Friday, August 25, 2017

I am an Existentialist



With a touch of Zen Buddhist and a bit of Druid. What is is unless you can work some magic. But don't count on that. I was raised in Baptist territory in the era when "In God We trust" and "Under God" were added to our money and our pledge of allegiance. I believed it was unconstitutional. 

In college I took as many philosophy courses as a major in fine arts would allow. One of my best friends after college was an ex-Jesuit priest. Though I used to argue with him that there was no such thing as an ex-Jesuit. We are a sum of our life influences. We are the path we have followed.

I was the oldest child. I was the analyst. I think I got that from my pilot father who taught me to drive. When all seems to be going to hell in a hand basket I get really quiet. And if I say anything at all it is a very quiet, "Oops." It is likely to be the last word out of my mouth when the end comes.

Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today, from page 417 of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. Accepting the problem is what I am doing when I get really quiet. I have done that for decades before I ever read that line. Some problems there is a solution for and some there are not. "Can't change the weather," as Aunt Zelma would say though I doubt it was the weather she was talking about.

Hurricane Harvey which was never suppose to get beyond a tropical depression is expected to become a category 4 before slamming in the the part of the Texas coast where my sister lives. She is a nurse. Her son is attached to a fire station, his wife a nurse. Emergency personnel do not evacuate. None of that I can change. It is what it is.

I moved away from tornado alley because you cannot change the weather. I clearly do not live on the coast. But the mountain west has its wild fires and living 1/2 mile from a forest fire for 22 days convinced me there is no place totally safe, but I bought a home in a meadow with no trees. Big Blue is because if there was another wild fire I could load it up with camping gear and my fur kids and flee.

There is no sensible or realistic way to evacuate a major city. Ike proved that in 2005. Everyone seemed to blame the people of New Orleans for not evacuating ahead of Katrina. But how? How do you leave everything you own and have known for all your life especially without a car? How do you leave your cats and dogs and horses and llamas? Some things are harder to accept. 

But what is is. It is the path we walk. It is life.

I am going for the magic option today.

1 comment:

  1. I am so relieved that your sister got out of Harvey without any major damage. But as I write now, Barbuda is uninhabitable, Irma rages on towards Florida and there are two hurricanes trailing not far behind.

    I too have come to a point in my life where I know there is little, or nothing I can do to change the course of what lies ahead. So I recite the Serenity Prayer, hope for the best and tell myself 'it is what it is'.

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