Ambiguity and Vacuity

clear day

We search for clarity in our lives, but vagueness and nothingness creep in between our shutters and alter our perception of reality (whatever that is) . . .

Our realities are the same, whether we admit it or not. What differs is our perception of reality. There are facts in this life, never alternative facts, just different perceptions and understandings.

I cannot perceive the world as you do, simply because our experiences are vastly different, even if we were to have grown as siblings in the same household. My sister and I shared a house for many years, until we were both in our twenties. We did not have the same view of life. She was the petite actress and drum majorette for the high school marching band. I was the lumbering (doubling her weight), pseudo jock, whose only claim to fame was drinking Seven and 7s at parties (for you neophytes, that’s Seven up and Seagram’s’ 7). There is no way we could agree on our outlook on life. When in our twenties, she attended every Washington protest, against racism, the lack of women’s rights, and the Vietnam War. I spent that time in the Marine Corps, opposing all that my sister believed in, all that she stood for. In our sixties, we did agree on most things, although approaching issues from different viewpoints, hers from a practical, social worker viewpoint, mine from a more academic and spiritual position.

Henri Nouwen writes, “. . . just as in nature, colors and shapes mingle without clear-cut distinctions; human life doesn’t offer the clarity we are looking for . . .” We must take an active method to finding clarity. We cannot live a life of contentment without allowing ambiguity and vacuity to lead our every path. God knows I had enough experience walking dangerous paths while both serving in the Marines and my immediate life with the same I am right, you are wrong life after my four years in the Corps.

So, what is the objective advice; I haven’t a clue. I do know that I must continually search for what I believe to be the truth; search but not step in front of others.

Jesus said that we must love God and love our neighbor as ourselves. Easier said than done, Bubba. I love God, and for the most part, I love my neighbor, regardless of his gender identity, national origin, religion, education level, “etcetera, etcetera, etcetera,” as ‘enry ‘iggins says.

My stumbling block is loving myself. Admit it, friends – you too.

I’ll give you my reasons: I am too fat; I have double chins; or earlier in life: why can’t I be popular like my sister; why can’t I be the star of the football team; why can’t I get the lead in the school play. And the list goes on and on and on. Well, I am one week away from celebrating (or hiding from) my 74th birthday. Finally, I am comfortable in my own skin. Now, instead of loving my neighbor more than myself, myself is catching up.

The choices we make are those that are our best bets. They are choices we make without any truly clear-cut certainty. Sometimes, they are filled with danger, but they are always filled ambiguity and vacuity. If we let them . . .

Have a wonderful day.



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