A MIND FOREVER VOYAGING THROUGH STRANGE SEAS OF THOUGHT, ALONE


This is my second blog.

My first blog chronicled my experiences over three years caring for my dad as he lived through and finally died from Alzheimer's. That is the book that is for sale.

This second blog kind of chronicles of life, what it is like to start your life over in your late 50's. After caretaking, you are damaged, file bankruptcy, and the world doesn't care what you did. After 8 months of unemployment, you wake each day knowing the world doesn't want you. Finally you do find a job, 5 weeks before homelessness, but doing what you did 30 years ago and getting paid what you did 30 years ago. So this is starting over.



The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.

Monday, September 14, 2015

APPOINTMENT IN SAMARRA

One day a slave went to the market in town to buy supplies.  While in the market he accidentally bumped into an old woman and turn to say he was sorry.  When he looked in her face, he saw she had a surprised look on her face but he recognized her as Death.  The slave was shocked and turned and ran as fast as he could back to his home.

He told his master what happened, he met Death at the market and had to get away.  The master provided him a horse and supplies and told him to ride as fast as he could to Samarra.  Later that afternoon, the master went to the market and when he spied the old lady he walked up to her and asked her if she came for his favorite slave and if not, why did she scare him half to death.

Death looked at the master and admitted when she turned and saw him, she was quite surprised.  "How come?" asked the master.  "Well," Death replied, "I have an appointment with him tonight in Samarra."

We can't escape our fate.

Being a caretaker, I somehow became very fatalistic in my outlook on life.  It's a confusing way to live.

It's not the simple sort of "if life is determined, why should I do anything" philosophy.  It's more a "make your choices but understand you have no control" philosophy.  Most people have this illusion of control.  The more they plan their day, their week, their life, the stronger the illusion.  I'm sure many of the men and women who died on the planes on 9/11 were people who thought they controlled their lives - which is why when such events arise, most people are unable to move - they are not afraid, they are totally mind blown because their carefully controlled lives and worldview just got destroyed - like Saul on the road to Damascus.

One of my favorite characters in a TV show was Chris on Northern Exposure.  One episode radios started disappearing from cars and trucks and when Ed figured out Chris was doing it, Chris explained he wanted to remind people we live in chaos, that control is an illusion.

We really have no control over our lives, our living or dying.  Yes, we can choose to run instead of smoke, drink water not scotch - or drink scotch and water and think they balance out.  But has you go about your day, following your Franklin Planner (anyone still use a Franklin Planner?) a meteor could be barreling down on Earth, a drunk could be approaching the red light, your company C executives could be deciding to replace you with a foreign worker, your government could be deciding to start a world war.  We live thinking, reasonably, that today will be pretty much like yesterday, tomorrow pretty much like today.  We are lulled into a sense of security that really does not exist.

The slave in the story took action to avoid Death, never knowing his action was pointing exactly to the appointment.  Could the slave have not ridden to Samarra?  No, and therein lies the rub.  Free choice, the illusion of free choice, was not free choice, but determined - he was bound to ride to Samarra, where he would meet his fate.  Judas, the night of the Last Supper, what if when Jesus said to him do what you will to do, what if Judas and fallen to his knees, confessed his sin, and asked forgiveness?  The whole prophecy required the betrayal, on that night, to happen.  Did Judas have a chance?  What disciple would have then had to betray Jesus to keep the prophecy?  Or was Judas born to betray.  Just as the blind man in John 9, who was born blind, who live decades blind, just so on that day Jesus could cure the blindness to glorify God.  Each were born to a predetermined destiny.  Did God punish Judas to Hell for what he did or thank him for being part of the play?

And eventually you have to ask, "what destiny was I born for?".  Did the blind man, with new sight, ask himself that question, that was my purpose, to spend 30 some years blind so God could show off?  So now what?  Once that happened, purpose is served, so now what does he do?

Two years past being a caretaker and I have no purpose.  Take care of mom, take care of dad.  Nothing else mattered.  Was that the purpose to my life?  So now what?  Seems for over a year my purpose was to reach the point where I could file bankruptcy and then, should be done in a week, and then start saving money to retire when I'm 80?  That is it?  No wife, no kids, few friends.  Just get out of bed each day and walk the dog, feed the dog, work and do it all over again.

When the wonder of sight wore off, what did become of that blind man, who realized the purpose to his life was to suffer so God could show off.  How did he continue when he thought his purpose was served.  Did he find a purpose?  Did God use him again?  What of Ananias, one of my favorite stories in the Bible, where God tells him to find Saul, the killer of Christians, and explain the Gospel to him and Ananias did as he was told and we never hear of him again.  A moment in time and life that went on, for what?

And there is the rub, can we really ever know our purpose?  Is this portion of my life just the still waters I so often prayed for when taking care of my dad?  Am I not appreciating the still waters?  And if this is the still waters, what, pray tell, comes next - what preparing for that future am I not doing that I should be doing, while complaining about the still waters I so once desired.

Our purpose and our lives are not in our control.  Maybe that is the point of Ecclesiastes, not the vanity, vanity, all is vanity that so many remember, but do you remember the end?  Fear God and follow His commandments, for this is the whole of man.  For God will bring every work into judgment, including everything that has been overlooked, whether it be good or evil.

I'm feeling so alone now
They cut the telephone uh huh
Yeah my life is just a mess
I threw it all away now
I could have made a fortune
I lost the craving for success


And as the acrobats they tumble
So the corn begins to crumble
While in the mirror
She admires a brand new dress


Live on the second floor now
They're trying to bust the door down
Soon I'll have a new address
So much for liberation
They'll have a celebration
Yeah I've been under too much stress


And as the cloud begin to rumble
So the juggler makes his fumble
And the sun upon my wall is getting less


Don't, give a damn
Fight, while you can
Kill, shoot 'em up
They'll run amuck
Shout, Judas
Loud, they'll hear us
Soldier, sailor


They'll run for cover when they discover
Everyone's a nervous wreck now
I used to think she was so nimble
Would have bought her as symbol
But now I can't afford the pen to sign her checks
Don't give a damn............................


They'll run for cover when they discover
Everyone's a nervous wreck now
Life's just a bummer they got your number
We'll give as good as we get now
Rise from the gutter, stick with each other
We'll drive 'em over the edge now
They're gonna bleed, that's what they need
We'll get together and blow their cover


supertramp