists have found fossils or signs of life on earth dating back some 3.9 billion years?
No matter. We are here today and Life has progressed to the point where it (through us) can even meditate upon itself.
But the best of times?
Unequivocally Yes! Simply because there is nothing else but Now. Challenges, absolutely. Sorrows, certainly. But those are the burdens, the costs, of being alive in the present. Are we up to the task?
Many will say ‘Just read the newspapers and you’ll change your tune, Mr. Omphalos.’.
Actually it’s Jeff, and I respond to them ‘Sure, I read the papers, but what does that have to do with anything?’
We are the privileged, just to be alive today. Education has been made available to the majority of us. Books there are for the rest, if they so choose to avail themselves. Nothing proscribed, no index forbidding certain works, unless you live in a repressive dictatorship, and even then the internet is opening things up like never before. History has conspired to lay itself at our feet, all teaching, all preaching, for any and every predilection.
However, it is up to us, you and me, to profit by it as we may.
Who was it said: ‘A man’s vices are those of his time, his virtues his own?’ Goethe I’d guess.
It’s all there for the taking. Reminds me of yesterday’s quote by old Walt: ‘Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the origin of all poems…’
The boys are getting out of hand downstairs. At six years old they are brim full of Life.
What will history bequeath to them? May they be given all that we have been, and the wisdom to imbibe.