This week I want to explore life as I've thought about it whilst driving west along the Trans Canada Highway sipping frappaccinos -- between the brown corrals and silver sagebrush of Maple Creek, Saskatchewan and the lemon- lime velvet hills and blue feather fields of Medicine Hat, Alberta.
This long, lazy stretch of highway is the last chance to daydream for the driving part of the buskation from Regina to Kamloops and back again. Because of the congested traffic and countless mountain horizontal and vertical curves on the rest of the way, one needs to stay alert!
Just what’s it all about, Alfie? (It, refers to life, and all its bits and pieces.)
Is it just for the moment we live? (Burt Bacharach). If so, this would be Existentialism, the notion of which holds that the starting point of philosophical thinking must be the individual and the experiences of the individual. To acquiesce to Existentialism does seem to make life simpler than the conventional faiths that have passed through the ages. In Existentialism, the idea of church, for example could be the dance floor, the jogging path, the study hall.
Or is all the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players, each having their exits and their entrances? (William Shakespeare). If this is so, then the entire world is an ambuscade, each of us living a life of concealed persons of the future, who lie in wait to attack us by surprise. This could very well be true. According to Mike Tyson, Everybody’s got plans … until they get hit.
Or is it that the Cosmos is all there is or was or ever will be? (Carl Sagan). And if this is so, then life is just an Annie Oakley – it costs nothing to get here, to stay here, to leave here. Life is transitory, ephemeral. We are in transit.
Allow me to ramble in bits and pieces. Life for some (especially in the West), compared to the Augean Stables elsewhere on the planet is a palace. When I write West, I am referring to the ‘60’s land of milk and honey connotation, of Coca Cola and Rock ‘n Roll and all that. I must mention that the zeitgeist for 20012 in Canada (and seemingly in other Western nations) is that our promisticians are moving mildly to the right of centre, pulling along the popular and disparate, the shiny and dank, the perverts and prudes.
To our world promisticians (those politicians at any level, civic, district, or national), we are but a claque, a group of people hired to applaud.
Life for some is a Bildungsroman, about the psychological moral growth within each of us, no matter our place of habitation. After all, we are all of us chameleons, subject to change frequently, in place, in idea, in character, in costume.
I’ve written before about Carpe Diem (seize the day, grasp the day, enjoy the day), the idea to pluck each and every day, for each day ought to be a ripe one. For each day life is full. This is true for solitudinarians, for gadflies, for sun worshippers, mooniacs, and troglodytes. On this planet for the plucking, there is something ripe for everyone.
Enough. As evident of this Cook’s tour of the meaning of life, what do I know? On a scale of 1 to 10 the answer is … ZEROTH.
Here is what I do know. Any fool can create life – I am proof of that. But let’s face it – We are finite. Everybody dies. All of our stories about birth and death and beyond death do serve us; these stories seem to give some sense of meaning to our lives. But death is. For each of us there doth cometh a time when there is no more time on the clock, no more innings, no more at bats.
Both in Canada and the United States the longevity for men is 78 years and for women it is 82. Now these are just baseball stats, mind you. (I’m fielding the baseball metaphor as presented in the King James version of the Holy Bible, In the big inning …) Accordingly then, I’ve just seventeen more trips to the plate, before my last bat, my last bunt, foul, strike, or home run. Whatever befalls on my last swing, it shall be my personal fini.
My characters who have marched by in the Chaucerian Parade these past couple weeks:
- Sherona. I was Sherona’s high school English teacher. Now at forty years of age she squirrels pop cans and plastic water bottles from the public trash deposits in the Scarth Street Mall. She is among the main three constants who go ‘round and ‘round checking all the trash bins. These three are most certainly not a team, but their similar behaviors could indicate that they were somewhat collectively mobilized. And their standard scruffiness in attire give hints of the same team costume. I wonder what happened in her life -- as she likely wonders what happened in mine. Hello, Mr. Child, she cheerfully says as I busk my own blues away.
- Sponge Bob. Bob is a bum and looks the part. He’s unshaven, dressed shabbily, dons a very dirty New York Yankees baseball cap. Bob always needs just two bucks more to get a bite to eat. That’s what you said last time I gave you money, I reply. Oh, good day to you then, he always says and moves on. And I always keep right on busking during our phatic chats.
- Milo. B and I are busking next to one of the many outdoor patios along Victoria Street in the very beautiful downtown summertime city of Kamloops, British Columbia. Milo is a paraplegic who states that we’ve taken his spot but … since he only busks at night, It’ll be okay. With our sardonic smiles, both B and myself thank him kindly.
- Marshall Tucker band member. My favorite fan of the week is a summer Santa figurine fellow from the Weald of Braylorne, British Columbia. I play in the Marshall Tucker Band, he says after standing and listening to us for twenty or so minutes, on the sidewalk at Victoria and 3rd in Kamloops. I like you guys, he said. I live just sixty miles from Whistler, a little place called Braylorne, oh my f&%$#)@! god, we don’t have girls like that in Braylorne! he says whenever a young lady walks past. (I googled the Marshall Tucker Band and this long-haired hibearded fellow very much looks the part, though he does not appear in their band picture on the header of this blog.) We constantly write new material but our fans just want to hear the old stuff, he says. I’m guessing it is the same with you, guys, he says matter-of-factly.
And I’ve a couple of kudos for a couple readers of this blog!
*The first is a BIG CONGRATULATIONS, BRAD HORNUNG! Brad has just recently joined the scouting staff of Central Scouting in the National Hockey League (NHL). Brad used to play for the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League, and afterwhich scouted for the Chicago Black Hawks of the NHL. (For you non-Canadian readers, you must realize that hockey in Canada is not only a sport – Hockey here is a religion.)
On one of my earlier buskations I had to register a name for myself for the busking license. I chose the name, SEAHORSE, and along with the name I added the logo: SAVE THE SEAHORSE – SAVE THE SEA.
**This leads into my second kudo for MEIKA JENSEN, a member of the Design Team @ Mastersdegree.net. Check out MEIKA and her message (and awesome graphic) at http:www.mastersdegree.
(Hey, Meika, as soon as my blog techies, Guy and Hollis, are back at work, I’ll have your graphic posted permanently on my blog.)
And that‘s what it’s all about, Alfie!