Friday, April 15, 2016

Finding Joy…in Matilda (the pet whale)

This rambling of thoughts is less about Meara specifically and more about my frustration with living amongst the world that she is growing up in.  Though it's not about my reality…more about the reality that surrounds me.  Does that make sense?  Yeah, doesn't make sense to me either.  I think that is why I find it somewhat of a struggle… my brain hurts trying to figure out why we continue to live so completely unaware of what is really important in this world.

Like…healthcare for all.  Real health care.  Not just expensive access.  I mean health care as a basic right, as education is…or should be.  And I don't mean in a political or "let's make it make financial sense" type of way.  I mean just as the right thing to do.  To provide for everyone. 

I see it in my students every day.  I see them asking what they can get, what's in it for me?  Instead, they should be asking, what can I do for others?  How can I do some good in this world for others?

What is our obsession with success?  Or personal achievement?  It's such a fleeting dismal potion that lasts a microsecond before the emptiness returns.  Seriously.  I see it in my students.  They accomplish something and maybe they see it, maybe they care, maybe they don't.  But it doesn't matter really because they've already moved on to what the next best thing is in an attempt to quench their insatiable thirst for fulfillment.  

Meanwhile, my own disjointed and perhaps lonely opinion is that it's not about achievement or personal fulfillment.  It's about joy.  It's about creating a world around you that is bigger than yourself.  Meaning, we aren't more important than one another.  We are just part of something that is so much bigger than what our brains can possibly comprehend.  And maybe it's our purpose to spend time with one another in meaning, in authenticity.  Maybe, just maybe our egos are something that get in the way of loving one another.  

There are many regrets that I have in life.  People I've treated unfairly, people that I've judged, and mistakes I've made.  Not a day goes by that I don't realize my own imperfection and mortality.  The one thing I know is that the good that I can do has nothing do with proficiency, intelligence, personal or professional aptitude or achievement.  

I bet my grandfather never really thought about personal or professional achievement.  I could be entirely wrong.  I often am.  But I bet he thought a lot about his "pet whale" Matilda.  Sure, we would tease him about his pet whale, half believing this incredible fish story.  But, all of us grand kids knew it was true.  Every time Captain Lenie would head towards Antarctica there would be Matilda, swimming right alongside the H.E.R.O.  My point grandfather found incredible joy in the sea and on this boat…his boat.  In the vast nothingness (and yet everythingness) of a otherwise remote and beautiful landscape he felt himself called.  Why else would he keep going back except that he found joy?  He was a rebel, but he always did the right thing for the right reasons.  There wasn't much of a blueprint.  He followed his wits, his heart, his obstinacy.

And yet, although my grandfather wasn't much of one to say "I love you" I do feel a great deal of him in me.  He captained his ship his way.  And it was the right way.  

Why can't that be enough?  Why can't we all just find our own way?

When my life is over everything around me will be what it is.  I am just a small, very small part of this whole thing.  Just one heartbeat.  It's as simple as that.

Bring on the joy.  Bring on the opportunity to step forward.  Bring on the opportunity to hear one simple melody that makes things a little better…even if it's only for a short while.

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