Sunday, April 27, 2014

alphabetical exercise

Anyone who has got or dealt with kids knows the lines by heart: "I understand," "I get it."

The lines are laced with "let's move on" and/or "I've got more important fish to fry." And the reason anyone would know the lines so well is that they too have been kids and they too have employed the same words.

Kids, d'oh, are not alone ... adults are equally, if sometimes more subtly, impatient: My life is too important and complex and wisely-woven to linger and wonder if I actually do understand or get it.

OK ... everyone understands right up to the moment they no longer understand. It's no big deal, though it can be painful.

I was thinking about how marvelously endowed any human life might be when a 26-word experiment came to mind. It's just 26 words after all -- not enough to require much in a life full of importance and complexity and wise weavings.

On a piece of paper, write down one human capacity for each letter of the alphabet: Adoring, Berating, Cuddling, Dodging, Examining, Fulminating, Gorging, Hosting, Investing, Jiggling, Kissing, Lying, Molding, Notifying, Operating, Parenting, Quoting, Rectifying, Sanctifying, Testing, Undoing, Vouching, Withdrawing, X-raying, Yodeling, Zooming.Twenty-six words -- it should take less than a minute.

What a wonderful set of capacities. And yet ... and yet ... for every word that begins with a particular letter, there are tens if not hundreds of other choices that could just as easily have been made. And each of those other choices would be equally descriptive and equally applicable in the human tapestry. It really is pretty astounding how many capacities any important, complex and wisely-woven life might display. The Library of Congress is small potatoes by comparison.

Let's face it -- everyone is humongously endowed and loaded for bear! Is it any wonder that the impatience thermometer would rise and the self-affirming "I understand" zip off the tongue when so much is already "understood?"

Twenty-six words, twenty-six-thousand words, twenty-six-million words ... what a bankroll of possibilities!

But without making some gluey or professional thesis out of it, did you ever wonder who it was who was capable of all this marvelous and sometimes unnerving stuff? Seriously, this stuff rises up more easily than falling out of bed ... scads and scads of stuff ... no sweat ... I understand ... but what repository is it that makes it all possible? Aside from anything else, how does it all fit? -- talk about ten pounds of shit in a five-pound bag! What repository is big enough...? Philosophy can't answer, religion can't answer, psychology can't answer and whatever-all-else can't answer because each of these is just another capacity .... rising up from ... from ... from ... I wonder where.

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