Sunday, November 28, 2010

Man's Harshest Foes...Mother Nature and Father Time





Humans are straddled with unsurmountable challenges, from the moment of conception until dust turns to dust. If anyone looks back at their lives and evaluates the challenges, hurdles and burdens they have had to overcome just to exist, many would question whether the effort justified the legacy.

It appears that every critical movement made in our lives, is a decision between good and bad, right and wrong, do or die. The outcome of those choices can only be properly assessed in hindsight, when the dust from the battle has settled and we can then count with clarity all the casualties left behind. It is the expectation of humanity that we constantly walk through the right door, even though the laws of aging and time are antithetical to experience and wisdom.
The traditional hope is for us to become wiser and consequently better as time and maturity set in. And yet in order to achieve homeostasis with our environment we are naturally doomed to make enormous errors in judgement from which we are to learn the lessons in life. It is almost like we are fighting ourselves and our birthright ignorance, in an attempt to fortify and toughen the positions we take when we confront our fellow man. As shown throughout time, it appears we have yet to master these skills, and we wind up yearning for more time or more endurance to reshape our legacy in later years. The paradox is overwhelming, forcing us onto the compliance treadmill that keeps us generally on the straight and narrow while stifling creativity, progress and internal growth. Sometimes or most of the time we swallow the bitter pill in order to shave off trials and tribulations associated with breaking out of chained traditions.

I have no observations that moves us closer to resolving the riddle.
I do however have some commentary about two forces that are usually discussed in gentle terms, friendly forces that ease the challenges of the exciting climb to the summit from where we can see where we came from, and guide us gently through the descent where we hope to settle at base camp to talk about all our achievements, in hopes of convincing them that our route was the right one. All of this if only we give in kindly to them, without resistance, passively and amicably. These forces are natural, human and part of the equation of life. I don't believe they are as friendly as they are portrayed. They are interwoven into life's fabric and they become an essential component of the blanket we use to shelter ourselves as the days get colder, in the wintery quarter of our presence on earth.

Mother nature and Father time. Amazing how their public relations agents even gave them both benevolent and revered status by assigning them paternal monikers. Making us feel like they are part of our family, trustworthy and intent on advancing us to a better place.

I think they are the ultimate Trojan horse embedding themselves in our bodies, minds and spirits, only to slowly spread like a malignancy that leads us to the ultimate holocaust, the destruction of humankind. Take mother nature always portrayed as a playful winged creature powdering life with sprinkles of fairy dust after which everything seems greener and smells fresher. She solidifies the illusion that as long as we care for her, we shall be cared for in kind. Father time is portrayed as a benevolent figure born with a diaper on January first and wisely walking off the year's calendar on December 31st. This is done as if to contain and cloak the ravages he dispenses in his relentless eternal tick tock attack on our lifetimes. Together they play the most deceiving slight of hands, intended to lull us into their lair, asking us to give up gracefully the youthful indiscretions that defined us and made us relevant. These two con artists steal our importance in society pushing us off the treadmill with the promise of an afterlife where neither appear to play any significant role. Just think of the deception. Mother nature delivers the infant, squeaky clean, powdery fresh innocent and free from responsibility, helpless and totally reliant upon others to achieve the next level. She sneakily provides us with all the necessary elements to breathe, drink, eat and thrive. She makes us feel invincible, with rubbery bones that never break, skin that always regenerates and enough energy to tackle every daunting task that we are faced with.

Then we grow holding hands with her, listening to her advice and admonitions, believing blindly in her altruism, convincing others to follow her, dancing behind her like rats behind the piper. It's not long before you realize this lady is no lady at all. Playful at first she seems so innocent and loving, until the first subtle yet definitive assaults. The tree that sheltered us from rain and suspended our childhood house, collapses in a pile of timber after it's struck by lighting, either of which can snuff you out if you cross them. The earths waters rise and fall as she warns "prance at your own peril". The gentle breezes become violent killers randomly plucking her children and churning them into netherworlds. The warm comforting crackles of the nourishing and warm fire, explode into wild orgies of destruction at the drop of a match. The solid earth we tread on giving us a gravity platform will spontaneously tremble so recklessly,it brings all her children to their knees begging for forgiveness for transgressions never committed. The nourishment provided by her kindness slowly offends and degenerates our organs rendering them inefficient, obsolete or both. The skin wrinkles, the muscles ache and the mind fades. The more we are encouraged to pursue our dreams, the more she seems to impede the efforts. It is almost as if she is lying traps in the labyrinth that has no exit, and the reward, when reached is staled by our absence of zeal and vigor.

We go so far and try so hard, only to realize that the prize, is half figment of our imagination and half truths. She is ultimately uncaring of our half fulfilled hopes that scream for a little bit more time. Which brings me to him, Father time. Always present from the inception and promised to be there at the end. Always on time, like clockwork marking it's passage by benign celebrations where we eat cake and blow out candles to signify another year of accomplishments and hopes for the future. He encourages you to look at times past making your past life a living and breathing being,always at your beck and call to assist you in the next endeavor. He is a distant friend in your early travails, and we seem to not see him or worry about him as the summers last forever and the things of youth are seemingly perennial. But don't mistake his fatherly complacency. He is much more evil than the kindly clock we believe him to be, ticking happily at the beat of each step we take. He is a con artist, a deceiver, a liar, corrupt and corrupting. How ironically he plays with our memories, taking us instantaneously to other places in the past where we feel the emotions are vividly in our reach. He gently glides you past those years that are so fulfilling and reminiscent of better circumstances,while covering the face on his watch as if to say, "don't think about me, you will always have me by your side".

Then one petrifying mirror morning you discover the rouse. We are face to face with a stranger, a distorted apparition that looks nothing like you remember, and bears the scars inflicted by her, Time's ally in the battle against you. And when you try to time travel, the memories are not quite the same, and mostly only serve as an anxious reminder of what was, and no longer is. As if this were not humbling enough, she robs you of the ability to reminisce by dementing the memory process and erasing any cogent thought that may help you figure out, how you wound up where your at, and how to cope with this strange unreal world. As we are conned into believing that she is all embracing and he is the keeper of happy times we are slowly yet systematically awakened by their evil plot, first by making you believe in their selflessness and then, once you do, kick out the underpinnings of the structure we call our life, sending it careening down into a dark eternal place where even her sunshine can't reach, and his hands no longer mark any passages.

At the near end All thats left from the solid rock you depended on, is sand slowly dripping into the bottom half of his iconic instrument. So there you are, wasted tired confused and weary. Battle scars are abundant and grotesque for all to see. The young ones coming up from behind never believing they too will be here one day, smirk at how irrelevant you are in their world . All you have left are morsels of love and companionship parceled out by the loved ones you touched in life.

And sadly toward the end, all that is consistent are the foes . Mother nature decaying the last few fibers of hope dragging us to the finish line regardless of stature or station in life. She does so independent of good or bad works, and uncaring of half fulfilled hopes that scream for a little bit more time. Simultaneously father time, is rapidly counting away the few remaining minutes, sadly flashing better days before your eyes. They both embrace each other congratulating themselves on a job well done. One more for the eternal record . We appear to be always concerned about the date the world will come to an end.

Sadly it ends every second of every minute of every hour of every day. The third enemy of the triad, "Death", ends the world for you.

Mark. Fall of 010

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