Friday, April 8, 2005

Spring scampers in

As we continue to wander
We keep on living, everywhere we go
Looking for a light that we can believe in
I'll start walking, with you now
--Do As Infinity

Spring is arriving little by little in my neck of the woods. The green shoots of perenniels have been popping up along my street and in my yard. One or two have bloomed. The grass will need to be cut soon. Spring is seen as the season of renewal, with Summer being the prime of life, Fall the time of diminishing, and winter the end. Yet winter is not the end. It is perpetually followed by a new Spring. Moreover, each moment is perpetually followed by a new one. It is easy to get hung up on appearances and forms--people prefer one season over another. People prefer one kind of life or phase of life over another. But circumstances are continually shifting. The seasons change. People change. Things are born, blossom, fade, die, and are born yet again. But each moment only comes once. What unique opportunities did you have the chance to experience today?

I worked on my tax forms. I've done taxes before, but never this exact set of sums and deductions. Moreover, I am not the exact same person who did the taxes before. I have more experience and patience than the previous versions of me who tried wrestling with the U.S. tax code. I wrote a little for a project I would like to resume soon dealing with the taxonomy of galagos, a group of nocturnal prosimians from Africa also known as bushbabies. I have a much better idea on how to operationalize certain aspects of the study than I did when I first looked into the matter almost two years ago, having done another similar project for my dissertation. I watched a few minutes of CNN Headline News. The stories were similar to the previous days news but I have had more time to reflect and absord additional information and my perspective on their reporting was different this time. I managed to notice details I had unconsciously ignored as irrelevant the first time I heard them. I spent time with my dogs in the sunshine and warmth of the day. They are wonderful animals and friends and I know they, like all living things, will die one day, so I choose to appreciate them while they are still here, still happy and frisky and able to really enjoy the first few sunny days of spring after months of greys skies and cold.

I saw someone post a message online today asking people to answer questions like: "Where did you come from?/Where are you going?" It occurred to me that on one level the answers would be "I was born and I will die", but since the questions seemed framed in the ultimate perspective my answer would have to be "I am neither coming nor going, I just am." Another such question was "Why are you here?" Again, I could answer in the proximate sense and talk about life, evolution, sex, and the like, but I'm sure the question was meant as before in the ultimate sense. Therefore there is only one answer--"I am here to be me."

Why are you here?

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