Sunday, December 27, 2015

pick a nutshell

With the slow-leak implosion of social agreements (at least as I sense it), the question arises, where is a (wo)man to lay a weary or agitated heart? Sometimes it seems, both near and far, that the world is falling apart and, even as peace beckons, the question of how to assure it nags.

I don't know the answer, but like anyone else, I get to guess. I too have tried on templates of philosophy and religion and work schedule and family life and whatever all else. All of it, little and large, has left me guessing still, I guess.

And this morning my guess is this: Your grandmother had it right. No need to travel to the ends of the intellectual or emotional earth. She had it right ... as, for example, with the nutshell observation, "if wishes were horses, beggars would ride." And that, by god, is enough!

Everyone has their nutshells, I imagine. The trick is just to see them through. Pick your nutshell or philosophy or religion and then, with a ruthlessness that would leave Genghis Khan in the shadows, follow and parse and examine and exercise and never, ever, give up. Do what you can to examine such nutshells without raining anguish on anyone else's parade, but do not give up the examination. The object is not to corral some wider agreement or understanding. This is not a cake-and-cookies church social. The object is to clarify this understanding.

The underlying assertion/assumption here is that everything invariably comes around to and clarifies everything else. Begin here and you are invariably there and vice versa. So the trinkets that adorn the adventure are not so important. Be a Christian, be a Jew, be a humanist, work for Amazon, pick daisies ... just pick a nutshell and never give up. Agreement with others is not so important when everything is already in accord. Don't be a wuss or a wimp or curl up next to the latest TED talk.

Your grandmother and mine were right ... and they never agreed about anything.

Pick your nutshell.

Go nuts.

Get peaceful.

1 comment:

  1. Hamlet:
    To me [Denmark] is a prison.

    Why then your ambition makes it one. 'Tis too narrow
    for your mind.

    O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a
    king of infinite space—were it not that I have bad dreams.

    Which dreams indeed are ambition, for the very
    substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.

    Hamlet Act 2, scene 2, 251–259