Sunday, July 7, 2013

Good Morning Jack...

Letter to my Son
Sunday, 7 July


Good Morning Jack…

I hope only for the best in health and happiness for you, your mother, brothers and sister.  Hope is never a casual expression.  The world sometimes presents us with sinister turns.  The people I care for most can sometimes seem to have a frail hold on life.  Still, nothing is gained dwelling in darkness and I think it best to enjoy the light of day.  We live to stay involved.

Each of us is furnished a familiar outlook on life that also displays characteristics unique to ourselves.  We all desire much of the same things but we set about procuring these goals in a manner that reveals our own shades of personal meaning.  In so doing we fill the niches of humanity.  At some point in life our time spent planning for the future is encroached upon by our estimations on how we’ve already done.  Our life, seen in retrospect, makes for an interesting narrative.  Certainly there are some who have turned their early intentions into accomplishments and they now walk the path they always envisioned for themselves.  Yet, the decisions they made along the way and the events that led to this point in their life were beyond their ability to foresee.  We fulfilled our predictions to a splendid degree but the manner of our achievement is a story spiced with intrigue. 

There are those of us not quite so resolute in our goals.  Our youthful intentions often seemed murky, even to ourselves.  The journey began without a plotted course.  The destination was never adequately settled.  Critical decisions were improvised.  What does one make of this manner of voyage?  Was there a notable result beyond that of personal discovery?  This captain’s log may hold a tale of misadventure, shameful lapse of character and brilliant survival skills.  The ship finally makes port safely, having to show for its extended effort a cargo hold that is empty save for two rare albino coconuts. 

Popeye’s goal in life was to win the heart of Olive Oyl.  He worked very hard at it.  Olive always appreciated his effort and devotion to her but she never could quite overcome her attraction to Bluto’s animal magnetism.  Bluto was a narcissist and I doubt Olive Oyl meant anything more to him than a prize of conquest.  Bluto was no good.  When he swept Olive up with his powerful arms, holding her pressed to his barrel chest while he carried her off, she would scream for Popeye and vainly struggle to be free.  Deep inside, though, she was enthralled with the feeling of being a helpless captive to desire and she would sigh, “Oh, my!”  Meanwhile, ever faithful Popeye would come running, crying out, “I’ll save you, Olive.”

Ain’t life a bitch?  If only Bluto could be trusted.  If only Olive would settle down.  If only Popeye wasn’t such a mumbling nitwit.  If only what was good for you wasn’t a can of spinach – leaves soggy with vinegar. 

One of the goals in most everyone’s life is to win someone’s heart.  We have our reasons to develop our personal capabilities as far as we can take them but it all seems to be in the context of being a part of another person’s life.  The desire to accomplish great things can lose much of its luster once the person you most care for is suddenly gone.  It doesn’t mean we quit.  We find new motivations to continue on but it hasn’t the same sense of sharing as before.  If you’re a Neanderthal there’s enormous gratification in dragging the impressive carcass of a freshly killed animal to the cave entrance of the woman you love.  If it turns out she has left then all you can see is decaying flesh and an issue with flies.  You leave it for the hyenas.  You head in the direction of the setting sun.  Who knows what waits for you over the horizon?


No comments:

Post a Comment