“517 Austin” 2009
“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” – Carl Sagan
often I am awakened with a word or phrase…just wanting to get out…say it so it can somehow either set the timbre of the day…it may be used to ponder for a few moments while I lay in bed or it may quickly dissipate …….only to resurface at some later point during the day….what’s this all about…..you ask….who knows….
I believe these sorts of things are the subtleties in life….the small parts…the little glimpses….the distant echos….that perhaps minute in stature may be much larger than perceived…the things that seem so passing when in reality they are the melody of life…..that song we hear that…is the same song we sing…we ask the question knowing…there somewhere in us lies the answer….a sort of self-contained game show…and we are the constant…contestant….
lately I have been migrating to the writings of Bertrand Russell…he summerized his life with a prologue to his autobiography when he was 84…titleing it….”What I have lived for.” and in that what wakes him….are the things he lived for…so I guess the sounds…the words…the phrases…all of those things that tug at us in small ways…say enormous amounts if we will only…listen….here is Russell’s…..”What I have lived for.”
“Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. These passions, like great winds, have blown me hither and thither, in a wayward course, over a deep ocean of anguish, reaching to the very verge of despair. I have sought love, first, because it brings ecstasy—ecstasy so great that I would often have sacrificed all the rest of life for a few hours of this joy. I have sought it, next, because it relieves loneliness—that terrible loneliness in which one shivering consciousness looks over the rim of the world into the cold unfathomable lifeless abyss. I have sought it, finally, because in the union of love I have seen, in a mystic miniature, the prefiguring vision of the heaven that saints and poets have imagined. This is what I sought, and though it might seem too good for human life, this is what—at last—I have found. With equal passion I have sought knowledge. I have wished to understand the hearts of men. I have wished to know why the stars shine. And I have tried to apprehend the Pythagorean power by which number holds sway above the flux. A little of this, but not much, I have achieved. Love and knowledge, so far as they were possible, led upward toward the heavens. But always pity brought me back to earth. Echoes of cries of pain reverberate in my heart. Children in famine, victims tortured by oppressors, helpless old people a hated burden to their sons, and the whole world of loneliness, poverty, and pain make a mockery of what human life should be. I long to alleviate the evil, but I cannot, and I too suffer. This has been my life. I have found it worth living, and would gladly live it again if the chance were offered me.”