"As we rush along, are we running, or being pushed?"

"As we rush along,
are we running, or being pushed?"

FTLComm - Tisdale - Thursday, September 25, 2003
For the longest time I wondered why British comedy and fiction writers seem to torture themselves in an attempt to resolve "the meaning of life". As you will recall the Monty Python crew made a movie of that title and radio writer and humourist Douglas Adams in his Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe made the quest for the meaning of everything his central theme and even found the answer to be "42" but then could not fathom what that meant.

Indeed, it may be an unattainable quest, for our limitations as a species, grasping at the issue with our extremely limited perception, so that for every foray into the topic, we are sometimes forced to bail out and suggest that this greater reality is only for God to know and for us to put our faith in a character who whipped up the universe in seven days. I subscribe to the Greek ideals and hope that we humans can expand our awareness and understanding and boldly go intellectually where no one has gone before seeking out new worlds and new life forms that will add to the cosmic meaningless of everyday existence.

Thursday has been one of those fall days, a splash of rain, dull skies followed by a blast of sunlight then more dull skies. When all else fails, spirits can always be lifted with a visit to the bakery and a fix with a "BeeSting." As I emerged with just a tad less depression than when I entered, it was close to 3:30 and traffic was backed up from the four way stop for two blocks. I snapped this picture and remarked to a fellow bakery customer about this five minute rush that seems to occur in this little town each day.

Under his beard he gave a wry smile and noted that it is so hard to determine if the onslaught of rushing about is caused by we ourselves engaged in rushing, or is the spirit of the moment being impelled by our sense of being pushed. He recalled his visit to Winnipeg only a week ago and how the dramatic intensity of Portage Avenue's 4:30 to 5:30 rush hour seems to be such a ballistic event as one would wonder what is compelling people to live at such a pace.

I noted that our whole society of this age seems to have become a remarkable disappointment. The promise of a better life that we all foresaw in the 1960s has vanished with people working more, earning more and enjoying everything less.

"Indeed" said he, "I was there." Born in 1939 and having lived through the war in Eastern Europe, the dreadful deprivation of the post war years and then the ultimate horror of an attempt to democratise brutally put down in 1968 when he came to Canada. He said that he knew what it was like to know that life is not a gift but must be a struggle to survive, how he once was buried alive and at other times caught in desperation with absolutely no hope what ever of someone coming to help. All that would prevent extinction of life was the will to live on, to defy adversity and ultimately come to terms with the simplicity of existence. To live or not to live.

The summer is over and the time has come for the Arctic geese to rise above the ground and let their instincts lead them South once more. Working together to find some food, working together to navigate through weather, working together to do their best to see that some of the flock will run the gauntlet of thousands of shot guns pointed at their formations.

For them life does not rely upon car payments, a wide screen television, power tools or air conditioning. Bonded for life, a goose and his partner will do what has to be done to teach their goslings good take off and landing procedures, basic food identification and courtship. For them with a life expectancy of perhaps one tenth of our own they have little time to bother with the many things that clutter and confuse the lives of humans.

As we talked the acquisition of wealth, property and the impelling features that began our conversation. Are people going on their own or are they being pushed. Clearly, we resolved that money was no solution, winning the lottery was perhaps more of a burden than a resolution of life's pressures and the really important thing, all of the ultimate bottom line things in life are not for sale and money can not place them at your disposal. Essentially, the geese have it right.
I suggested that the mindset of each of us is so often determined by our location. Here we are at peace and safe, the sky and our own peace of mind are responsibilities we have to ourselves and it is for each of us to decide if we are running on our own, or to succumb to the pressure to lunge forward thinking that we are being pushed by the people and environment around us.

It seems the key to life is not to be found in a quest, there is no need to search the world over for the meaning of life, we must turn into ourselves for that monument, the pot of gold, the hidden treasure and all that is and ever will be, can only be sorted out with in one's own consciousness and perhaps physical entity. Happiness, contentment, self assurance and achievement are not to be found anywhere but between our own ears.

Fearfulness, anxiety, worry and despondency are ours to enfold into ourselves, or to be rejected outright, as we take the blessing of this moment and make it our crowning event. Our victories of the past, our dreams of the future, pale in every way compared to seeking the power of this moment, this single slice of the space time continuum in which this breath is being taken, when this blink happens and as that leaf flutters helplessly from a tree.

Timothy W. Shire


Return to Ensign - Return to Saskatchewan News

This page is a story posted on Ensign and/or Saskatchewan News, both of which are daily web sites offering a variety of material from scenic images, political commentary, information and news. These publications are the work of Faster Than Light Communications . If you would like to comment on this story or you wish to contact the editor of these sites please send us email.

Editor : Timothy W. Shire
Faster Than Light Communication
Box 1776, Tisdale, Saskatchewan, Canada, S0E 1T0
306 873 2004