12 January 2016

One from many


Because everything is as bad as usual in the world right now, you might start thinking that nothing will ever go right. So I hope it cheers you to receive the following good news:

Seriously, I had a couple of news items that I was going to relay, and both were good… but once I started typing, I drew a blank.

Ah, now I remember the first update, at least: We fixed our squeaky door by oiling its hinges. (Our front door had a really bad squeak this morning.)

I can’t remember any other news to report, so now I’ll try to deliver a State of the Inwards address to myself. I would like to know how my inward aspects are faring, after nearly twoscore years of being bombarded by outward existence.

Mostly I’ve felt agitated and ornery… No deed that I’ve attempted has panned out quite as I wished.

Why would anyone teach literature? I sometimes wonder if I would have made a decent English teacher, like for a grade school. I already look and talk like an English teacher. I dress like an English teacher. Maybe I would accept that job, just to see what it’s like…

I imagine that my students would fit the age range that is known for being unmanageable and uninterested in learning. I would teach at a “bad” school—which is to say: one that is underfunded, and that is populated by troubled individuals.

On the very first day, I would tell my class: Each and every one of you is going to receive an “A” for your grade, no matter what. (That’s the highest grade possible.) All I ask is that you tell me what you want from life, and what you think is important in this world.

I’d ask this question simply out of curiosity. And I’d like to know the same about everyone, not just my own students but all miscreants: What do you want from life? What in this world is important to you?

I hope that those questions aren’t redundant—I think they each deserve an exclusive answer; but maybe some people would give a single reply to cover both, say like: “Money” (meaning: “I want money and think that it’s the most important thing in this world”); or “God,” or “Love.”

Some say that God is love, or that money is God. Some have claimed that a televangelist cannot impartially revere both God and money. And I once saw the phrase “In God We Trust” printed on a U.S. paper dollar. “For the love of money is the root of all evil…” Those words are from the Apostle’s first letter to Timothy (6:10). And here’s a quote from Wikipedia:

“In God We Trust” is the official motto of the United States. It was adopted in 1956 as an alternative or replacement to the unofficial motto of “E pluribus unum” (“Out of many, one”), which was adopted when the Great Seal of the United States was created in 1782.

I just realized that I still haven’t shared my own replies to the above inquiries. I wasn’t trying to slink away unnoticed or shirk my duty… Here, I’ll answer them now:

What do I want from life? RECOGNITION: to be compensated fairly for whatever contribution I might have made to the realm of things that money can’t buy. And what is important to me about this world? FRIENDSHIP: even with the entirety, harmoniousness—my goal is to share existence’s greatest facets, as intensely as possible, with the divinest minds that I can find.

But what is the purpose of music? Does it exist to serve you? To soothe you? To challenge you? To offend others while pleasing you? To reveal truth, or to obscure the truth?


PRB said...

I have no idea what I want out of life, but I'm following a trail of clues...

Bryan Ray said...

My wish is to serve as a clue in a trail that leads somewhere!


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