Monday, May 31, 2010

The Unwanted Voyage

I came across this intriguing quote:

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.

Marcel Proust.

New eyes. I hadn't considered new eyes. In fact, a voyage of discovery I did not seek. Content was I with my familiar landscape. But now, set adrift and led by a swift current, my two boys and I do well to keep our eyes, old or new, open. And even though old eyes seemed fine, maybe even pretty good, undeniably I am on an unwanted voyage while all my senses recalibrate.

Disclaimer: While sitting on the screened porch of neighbors enjoying a Memorial Day cook-out, my eyes "discovered" the intriguing quote on a bottle of Hennepin. Those Belgian Monks sure know a thing or two about the wisdom of the ages. And a good ale.

Death is a strange thing, friends. I never experienced someone close to me, really close, dying. Regardless of your beliefs, the finality of death, in this plane of existence, is profoundly disorienting. I see death, and it's brief companion, life, differently now. While life on this planet is abundant and pervasive, a single life is capricious and fleeting, followed by eternal death. The counterpoint of fleeting life and eternal death now is very alive in me.

What once seemed big, now seems small. The political dealings in Washington seem small and trivial. What are we arguing about? Why does everyone seem mad all the time? Why not spend our fleeting time with the friends and neighbors we love? Perhaps it is a deeper problem. Perhaps we need to invest more of our fleeting time learning to love, and be loved by, our friends and neighbors. To do otherwise is madness.


  1. Why we have to lose something so dear in order to appreciate what we have is a universal mystery. In the end, the comings and goings of politics or other trivial matters will be but a blur, but the love of a family member or good friend will endure and be what stays with us.

  2. Well, said, John. I've realized this a few years ago and have been trying to change things in my life ever since to focus on positive, healthy emotional and loving projects and spend time with those who truly care about me, love me and cherish their time with me. I feel sometimes I love too much thus getting hurt in the process. But at least I can say I loved instead of hurt and at least I can look back and be proud of what I did instead of regret it. I often go weeks/months without turning on the news because it is too depressing and stressful to be a part of. I've learned to eliminate toxic people from my life. I'm not faced with a new decision to let go of something I love but it isn't emotionally healthy for me or my family and interferes with my happiness. I'm still working that one out. I think every time someone passes on I learn this lesson all over again realizing again what is the most important and what isn't. Obama vs McCain, Drilling or Not Drilling, Left or Right, it doesn't matter as much as LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. I'm lucky to have found love in my family, love in my true friends and love in my colleagues and students and clients. I hope that it continues to grow and I love giving my love away to you and anyone willing to receive it. It comes from a good, positive, true and beautiful place within and it is given with all of my heart. May the love we all give you, help you, support you and lift you during this difficult journey you now face.

    ~ Jessica G

  3. A friend-of-a-friend's blog I follow that might be of interest: The "Haven't been here before?" tab at the top gives the blog author's story of the genesis of his blog when his wife died shortly after the birth of their daughter.