Questions Are the Helpers

Seeds of doubt disturb. What else their purpose other than to poke and to prod? Only life’s discomfort opens my eyes.

I’ve lived most of my life without that appreciation but as John Muir said, “the clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness.” I’ve walked my years. Mine was not to waste experience but to live passionately, which is to say rarely did I look before I leapt.

I may not have been averse to risk but I missed its potential, the fluid intelligence that is life and its infinite supply of questions. With few exceptions, I walked passed the gold. In a flurry of abandon to answer I didn’t realize every answer morphs into a question, again.

That’s the gold.

And then one day, I stopped running around the forest, in and out of life’s caverns, to experience it in daily doses, appreciating the uniqueness of every dawn and its dusk, each day fraught with doubt, eventually evening out.

It’s fluid, that evenness of energy, and there are days it seems impossible another sun will rise but so far…. That is the power of the present, never absent, even in rage and the time of Trump.

If I watch the world through his lens, I have the perspective of a pinhead, ego run amok, a desperate need for attention at any cost. At his rallies of like-minded MAGA hats, all are assured of answers as if they are forever.

Perhaps they would hide the sun–control its narrative–if they could, but that is not the nature of life, no matter the determination of mere men. I do my best to remember that and view them through the broadest lens I can find.

And that means questions.

What is it in me that brought them to the world stage? It’s an intimate question, a BREAKING daily dose, but I don’t have to go deep to discover my own egoic need for attention and what feeds it. Fortunately, mine isn’t magnified by the office of the presidency. Ego loves a circus, the more sleight-of-hand the better, but the question is, why do I pay the admission of distraction?

I do, far too often, and it is a high price to pay. Trump cannot exist in a world that doesn’t hear him as a human being or as president. True as well for his followers. All oligarchs need a platform in addition to a puppet president or the like. As I say, it’s a high price to pay.

Like the forest wild, I look through a glass darkly. Every day. Awareness grinds my mind, broadening my life lens. How else to clear my way to the universe? Certainly not by looking behind me or holding onto a way of life already gone.

I’ve tried that so many times, expecting different results by doing the same thing over and over. That’s paying the circus to go away which it won’t. It is always here but each time I face it, it loses a bit of its attraction and thus its attention.

That is the power of the present and what a gift it is. Always available, every event a teacher, ultimately one a traveling professor. For me it is a chronic disease whose assured outcome cannot be changed but everything else can. How’s that for empowerment?

Any circus, no matter how many monkeys, just doesn’t compete, which is not to say I ignore the tenor of the times. Far from it. I just won’t go to the circus. My attention is elsewhere, a freeing of the narrative from any who would control it.

Fear is quite vulnerable. It’s the minutia, every day details, even a single sentence, that chips away at control. The pause for thought is the stuff of change. It interrupts the flow. Like I said, it’s an intimate experience but its effects are external. Anyway, that’s what I do.

It is not mine to tell any human being how to live. Life is constant choice, one question after another. My beliefs are not sacred but fluid, alive with potential. I look to the questions for they are the helpers.

“There is a crack in everything. It’s how the light gets in” (Leonard Cohen).

10 thoughts on “Questions Are the Helpers

  1. Trump is a man who just doesn’t get it. “It” being life. I’ve been realizing lately that ego is the thing that gets in the way of clarity. The ego is a parade balloon that blots out the sky. If I have any doubt, I have only to look at Trump, the most extreme example of an inflated ego I have ever witnessed. The man knows nothing, sees nothing except in relation to himself. He fails to realize that very little in this universe cares, or even acknowledges his existence. Like the rest of us, like the gnat and the ant, he is just a momentary jot of life, here for an instant, then gone.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m with you on skipping the circus. And yet, I sometimes feel guilty as if knowing what’s in each ring helps. As if I’m running away. I tell myself the sanity and clarity I gain by not participating helps our collective energy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s the struggle, isn’t it? How to remain aware of the circus without being swept up in it. Is awareness sufficient? Is it enough to keep chipping away at the core of this madness? To break the brand is to break the man but collectively, can (or will) we do it? Each of us rising to the occasion, as only each of us can. Will it work? As always, thanks so much.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. your struggle to understand the universe makes me feel like life does, indeed, have some magic glowing secret that hides behind a screen, and whether we are ever able to discover the secret, our life is the opportunity to search for it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know that I any longer struggle to understand as much as I struggle to remain open to the questions. I think that is equanimity, in which so much is revealed but as always, no thing and no one stays so acceptance. And I agree that our life experience is that opportunity.


  4. To live in the great unknown and be content, that has been mission for a few decades. To embrace a healthy skepticism, unafraid ‘tho it brings another unknown …. I feel sadness lately for the MAGA believers. No longer the anger I once felt, for again I realize I can sit in the unknown and be content. Thank for another provocative post.

    Liked by 1 person

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