Tragedy Looms at the Edge of Time

Quite often the phrase: “Tragedy Looms at the Edge of Time”, scratches at me like a cat pawing and abrading my leg for a pet.   I do as she wishes, bend and pet her and she purrs in contentment, but her hair lingers on my pant leg.

As with the cat hair, the  expression pops out and lingers afterward causing me to question its meaning.  I fantasize that this place  lives within my mind and I imagine that it knows all about me, including a forecast of my future moments.  I think that if I dare dip into its quagmire I  will be overcome by squelched visions of hate, buffeted by fleeting dreams of hope, wrenched by truths I have ignored, twisted by each manipulation I have felt, hear once more the taunts from long-ago bullies and relive the anguish of grief.

The thought of all that tires me. I feel a bit overwhelmed and find it is necessary to understand much more and how it pertains to me.

Tragedy: How does this relate to me?  Tragedy should cause distress and great suffering.  I feel none although I wonder if I should?
Edge: As a noun  it presents itself as mean, a line or border at which a surface terminates, thus also referring to at a brink or on the verge of something somewhere.  Could this edge mean that change which has never set well with me is approaching.
Looms: A strong verb that brings many images to my mind.

    • To come into view as a massive, distorted, or indistinct image
    • To be in the mind in a magnified, threatening form.
    • To seem imminent; impending.

Should I interpret these meanings and believe that my mind is a prophet proclaiming a threat to my existence?  I have never smiled on change, nor has any one other than myself decided new directions for me.

As I continue exploring I find that I am not the only one that knows this phrase and others  have developed their own explanation for it.    If I wish to put this to rest I should take the easiest way out and accept that the phrase is not an idiom, but rather that it is nonce phrase.  Nonce explains only in a  temporary present.

Whatever I can gain in the present moment the nonce suggests that the answer will come by the end of the present day.  This doesn’t bring much resolution so I thought that  I should look at the nonce antonyms.  When I do I am left with the past and the future.

Originally, I  imagined that this phrase knows all about me in the current moment.  Now I realize that information must be redirected to  the past or include it in the future forecast.   Basically there are 3 moments that revolve continually.  Two of them record and record what was present.  In memory they are part of the past or part of future thought.

Finally, I realize the edge of time is my unconscious mind working.  It is where I must have balance in my life, it is a fleeting time of decision.  The edge of time becomes an imaginary border where if  I  verge on without judgement tragedy will loom out over me in an unwanted threatening form. 

 

 

 

 

Lightning Strikes

Sometimes when you least expect it, a bolt of lightning strikes.  When it does you react quickly with a smile and a word, “hi” if you are meeting someone.   Once the greeting is over you know you need to smile and begin to understand why you felt an unwanted, shocking strike.  It is a time for you to cope regardless of what the moment brought to you.

Yesterday, we arranged to have lunch with our neighbor from where we previously lived.  We were neighbors for six years and the last time we saw them was a year ago in front of our house.   That day they each came over to bid us a pleasant good-bye.  We often chatted with them in our yard or their’s and rarely did we go into each other’s homes to have a  formal time with each other.  Even though we chatted under the mango trees or during a time when we helped each other we did get to know a fair amount about each other.

As I climbed out of the car my eye quickly stopped at the wife and then on to the husband followed by the strike of lightning.   During the next moment, I found it difficult to say “hi” and pull me together to act normal.  The husband‘s Parkinson’s worsened leaving his left-hand shake unmercifully.  His wife looked haggard and worn.  She appeared as though she was ten years older than she is.

Without too much delay she began to talk about herself and why her shabby appearance was due to her muddled mind.   We accompanied them as they walked into the house.    The husband still is of sound mind although his physical appearance showed that he had lost weight;  the weight that had been lost by an erratic diet.    later he mentioned that there wasn’t food in the house and that we needed to go out.  I felt bad and wanted to shop and make food for them. Yet he would never allow anyone to give them anything.  This is something I learned during our six years we were neighbors.

Over the next two hours, we listened as they each told us about her problems.  She was crestfallen and tired and conscious of what she felt.  She explained at lunch that the man across the table was not her husband, he was a replacement, one that she was not as comfortable as with her real husband.  He asked her for the keys she carried but she would not release them and we knew that she wouldn’t give them to him because she felt this new person might take the car or lock her out of the house.  She kept thinking her purse was missing and then back at the house she stopped us to look at the man in the tree.  Her purse was in her bedroom as it always is.  Back at their house after lunch, she said that there was a man in the tree.  There was no man.

As we drove away, we worried about both of them.  We tried to ask them for any information about  their son but didn’t get any.   The next day we located him and explained to him what we saw and understood.  We felt it was very important for him to go to them and see the sad state each of his parents was in.  At night, the wife gets very upset, goes to the front yard and screams for help for someone to call the police to protect her.  On the other hand, she has been a threat to her husband’s peace and he feels the same as her in calling the police.

Their son will be with them tonight and try to decide what must be done.  Unfortunately, both his parents need professional evaluations during a stay in a hospital.  There are many tales within the bolt of lightning and they must be sorted out by a professional.  I hope there peace comes to them and strength given to the son to make it happen for them. 

Today, one hour, a couple minutes and

On any day, during every hour, within a few minutes an action, word or even a glance at you can change life can change and when it does you poignantly feel a loss for “the way it was”. Major changes will remind you that life has no guarantees. Regardless how minor the change you know that you will never feel the same as you did.

Today, one little phrase, “a small mass needs a biopsy.” I wasn’t so gravely shocked, nor in the first minutes did I break down. An image of my destiny has been a part of me for a long time.

During each of these days–

Continually I am asked by the ones that are closest to me, “Are you fine?”  “What is the matter?” “No I don’t think that is the reason, so what is it?”  If I try to answer the first two questions, most likely I receive the third question in response to my answer.

This brings me to a point in my life where I ask a question, “Why is it when I say what is the problem, I am told that my reason is justified and that I don’t understand the situation.  The situation is mine I think and after all this time of living I should hope that I know what my situation is.  But, there is a difference.  When I was young I would never think of telling someone what was bothering me.  Now I do and I think that is the basic problem.  I was an expert at covering up what I was feeling.  Well, how could I tell them when my self esteem was even lower than it is now.  Back then I felt I could never be truthful because I felt that the truth would hurt me more than them.

Now, it feels more important to me to tell the truth.  Yes I suppose I could sugar-coat it a little, but then usually these same people don’t sugar coat much for me.  One is M. who is so troubled with the way that I am, particularly in my reaction to acquaintances and friends, as well as himself.  Well, as two examples of his worry,  one friend has used up all the care and help that I have for her.  I have helped and helped and been there, and been there for her and what have I gotten in return is a plea for more help.  I just don’t have more to give since now I feel I must take care of me and so I stay away as quietly and politely as I can.  Another is a new acquaintance, who I thought might become a good friend.  When I realized that the “the sale–the job–the inevitable bit of money made” was more important than understanding what I wanted and dealing with it.  Yes I was the client, but it didn’t seem to matter much.  I was quickly told that I should understand that what I wanted to happen, (I had full rights to ask for what I wanted)  went against the grain of the acquaintance.  I understood in a moment that the commission in the sale was the most important.  Well, as I am known to do, the axe fell on this supposed relationship and now I am questioned why I made the decision I did.

I often think that this is the most appropriate time in my life to say what I am, what I want and how I see it.  If I don’t act now on my beliefs what am I going to do during that long journey with in my Crepusculum.  I can just imagine how my care can take quick turns that I don’t believe in.  That fact is catalyst enough for me to know I must grab a hold of my own life and start letting everyone know my wishes.  I just can’t sit in the quiet “corner” any longer.  This is all different to me as it is to the others who question me, but I believe this current life turmoil and questioning must be during my transition  from quiet toad sitting on the side of life, to a new, determination that makes people say, “Guess I can’t run over him any longer!”  Its not easy to change.  If you are  like me then agree  to  take a chance to stake out your independence.  Grab a hold of your wishes and sell them boldly to all you meet.  That little change will make you begin to see that it is possible to journey through Crepusculum with a modicum of respect and enjoyment.

Is it a question of attitude?

 

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.  Attitude, to me, is more important than facts.  It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think, say, or do.  It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill.  It will make or break a company… a church… a home.  The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.  We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way.  We cannot change the inevitable.  The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.  I am convinced that life is 10% of events that happens to me and 90% of how I react to those times!  Therefore, it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes.  Charles W. Swindoll

When I first read this quote, I passed right on by it.  A few days later, I came upon it again, reread it, and finally realized what I should have seen before!

I stopped to think about my attitude and how my outlook for the day is formed and if it ever changes during the day, what either format means and if there was anything I should do about making sure I carried with me the best possible reaction to the events in my life.

Usually, I awaken in the morning very early.  This is a hold over from when my Mother was alive, but now I treasure that time because it is my time to think, write or do whatever I like on the computer.  It is a time that is always in the darkened room.  It is always quiet and affords me the ability to write in privacy!  While I am at the computer I have a small cup of coffee and if it is one of the days that sleep has eluded me then the coffee does no good, I still feel like sleeping, I nod often and soon realize the best thing to do is go lay down!

When I first awaken and during this private time, I am one of those that do not wake up to well.  Two hours can pass and I will still be in a cloudy state.  Yes, I can write and develop what I am writing, but if I need to really think, or function, I am not too good at it at this hour.  I have always been like this in the morning, quiet and possibly, you would think I was in a dreamland, which I may be.  Regardless, I feel I am innocent in premeditated actions because I just could not plan a thing until much later.  When I worked, I always responded the same way when I got up.  So often, then, I repeatedly told myself everything would be fine once I got in the car, because I knew I needed to face the day as soon as possible.  After arriving at work I still needed my time…everyone knew that and usually, unless a crisis set in, everyone respected that time.

At home, during my state of reverie I may go about straightening things up a little.  I may move a comb, a knife or a sheet of paper, all in grand innocence, yet those are the things that annoy M the most.  If I do move them, I am chastised and there fore, at that moment, my Attitude is negatively forned for the day.  Possibly, the phone may ring and the caller may also perturb me or even the cat can bring me from cloudy maze to arched eyebrow disdain.  These ill-received words received may cause my attitude to be less than stellar for hours.  I can, unintentionally, brood during that time.

When I finally read Swindoll’s quote I sheepishly thought, yes I do have a choice.  I can allow a sarcastic question/statement to send me lurking about in dark moments or I can tell my self that it is not worth having them affect my attitude for the whole day.  I think he makes sence wben he writes that events happen to you each day but they only comprise a small percentage of your life, as compared to how we react which can be a much higher percentage of getting it wrong.  So if life (my happiness and good will) is 90% of how I react to the events in my life then I had better start making respond positively, rather then letting my attitude travel south into a not so happy place.

 

A Prelude to Reflection

Each day, in various ways, I think about my upcoming years within my twilight. At first, the thoughts are not overwhelming, but as they age they lead me from generalized thinking to a defined concern. I collect the concerns, after their fruition, file them away and then retrieve them for conscious exploration. Undeveloped concerns remain floating in the periphery of my consciousness until I decide to explore it or they never choose them. Possibly the ones that I never explore are the most difficult and so I avoid addressing those issues. In addition, a worry may be difficult to explore because the information is at the time of occurrence, although some worries are innocently prefabricated with out anything proven.

Regardless of what type of concern, the seeds are in my head buried in numerous ways. Sometime within my second year of college, during the time that I was taking many anthropology and art history courses I developed an uncanny picture of a group of people that had lived during the 15th and 16th century. Most of the group lived as artists, whose work kept their memory alive in the future. There were others in the picture that did not have any recognized voice in the future. I became very tense. I sat down on the ground without moving, nor speaking, because I couldn’t stop thinking about those “unknowns” in the picture. Who were they and what did they do? Without knowing those answers they were like empty, shells arranged within the picture plane and were used for color, texture or balance as any other prop might be.

It is then that I realized the limitations of remembering. Your accomplishments and your work becomes the catalyst for a memory of you by future generations. However, if you are unable to produce something so remarkable, then the people that knew you while you were living can only recognize your personal accomplishments. Possibly those memories, especially in families, can be handed down to each generation, but eventually that link will broken and suddenly you can become just another marker in a vast field of markers for mankind

My thinking opened a magnanimous perplexity for me in justifying a life form; particularly mine when I asked, “Is living without eternal recognition sufficient enough reason to be here?” With a raised eyebrow I realized the enormity of my question and decided that it was best left alone in its entirety, but another thought tumbled forth and it required me to reflect upon my life and fill any gaping holes or quiet any inconsistencies. Through careful examination of all actions and decisions in my life, I could be able to tell if I had affected anyone even if they didn’t know me. It seemed correct to state that if someone knew of me and didn’t know me then it would be quite possible for a future person to know something about me.

All of this began to feel ostentatious. Once again, I slumped to the floor feeling a little overwhelmed and knew I needed to return to a logical and thorough reflection of my life to guide me in the future. Instinctively, I knew that this was the appropriate time to look at my life–a time before being within Crepusculum,

a time to begin reflection.