Lately it has occurred to me that perhaps we ALL – and by “ALL” I mean the most of humankind – has incorrectly been assigning events to either “Heaven” or “Hell”, meaning that we all think Satan (or some diabolical being like him, her, or It) and/or GOD (or a being or beings like him, her, or it) controls the weather; makes earthquakes happen – sends a solar flare our own way . . . or any other of a host of things, ranging from falling in love and/or getting married to one’s own son (or self) dying of cancer . . . falls from great heights . . . or a sickness or disease . . .
But lately now I’ve begun to change my mind a bit. This is not to say I don’t believe things happen – but the “good” and “bad” is determined by us, the human beings. WE all make decisions whether something is “all good” or “all in the bad” (which is usually an erroneous assumption, by the way, since it seems every curse comes with its own blessing – and blessings oft times are filled with curses) – depending on the way you want to look at things. Nothing I’ve found is completely black or white, and there’s some comfort in discerning shades of gray.
It’s all about lessons (I think) in my own mind. It’s about lessons for you, too. Life isn’t about things “good” or “bad” – it’s about how you think about them; how you are FEELING inside . . . whether you are feeling gloomy and gray; or whether it’s all light outside – and in! It’s all a matter of how you look at things.
Lessons. Lessons are given to be learned. Somehow we’ve all got to go about learning them – at one time or another. Whether that lesson be the life of a friend (lost, meaningless, death, or otherwise) – or your own self – lessons are to be learned. And we’re all learning them – every day. Sometimes lessons take years. Some of them take lifetimes. I’m sure we’ll all learn some lessons in death – if only the lessons of what comes ‘beyond’.
But take death. It’s where we’re all headed for (the final destination – so you’d better learn to enjoy this journey in a hurry, boys and girls!). But in the end . . . what does it matter if you do “believe” in something after? It’s all about the journey, my friends – don’t be in such a rush to get to the end. (I see ya’ll – working away high in your skycrapers; slaving away in some office – dealing with endless employees or some customers – the sun a distant memory; your yard something that is only to be taken care of . . . and never enjoyed. Shuffling between work and ‘home’, heads down … no one looking at the sky; grimacing faces on the streets; behind parked cars, behind steering wheels. Oh well . . . (sighing). It’s ya’ll’s lessons to learn; not mine. I’ve already learned them – or this one, anyway: enjoy the world around you. It’s only going to be a short time before you and it are going to be parting ways . . . for a little while, at least, depending upon the religion you believe in.) And face it: in a lifetime of eternity, what does this lifetime mean? A blink of an eye? A blink of nothing? Consider the time in eternity. Now consider your time here ….
Anyway – I think the devil rejoices when we all feel bad . . . whether that be through the death of a friend, or simply the ceiling caving in. Never realizing the lesson in the matter – and always wanting to blame it on somebody else. We dwell and we research on it; we find out “what’s the matter?” (thinking therapists and all) – we go from highs of depression to rapid mood swings . . . I see people getting angry all the time.
And the Fear! The fear is so much . . . don’t you think that’s what the devil must do? Put some kind of fear in us? For instance, the wife and I were cruising the other day – far out in the country, away from everything – and I see this girl there. She’s sitting by the road on what appears to be some luggage – late teens or early twenties, not a beautiful face, but an attractive one – sitting there on the edge of the pine woods, a beautiful blue dress on (I swear it looked like an evening gown) – and as we go by she gives us this wry look. I’m all for stopping immediately and giving her a hand – or at least finding out what her story is (after all, there’s nothing out there but sticks and twigs) – and I turn to my wife and ask her. The girl is rapidly diminishing in my rear view mirror.
“No!” she says. “She might be an underage minor! She might want a ride! Who knows what she’s doing out here!”
And I argue with her, saying that I’m not stupid – and who knows? At the very least I’m interested in hearing what her story is – and who knows? It might lead to some kind of adventure. It certainly would be . . .
And my wife cuts me off. She is insistent. I should have been insistent, too. But for every argument I gave, she cut me off with one of fear. Everything she said was quite ‘normal’ and ‘proper’ – ignore the girl, continue on; she might lead you into some kind of trouble; she might be in some kind of trouble; there’s no telling what’s going on, so best not stop; best to move on.
And I turned to her and told her: “Everything you’ve said is based on FEAR. FEAR of the unknown. You don’t know a THING about her. WE don’t know what’s going on. It might be nothing! She might just be waiting on a ride. She might even BE in trouble. But . . . just like everyone in this goddamn society, you let fear RULE you. It shouldn’t be that way.”
But it was. And when we got back (for I eventually turned the car around) – the girl was gone.
But don’t you think the devil was laughing when we just drove on by . . . my wife ‘afraid’ and stubbornly refusing to help someone . . . and me going along with her . . . while God slowly and sadly shook his head.
Looks like we’re gonna need some more lessons.
Anyway – what I’ve been trying to say in this rambling discussion is that “satan” (or whatever you want to call him) doesn’t get off by making bad things happen. And God perhaps does some ‘bad’ things Himself – all to teach you a lesson about “moving on” and getting along . . . how to face a death knowing the person or persons you once knew are ‘moving on’ and getting on with their ‘past life’ (that meaning their life past our lives HERE on THIS world) – and that nobody is really getting left behind . . . that sickness and death (and hurricanes and earthquakes and tusamis and floods and that little kid pestering you behind the back seat) – are all things you are supposed to find some measure of JOY in – some recognition of something BIG happening . . . whether it be the rebuilding of a small town into something better . . . the knowledge that at least SOMEONE doesn’t have to put up with this “stuff” everyday . . . learning the lessons of “look on the bright side” and “find the silver lining” coming at you every day . . . learning how to grieve and then move on; how wallowing in one’s grief is just the devil moving in . . . how embracing the bright sunshine (or the rain clouds which are nurturing the landside) helps you become a happier man or girl or child inside . . .
Anyway, nuff said. Confusing entry, I know . . . but perhaps you’ll find something there ….