Everyone from philosophers to poets to Hallmark Cards try to define life. I’ve read quite a few of each, but frankly wake up each morning with a whole different conclusion. I suspect the explanation to life is a moving target.
Take Chekhov: “Life is a tragedy filled with joys.” On rainy days and Mondays, I agree. Then there’s The Bard: “Life is a tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” That hurts. The gang at Hallmark see life as everything from a chirpy new morning to a baby’s gurgling smile. If only.
Then you scan the day’s headlines.
Women now more likely than men to get tattoos ….plans to use cow stem cells to make test tube hamburgers…hackers perfecting cyber-warfare…with 8% unemployment, 600,000 jobs go unfilled because workers lack skills…scientists at University of Nevada say political choices hardwired so why have primaries…football fan sues San Diego for right to use the F-word at games…Miami overtakes Detroit in race for most-miserable-city….Chicago Cubs camp high on pennant hopes.
When life deals you a mixed hand like this in your morning news, well it’s hard not to feel a little silly. Spinning here on a planetary glob in space with billions of slightly evolved blobs all simply struggling to survive.
I used to visit this corner tavern in my old west side Chicago neighborhood. My brother advised me to stop trying to figure life out, and simply share a brew with those who had already stopped. My very first visit was a surprise. The owner had another Chekhov quote over the bar: “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”
I’m not sure those words would have made as much sense posted in a school or a church. But in a tavern with fellow puzzlers, it cleared up a lot of the mystery for me. As for my drinking comrades, they’ll have to post their own blog
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