48: Still – Waiting

As a person passive who waits to see what floats towards me on life’s variable stream, what comes? What attracts my attention? What seems worth picking up and holding to? What follow? What look into? What learn? What throw passion into? For these past few years, life’s stream has seemed such a poultry affair, filled with little things of no value, mostly dross, disturbances, annoyances, difficulties, frustrations, not even a false promise, let alone a promise. For this is the lot meted out to humanity as a whole, the experi­ence of everyone, everywhere, for the whole of time. There is no personal fiefdom of misery, but a collective prison camp where all must gather, from which only the insane and deluded ever think they have escaped.

And as a person active, what do I stride out towards? What prospectus do I examine to weigh my choice? Do I suppose the existence of some­thing, and in blind faith set off to find it, master it, possess it? There is no vantage point that I can reach from whose raised summit I may see that clearly. What to choose? What to choose? And why? It all seems such a nonsense, now … ambition, career, empire-building (oh, such a grandiose notion), making something of myself – for what end? Life’s miseries are not dealt any blows by such egotistical cravings, whether one’s desires succeed or not. Striving, driving forward, taking up, asserting one’s will seem the preserve, perhaps not entirely (I will grant you that) of the selfish, the greedy, the self-opinionated, the cruel and the stupid. No value, then, in ambition for the quietist, for the lover of sunny days in gardens. Either the sun shines, or it does not. Either fate takes you to that garden, or it does not. The man mistreated in a prison cell may conjure in imagination the most exquisitely cultivated curtilage, and place himself there, and the glow that comes through his narrow window from beyond closed lids may be shafts of sunlight scattered by the most beautiful of boughs, laden with sweet fruits.

Where does all this get me? There is nothing to pick up, nothing I can see that fires the chase. All is waiting quietly in such sorrow…

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