Insignificance

an Elephant and some Cherry Pie

 

Isn’t our perception of reality funny?

Funny in the sense that while we all believe truth exists, the actual colour, shape, and form it holds, is often filtered through our own, limited, best guess scenario, set of assumptions. We hinder and distort reality by the very fact that we don’t know everything. We can’t know everything.

This is magical in a sense, because in a world of science, there are no surprises.

We distort our reality by being human. Gloriously human. We fail to see right because we are limited by the very square space from which we gaze upon the truth. That little piece of the whole, which we call our experience, which always distorts what we see, creates what we want to see, yet it is the only way we can derive any of our understanding in the first place.

And its magical.

I understand that our distorted understanding of the truth is very vexing for everyone. We are all shuffling our feet in total darkness, holding on to a different piece of the elephant, arguing with each other who is right.

Our limited version of the truth, which in our defence is all we were given, can create some unpleasant confusion, and lead to serious frustration.

When we share what we think we see with others, we are putting ourselves on a collision course to be seriously misunderstood.

Reinterpreted.

We are putting ourselves on a path to clash with other people’s versions of reality, and their own prickly little insensibilities.  

This is why it is socially forbidden to talk about politics or religion at parties, with people of good social standing.

This is silly I think, because they are the most important of all the subjects, which is probably why people are willing to die for their truth, something which they are not willing to do for a nice piece of cherry pie. Not unless it is a really, really good piece of pie.

Religion tries to deal with why we are here, and what the ultimate purpose of our existence might be, while politics, on the other hand, deals with how we are to justly govern ourselves, what we have to do to live meaningful lives, and how to better care for the vulnerable.

Or so they should anyhow.

A bit philosophical perhaps, but our perception of how we see what is real is funny nonetheless.

Let’s turn to you.

What about your reality?

What about the truth of how you see yourself and where you are going?

Do you have the courage at any time in the day to look yourself in the mirror? To have a good look. Do you have the valour to gaze into your own eyes? Your windows to your very soul?

What will you find there?

Pain? Regret? Sorrow?

Words of hate and admonition for yourself? Voices from the past hurling hateful epitaphs in your direction?

Or will you find joy?

Peace? Forgiveness? Unused blueprints of some abandoned dreams?

Perhaps some faith and hope? Some love?

Words of encouragement and understanding? Voices from the future calling you towards something greater than yourself?

If truth and reality is not as reliable as we were taught to think it is, when we were children, wouldn’t it make more sense to shape it, the way we want reality to appear?

If other people will not understand or will misinterpret your, is that a good reason to capitulate or abandon your dreams, or give up trying?

I mean, if you are too blind and unsatisfied with the piece of the elephant you are currently holding, wouldn’t it make more sense, instead of arguing or getting angry about it, to simply suck it up and stumble in the darkness, to look for another piece to hold.

A piece that perhaps feels a little better? Suits your life a little more?

Reality is very cold, calculating, and most scientific.

But we as artists are born to wrap it up, in our own warm blanket of technicolour.

To shape things how we want them to be. To shape our own destiny.

Reality really doesn’t matter much. People will see what they want to see. Truth will not be offended by the choices you make, one way or another.

In the future, you will change your mind how things were a thousand times. You will reshape and thinking of what you remember a million ways.

You are bound to forget.

So, forget who you think you are today. Erase what other people think you are.

Don’t be afraid to stumble in the dark.

Keep circling that elephant and stop arguing who is right.

 


quiet insignificance

 

Our lives are full of quiet insignificance.

Moments, that we just don’t take much time to notice. Flashes that seem to come and go, so effortlessly, so easily, and so quickly.

Quiet moments. Sometimes, loud moments. Chaotic moments. Insignificant moments.

We would be lost without them.

We would defile our humanity without them.

We would be lost.

Without those millions and millions of tiny, teeny, little moments of quiet insignificance.

Perhaps it’s the solitude of reading a good book or an uplifting movement of a good piece of music. Perhaps it’s the company of a good friend, or the exaggerated chatter about nothing in particular. Perhaps it’s a good hearty run. A daily walk. A piece of cheesecake. Or simply doing the laundry.

We are so driven and so blindly distracted, by all the seemingly important things we have to do each day, that we ignore and forget what makes life worth living.

The quiet insignificance of each moment.

If you want to, you can keep yourself distracted by the infinite minutia of your daily chores for what seems like an infinite pocket of time. If you care to, you can become a stubborn dog, chasing its own tail.

And you do.

You look for meaning and happiness in the grand, and rare, if not magnificent moments. In very huge, loud, champagne popping, heart racing, monumental, moments.

Moments which come bearing expensive invitation cards. Moments consumed with confetti. Moments on the red carpet, with blindingly flashing lights.

Yet the meaning of your life, hides itself in the simplicity of the daily breaths we take. Moment by moment. In the very ordinary expansion and collapse of each of your lungs, without which, there simply would be no moments at all, grand or otherwise.

Our problem is that we think we are in control.

We have come to believe in the illusion that we own or govern our own bodies. That we are the sole proprietors of our life. Creators of our own destiny. That we can live our lives on our own terms, and on our own time.

But as John Donne poetically exclaimed; no man, is an island. Entire of itself. Every woman is a piece of the continent. A part of the main.

A significant part of the main.

We are not in control. We are not an island. Not the way we believe ourselves to be.

Our stitched lives are interwoven with tiny little pieces of quiet insignificance.

Moments of hidden gratitude.

Built on very ordinary, and forgetful, moment of human friendship. Especially, when they are quiet and insignificant.

So, if you dream at night, don’t forget that others are awake, longing for a chance to dream.

And if you don’t dream but experience nightmares, realize that others are unlucky enough to live out real ones.

We were taught at school and in our homes, to look and yearn for the big things. The things that would get us noticed. The things that pay well. The things that make us smart, give us recognition, wealth, power, and prosperity.

The things that don’t really matter.

What matters are the quiet moments of insignificance.

They matter, because when we are gone, those will become the moments our loved ones will long for, and pray to God, that had more time for.

Don’t get too restless with living.

Learn to breathe.

To be still.

Learn to be quiet.

And learn to grow in insignificance.