Been thinking a lot about life lately. Prompted by the untimely death of someone I’d known years ago, an approaching birthday, and basically just the passage of time. As the seasons change, days pile, and wisdom accrues (of course … it has to accrue, doesn’t it?) … I find myself looking back and wondering about the many-threaded tapestry of moments and memories that is my life.
If I pick out one thing … my mother, let’s say, just for discussion’s sake … I notice that my perceptions of her are prism-like. Depending on the angle and the play of light, she can look like about 16 different people … adored, hated, and, as you may have guessed, 14-other things in-between. Delving into the rich compost of memory and feeling, when I look in her direction, my view is determined entirely by my vantage point.
So, as I’ve pretty much always suspected, it’s all about me … in the end.
And yet, that’s no simple thing, because the eyes of the adoring youngster of 22-months can hardly comprehend what the snarly 17-year-old sees. And then add in the eyes of the 50-something adult and you’ve got quite a mix! Who am I and what do I see and feel … about anything? There’s no linear logic that comprehends or contains it.
In fact, even if I start exploring single-mindedly, right now, why I am the way I am … I won’t ever ‘know’ in a clear or circumscribed way. No, one door opens to another, and then another. You peel away one layer, then the next and the next. Maybe you get to the end, but then that simply casts new light on another layer … which in turn revises your understanding of the next.
I used to think (speaking of my mother again) that if I could just figure out why she was the way she was I could ‘fix’ it and things would be fine. Now I’m coming to see that I’ll never know why she was the way she was. And even if I could, it wouldn’t make a whit of difference.
… because it’s all about me … and the layered mystery that I am. Exploring, unfolding, coming to know and befriend myself at each turn.
Yeah, that’s it … and, as my father would say … “Oh, Geez.”