The widows are winding their watches
For what will never be
For what has to be.
The widows are watching the wind
The leaves as they grow still.
The widows live in winter
For the beginning
Of the end
What is the end of waiting? What ends and what begins? How do we manage to go on living without the people we have loved? And how do we continue to live knowing that sooner or later, but certainly some day, our lives will end?
In a provocative book : “Denial: self deception, false beliefs, and the origin of the human mind”, the authors make the point that without the development of the strategy of denial simultaneous to the realization of the inevitability of our death our progenitors would have collapsed into non-functional depression and dropped out of the competition for procreation opportunity. We would not be who we are, and since there were not that many of us, we might not be at all.
So much for cognition. We know that we die, we manage just enough of the denial drug (sometimes aided by other legal and illegal assistants) to stumble through from young adulthood on and into maturity and then we head into the masquerade of becoming a “senior citizen”.
A masquerade because in the wrestling match between denial and reality the victory belongs to reality and as friends and loved ones collapse into their inevitability, grief and mourning move into the rooms in our hearts where their love and laughter had residence.
If we are lucky in what we came here with, and lucky in what we managed to do with it, and gutsy enough to stay actively in what we rightly call this game of life, then there is the chance that we can come to some deeper worthwhile understanding. I say understanding. Whether or not that understanding reflects the Truth, or simply one of many ambiguous truths, or even nothing more than the offspring of the marriage of denial to hopeful fantasy, there is no way for us to know.
Which brings me to my current romance with one of the above: The Möbius Strip. In my imagination the Möbius strip and Einstein’s: E=MC squared are holding us all in their arms, snuggling us, just like I used to do with our fluffy white pups. And we, at moments of joy are snuggling back. Trust me, there is nothing like a face full of puppies.
Here, if you haven’t lost patience and gone off for some ice cream, is what I mean.
Beginnings and endings are necessary functional fictions that enable human beings to survive and create day by day lives. Our brains are constructed to turn the massive flood of information they receive into sequences of relevance. Without that capacity we would not have emerged from our prototypical parental creatures. We would not have been able to receive nor to make any sense of all the information that is available to us. The information is there for all animals to access, but it only becomes information via a receiver built to convert that stimuli into a meaningful mental construct.
Without the ability to sequence and organize the stimuli into meaning, there is no information. That ability to sequence depends on creating beginnings and endings.
On occasion certain gifted individuals manage to engage the non-sequenced stimuli and experience what is called illumination, or satori, or any number of other names. Their attempts to put that experience into the sequential construct of language provides the basis for what we call religion.
In a similar fashion, in a less powerful encounter or perhaps better understood metaphorically as a different frequency, creators of art, music, and literature do the same thing. The Greeks called that experience an encounter with their muse.
I submit that reality “in caps” is simply the on going, never ending process of energy shaping into matter, and matter disappearing into energy. The Möbius strip can be seen as its visual representation.
There was no beginning, and there will be no ending. We live our lives in this eternal process.