Saturday, April 20, 2024

Discovery Is More Than Digging

Trail in Scotland
The bouncing balls in my head were extremely active during a recent walk. Thoughts were converging, colliding, and exiting. One that rattled around longer and never found an escape route involved a book entitled, Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life. The author, James Hollis, explores ways to grow in order to fully become ourselves when the traditionally sanctioned ways aren't providing satisfaction. With enough effort and searching meaning will be found.

Returning from the walk, I logged onto the catalog for the Fargo (North Dakota) Public Library. Placing the keyword "finding" into the search function, I was immediately shown that there were in excess of 28,000 results. It appears that a lot of searching is taking place. Finding Nemo is an adventurous tale, yet I believe most people are searching for something that isn't easily found. Even though locating misplaced vehicle fobs and cell phones may be frustrating, the search usually concludes positively. As we search for the intangibles: love, beauty, meaning, serenity, etc. we believe these slippery concepts have a specific location. If we could only be directed in the general area our lives would be so much better! As well, once found we could cling onto them forever. The search would be over.

My experience, as I have spent decades attempting to find those elusive, internal qualities has brought me both frustration and acceptance. The gradual revelation, often fueled by my need for success along with a perception of superiority has left scars on my skin and on my spirit. As often as I use Alexa, the smart 

Roman Ruins

speaker was not forthcoming with advice. In the progression of life, interacting in a listening posture with others and with nature brought the endless digging to FIND something to an end. In the efforts to find, I missed all that had beauty, meaning, and surprise in the everyday. Now instead of finding, I observe; instead of answers, I question; instead of stagnation, I proceed. All things have purpose, vitality, and beauty. Constriction imprisons meaning. Cultural buttresses depreciate beauty. In the frantic effort to find there is great loss.

As my life continues my need to categorize has diminished. The concepts of light and darkness, good and evil, positive and negative are no longer held in opposition. Realizing that binary (having two absolute parts) produces humanly framed differences and divisions which too often are destructive, I see more of daily life as fluid. There is discovery in darkness. Actually, there is another world that exists in the darkness. Yet we shy away from it. Brutal, stormy weather provides an avenue for adaptation and insight. Events which bring us to our knees give our vision a new perspective. Striving to find that which is controlled, serene, and sterile can provide a rejuvenating respite, but pursuing it as a Utopian goal is vanity. 

Enjoy each day! Expand vision and perspective! Cherish the moment and the movement! There is no reason to exhaustively attempt to find that which is already present.