by LJ Frank
I stopped by a local dry-cleaning service to drop off some shirts not too many years ago. A woman who took my shirts recognized me as her old boyfriend. She knew my name, had a picture of me in her purse. The name was correct, the photo looked like me, and her boyfriend and I apparently were the same age. Except he was from Omaha. The thing was I recall being there years ago. It was a déjà vu experience for her. I was bewildered. We talked. Several minutes into our conversation she noted I was right-handed. Her old boyfriend was left-handed. We smiled and wished each other the best. The universe contains a myriad of enigmas.
Up to that moment I was of the opinion that there was only one physically observable universe in which the “I” exists. I now enter a caveat. The mind’s universe and our consciousness of the world around us are another matter altogether. The inner cosmos of imagination exists. And like our breath is there a final exhale of the energy we call consciousness? Does consciousness end with the last breath and the halt to the beating of our heart and ceasing of brain function?
To be forthright much of my life has existed within my mind. An excitement of consciousness occurred when I was born. Subsequently, the actual day to day striving of consciousness of my relationship with self and others has spilled over the edge of life’s cup of simmering realities.
Life in general for the mass of people who live and die in a moment appears as an existential drama with a few relished moments of nonsensical but necessary comedy and sensual pleasure. Laughter is an escape. Our myths and beliefs add texture, character, and a perception for being and a hope for depth. A breath of joy. A release of the stress and a reason or meaning for suffering.
Misery love company? I read that the positive aspect of suffering is no one is exempt from it. Though access to the luxury of good health benefits is a privilege in modern societies and not a right. Avarice is the pinnacle of the rich cynic. Selfishness and having more is the refrain of capitalism. The smile and tear mean different things in different places. Regardless in wherever I found myself I never was fond of suffering. Harmony by its very nature is holistic and contextual. My body prefers “OM” along with a few other physical and mental nourishments.
Those ponderings aside, I have been around the track – lived, studied, and worked in different parts of the globe from Asia to the Middle East, Western Europe, Central and North America. People live each day as best they can within the context of their capabilities and resources. Experts abound. Entire strategies of living and working are devised in terms of the process of elimination. Much is nonsensical.
I have a friend who towards that end of her second marriage determined after two genetically pretested marriages that such a strategy did not necessarily lead to compatibility with her potential consensual companion. She asked me, should I flip a coin? No. So, she spoke to an attorney about multiple-year renewable contracts. Everything would be negotiable. Traditional relations felt oxymoronic. The religious infested ritual of death until you part was a patriarchal device of dated value. Whereas expectations and behavior are affected under renewable contracts and felt right. An option would be a long-distance virtual relationship. She was constantly inventing reasons for just about anything.
I understood. Just as I understood the person who refused to leave the 1950s or even 1990s with the 21st century underway. But what is time? Things happen. Lives change. An endearing friend decided to leave life early. Disharmony versus harmony. What do I really know about sense and nonsense? Reasons are invented.