It begins but it doesn’t End

[thoughts from   ~burning woman~]

I’ve begun wondering if I’m finally getting old. I don’t mean physically, of course I’m getting old but that doesn’t seem to matter a lot; just wondering about in my head. Asking myself, am I mentally getting old?

For quite some time now I’ve begun writing these “gems” of thoughts, only to realize that not one of them was ever brought to any conclusion. That being a new thing for me, I’ve started wondering what causes that unfinished business.

Am I losing track of things, or is it that I don’t care anymore; that is, I don’t care enough to bring it to a conclusion? It’s not a pregnancy anymore, just a flirtation, or so it seems. I like the idea, but not enough to push it out completely. Dumb, right?

Here’s another thought, another possible reason. Yes, I am getting old. Suddenly very fast. I’m feeling it, everywhere, even as I go on pretending to myself that nothing is changing. Everything is changing. Climate change? The end of civilization? No, it’s more than that on a personal basis, though it may be related. What is happening is, I’ve grown up enough to consider having a serious date with death.

You know what happens when you start getting serious with death: he’s a very serious character and doesn’t take fooling around lightly. ‘If you want to date me’ says the handsome and thoroughly desirable character, ‘you will have to marry me and I don’t care how easy it is in your world to get a divorce, in mine that is not an option. Date me now and you are mine, for eternity.’

Is that it? Have I fallen in love with my own very last lover? Is that why nothing gets finished anymore? How romantically sick that idea is! It’s fine in a movie, like “Meet Joe Black” but it’s not reality, is it.

No. I think the problem, if it is a problem, is the picture has grown so big in my mind that I don’t have the language to encompass it all anymore. As soon as I sit down to write it, it inflates like the craziest balloon imaginable until all I can do is let it go and just watch it rise into the night sky and disappear.

Some years ago as I sat alone in the dark pondering “stuff” and crying, for no reason but that it made me feel better to cry, I said to myself, “I know too much and it’s killing me.”

I didn’t die from an overdose of knowing, but it got me staring into that infinity telescope and the more I looked, the farther I saw and the more confused I got. It may be that there are limits to what we should dare look into. Limits to how much future we should try to absorb. It may be that wisdom calls to say, “Enough now, just go out and play with what you already know. Stop stuffing yourself or you will make yourself sick.”

I understand that death is that last door into my chosen slice of future. What I have yet to learn is that my chosen slice of future is all that I am designed to handle. It’s all I can be. It is my future, not yours, not anyone else’s. It’s my dowry and I need to own it.

Well, I got this one done. A good movie, a glass of wine and some ‘nasty’ salty chips… and it’s thundering outside. That’s a bonus: we don’t get much in terms of thunder storms down here. It’s a rather placid kind of a place, this Lower Mainland. When it comes to weather, we get the left-overs.

Ciao, everyone. Thanks for reading; thanks for the likes; thanks for being who you are, wish I could meet and get to know all of you personally. That would be so wonderful…

~me… Sha’Tara as    ~burning woman~

 

29 thoughts on “It begins but it doesn’t End

  1. John Fioravanti

    Interesting thoughts, Sha’Tara. As I read, I wondered if it is a form of the mental exhaustion I often feel. Cheer up – it’s the Golden Years!

    Reply
  2. franklparker

    Just remember you are younger than me – and many others including the Queen of England. I am not ‘old’ by any stretch of anyone’s imagination, neither is she! You have many more years in you and many more great things to achieve.

    Reply
    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thanks for commenting, Frank. My favourite all time author, Frank Herbert, spent much time philosophizing about gazing into the future in “Dune” and “Messiah of Dune” – how the process tires and ages one. It’s like attempting to cross a marsh, forever running into dead ends and retracing your steps only to find you’re not on the same path. The future is a maze of infinite possibilities, a veritable labyrinth. Yet it calls to be explored and in the end death is the doorway. It isn’t a resolve, it’s a big step across a big threshold. Another part of this that ages one is bending back through past life remembrances, entering into the musty pasts to discover that our chances of bettering ourselves in the here and now are basically non-existent: we keep repeating our same mistakes, committing the same sins against one another and our world. We may change our clothes, armour and weaponry or modes of communication and transportation but we remain the same predatory creatures. As the saying goes, “It gets old.”

      Reply
  3. katharineotto

    Sha’Tara,
    Your mind is very much alive. Nothing is ever finished, or things run their course and evolve into something else. I understand the sense of knowing so much that you get confused. It’s as if everything turns back on itself.

    The sense of time running out, physically speaking, has changed me, for sure. I care less about finishing things, or even starting things. What’s the point? Just maintaining requires more effort than in the past. I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting, not living in the past, but trying to understand how it brought me to where I am now. I got much of what I wanted but had to choose and let go of other things I also wanted, so lots of disappointments and unpleasant surprises, too. I think living in time forces us to make choices that leave many paths untraveled. The untraveled paths bring an accumulation of regrets.

    I don’t try to predict the future. I try instead to live more fully in the present than ever before. To me, it seems trying to predict the future is an effort to put controls on it, and I don’t want that responsibility.

    Reply
    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Great comment Katharine. Unravelled paths and regret, how true that. The present sounds like a good idea but for some of us there is but the future which is engaged from studying the past. What is the present but a spaceless, timeless demarcation point between past and future? Entrapment in time gives us the illusion that we can live in the present…

      Reply
      1. katharineotto

        Sha’Tara,
        Consider the “spacious present” where past and future merge, the only place where you can act decisively. The biggest challenge of the present is making decisions about what to do and how to do it, including what to do first. My mind is rarely only in the present, unless I’m concentrating on something. It is all over the place and is free of time.

      2. Sha'Tara Post author

        Quote: “Consider the “spacious present” where past and future merge, the only place where you can act decisively. The biggest challenge of the present is making decisions about what to do and how to do it, including what to do first. My mind is rarely only in the present, unless I’m concentrating on something. It is all over the place and is free of time.”

        Yes, certainly Katharine, I would be tempted to say “any fool can see that” but it isn’t the case! Under “time” we feel forced to move our thinking (including feelings and emotions) between clearly definable pigeon holes called ‘past’ ‘present’ ‘future’ and convince ourselves that one is done with and gone (except for consequences which are thought unavoidable), one is happening “now” (with an arbitrary measure of how wide that “now” is) and the last one cannot be known since it hasn’t happened yet. As you describe it, the spacious present cannot exist within the bounds of time since, by definition, it encompasses all that is, and “all that is” encompasses what “was”, what “is”, and “what is to be” – therefore once we break free of the programming and brainwashing of time, we enter eternity in infinity. No longer any need to “make a place for yourself” or to meet a deadline or impress anyone. And indeed, the biggest challenge is making the correct move, acting on the right decision. For that we need total detachment so we are not strangled by special relationships or special actions we undertake whether we agree or not because we feel it is expected of us. This non-place outside of time is where we dip our ladle to drink of self empowerment.

      3. katharineotto

        Sha’Tara,
        No disagreement here, but I try to stay commitment-free, so I’m as freed from time as possible. My only point is that time constricts action, but the mind is always as free as it wants to be.

      4. katharineotto

        Sha’Tara,
        I say the mind is free because it rarely lives in the present. Every moment my mind is thinking of past, present, future, making associations, coming up with ideas, planning, remembering, and otherwise jumping around from thought to thought. The body may be trapped in time, and also the brain, but the “mind” undefinable essence that it is, is not.

      5. Sha'Tara Post author

        Thanks for the comment, Katharine. Yes to the abilities/nature of the mind as you point out. In my world, mind is “me” – who I am as a thinking entity. Because I have that awareness, as you do, it allows me to transcend time; to explore past life memories (and accept what I re-discover, however unpleasant some are) and also to delve into the future, an exercise that can be equally unpleasant, though not totally. I have found pleasant surprises if I force myself to travel “far” enough into that undiscovered country.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thanks for commenting, Regis. I’ve always had a propensity to plunge into reflection, but at my age that exercise is becoming much more meaningful. The thing people forget is that the moment we are born, we begin dying. Born to die is how I usually put it. That, in my view, is a healthy perspective because it makes me question most of the values people put on, or in, one physical life. From a physical perspective, we come into this world with nothing, we leave this world with nothing. What we leave behind though, that is critical.

      Reply
  4. Woebegone but Hopeful

    Nope. You definitely have a young mind Sha, Tara bouncing around with all manner of ideas, so many they are all clamouring for attention. That can be tricky, getting the little blighters into line and tell them to wait their turn.
    Death though does tend to loom a bit once you get to a certain age, and when you hear about a project being completed by such-and-such a date and to be wondering to yourself if you’ll be here in the physical to see it. I guess that’s only natural.
    I’ve said I can’t possibly ‘go’ yet, far too much to be done here, and mean it!

    Reply
    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      That’s wonderful, Roger. You describe my “ideas” as you would the characters in your books! “…getting the little blighters into line and tell them to wait their turn.” Yes, I can relate to that. Speaking of your books, I think I’ve reached a decision to give up my boycott of Amazon, get on up over there, download the Kindle app (they must have one for Linux Mint OS) and download your latest. I’ll keep you informed how the “procedure” went. “Oh, Doctor Bezos, please, do you have a minute?” …

      Reply
      1. Woebegone but Hopeful

        Aww thank you Sha’ Tara, breaking your boycott is a bit of an honour for me!
        Yeh, keep in touch over the ‘procedure’
        And here’s hoping you get your own weather soon!

  5. Phil Huston

    Yes, you are. Join the club. A young mind is full of fervor and little direction, as spitiual things go. Inquiry and surprise, the Jungian coming to oneself bit. The old mind steps into the cosmic stream, cools its fet and says “Ah, my friends. How have you been?” the need for names is no more viane than for nouns or verbs. A “cosmic mind” once said to a character of mine, “Is just is, if you know what I mean.”

    Reply
  6. kertsen

    ‘ Come into me all ye who Labour and I will give you rest ‘ rest for the active mind ? or rest for an overworked body , I wonder what he meant.
    I prefer :
    ‘ Fear not lest Existence closing your account and mine,
    should know the like no more;
    The eternal Saki from that bowl has poured ,
    Millions of bubbles like us , and will pour. ‘

    Reply
    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Saki, huh? I’ve never tried that… Sounds like it might be bubbly… bubbly drinks give me a queasy stomach!

      Reply
      1. kertsen

        Well the world cup is suffering severely from a beer shortage due to lack of carbon dioxide I don’t know how we can endure such pain. Is it not curious that we are desperate for carbon dioxide beer bubbles yet we endlessly talk about the danger of this gas in the atmosphere.

      2. Sha'Tara Post author

        I don’t have time to look it up. There must be a difference between the free flowing gas in our atmosphere and the liquid form in those hi pressure spun aluminium cylinders… meanwhile a beer shortage, another sign our civilization is coming to a horrible end? I don’t suppose they could substitute tea, huh?

      3. kertsen

        Ah shortage of time a sign of old age — just let yourself drift . No exactly the same chemical formula.

      4. Sha'Tara Post author

        I knew there was something… like the gold in the pot at the end of the rainbow: not the same chemical formula as the gold in the bank vault (do they still have gold in bank vaults?).

  7. stolzyblog

    Beginnings seem more intrinsically interesting to me, than finishings do. Maybe finishings even are lies, or tricks of the senses. One of the best gifts we have, older we get, is to suggest seeds in the soil, which others, inspired, might choose to take up as their own.

    Reply
    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Reminds me of a quote from the movie, “Dance with the White Dog” – “There are no endings, only new beginnings.”

      Reply

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