Moon in Taurus
The powerful Taurean Full Moon pouring mist-diffused rays into the night, sends a stark chill with its celestial light. Under another such moon, another time, another home, when Pandora was a fluffball delight, I can hear sadly exasperated Celia insisting I listen to her.
“You can’t just lie around in your bathrobe being sullen and angry. Where is that going to take you? I know you’re not going to do as I have. You already know what I have to say. You are going to have to figure out what you want to do with your life. It’s your time. What will you want to see when you look back on it?”
Eventually her nagging got to me to the point that I pulled myself reasonably together and visited our greater community’s community college. Celia had brought me a catalog to look over, to see if I had any interests to pique.
Part of my problem with high school was that I had no objection to learning, but a strong objection to routine disrespect. At the community college everyone was more adult, respectful of the time and effort going towards useful education. There aren’t the academic requirements like those for getting into a real college, the institutional transition between high school child and professional adult. We self-select, each student pursuing personal goals. It is thus an environment much more conducive to learning than compulsory public schools. They say some of the charter schools are good, starting with a philosophy that kids will learn if you let them, help them get where they are going. We humans are born needing to fill in the confusion with whatever we can find and figure out. We are curious little mimics working away at learning how to be human beings in the background conditions of the here and now we become aware within. What we learn becomes the basis of plans toward big picture goals. What we do with our labors gets circumscribed by perceived need to acquire property, be owned by appropriately valued possessions, positions of responsibility, picturebook family, respected social roles, or not.
What do I want to do with my life? I find a great deal of it caught up in irrelevant activities, even outright stupid, self-defeating activities. These are all what I do, not meaningless. When I look back there is embarrassment, regrets, and insights into myself and my world. Adventures and misadventures replayed, recited for fun or commiseration, they become little gems of sensual recall to treasure.
I do understand the desirability of some organizing principles, organized knowledge to apply to purpose. Today we can learn about any section of a vast store of knowledge through the user friendly internet. We can muster some discipline, outline a plan, and fill in instruction layer upon layer at our own comfort level. We can, alternatively or at whim, melt hours surfing from captivating wave to the next, imbibing the heady mix like a drug. It’s all valid, spent time, learning, doing, effecting who we are, what we look back on.
Who do I want to have been? Celia says she is satisfied. She lived on her own terms. I may see her routine, her circumscribed little life as I interpret it, not satisfying at all. She laughs, gently but in true humor. It’s not been about those routines for her. They are the soothing well-worn structure within which she enjoys that self-made internal world, her real home. I have a home like that, though vastly different from hers in specs and decoration. There are points of similarity where we grew up together, shared in mutual private world visitation.
We see people in their public performances. We think we know who they are, peg them into a labeled box. We have no idea. Is it acceptable to ask: Show me a glimpse, or batter a panorama, of your world.
In my daily living now I watch the one constant person I have always depended upon moving away from her commitment to life. I feel as I imagine Arjuna would have on the field of battle, struggling with the vast issues of life, death, purpose, destiny.