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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Hallelujah, Socrates

Maybe we could have done a five things post, but the end would not have been nearly as effective



Readers Reader, you may be surprised to learn that the post yesterday -- about the trees -- was not the one I planned to write. ('Surprised,' meaning 'indifferent.') But I’ve been weaselling out of that post for a week. So I got to thinking about Socrates, not that we’re close or anything, because it seems he said this, 'The unexamined life is not worth living.’ Which seems kind of harsh to me, but then I’ve never been on trial for my life or anything. I’m sitting at my kitchen table listening to Keith Whitley sing ‘I’m no stranger to the rain.’ But I thought of Socrates because of Ray Bradbury, who said, ‘You can only go with loves in this life.’ Which struck me because of reading this poem by Mary Oliver, ‘Wild Geese,’ [because one time I wrote a poem (bad) about geese, too]:
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves. 
And I needed to hear that, because before I had read that Jeff Buckley said this:
It’s part of maturity, to project upon your life goals and project upon your life realized dreams and a result that you want. It’s part of becoming whole … just like a childish game. It’s honest — it’s an honest game, because … you want your life to hold hope and possibility.
It’s just that, when you get to the real meat of life, is that life has its own rhythm and you cannot impose your own structure upon it — you have to listen to what it tells you, and you have to listen to what your path tells you. It’s not earth that you move with a tractor — life is not like that. Life is more like earth that you learn about and plant seeds in… It’s something you have to have a relationship with in order to experience — you can’t mold it — you can’t control it…
Which was a little depressing at first, because it was kind of like Jeff was saying that dreams were just ‘childish games,’ [bummer!] but then after reading more of Mary’s geese:
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
I recast what Jeff said, in my head, you know, after reading that poem, and felt better about everything -- especially that last part about being more organic in one’s approach, which is what I do, anyway. [I once told a guy during a job interview for a position I did not get that I didn’t have any goals -- anathema to admit in job interviews, btw.] But I was really channeling Jeff Buckley, not that I knew it at the time -- by being more organic in my approach to life, I mean. I think Mary and Jeff -- and shoot, maybe even Ray Bradbury, would have understood that thing yesterday, about the trees, don’t you? I mean, they were quiet about it [unlike the geese], for sure, but they definitely ‘offered themselves up.’ Kind of like Socrates, too, eh?

Although I am wondering, is an unexamined blog worth writing? Don’t answer that.

Friends Friend, it’s time for the money shot. Longtime readers reader should have seen this one coming. A lesser bad blogger would have given you the Jeff Buckley tune you expected. Instead, you’ve found the only place on the internet bringing Socrates and Selena Gomez together in one post. You. Are. Welcome.


I know I'm acting a bit crazy / Strung out, a little bit hazy / Hand over heart, I'm praying / That I'm gonna make it out alive

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