Thursday, May 31, 2018

if only life were that simple ... or complex

Late one day last week, the much-wrinkled, good-natured face of a woman I estimated to be in her 90's looked out from the TV screen and said simply, "Men love war. Always have. Always will."

The topic that enfolded her observation was lost to me. The simplicity and good-nature embedded itself in my mind. "Relax," her face said to me. "It's just a fact. Relax and find something useful to do."

Isn't it funny how anyone might search and dig and sweat and swear in an effort to boil things down to a single simplicity -- a universal solvent of some sort? In the searching, the reasoning is that if the single simplicity were inhaled and digested, the topic might be resolved and the search would end.

But the fact seems to be that once having shaped and attained the simplicity -- whatever it is -- the mind rushes forward and asserts, "Well, it's not quite that simple..." at which point the search for a new and improved simplicity begins. There is research and parsing and dissecting and charts and history and all sorts of efforts to round off the understanding, to explain why and how "it's not that simple."

It is that simple, on the one hand.
It's not that simple on the other.
And the beat goes on.
There is a period on the sentence that brooks no periods.

It all reminds me of the old joke in which a bird flies around a mountain top in ever-smaller circles until finally it flies up its own asshole and disappears.

Also of the old third-grade silly:

Everybody's doin' it
Doin' it
Doin' it --
Pickin' their nose and
Chewin' it
Chrewin' it
Chewin' it.

And of the words attributed to Gautama:

"It is not what others do and do not do that is my concern. It is what I do and do not do -- that is my concern."

"Men love war. Always have. Always will."

1 comment:

  1. Reminds me of a passage from, I believe, the Surangama Sutra translated as follows:

    “Things are not what they appear, nor are they otherwise.”

    It’s a phrase that pierces all manner of preconceptions and Ill conceived ideas.