Blog 2167 – 09.22.2021
The Wisdom Of Being Uncertain
Young people are so sure of what they know and marvel than anyone could see it any other way. It is a great gift that comes with age, for some, this ability to suspend belief and be uncertain. It seems these days the more I know the less certain I am about most things. It is the person who most strenuously defends or promotes their beliefs that often has the deepest darkest doubts.
Belle in Disney’s live action Beauty and the Beast sings of being “wiser now but uncertain.” Amen to that, sweet Belle. Even of those who might wish to go back to younger days and relive them in a younger body few wise men or wise women would choose to unlearn the hard learned lessons that they have acquired to do so. And yet, what if that is exactly what is required of each of us before we leave one adventure and take up another – we must let go these life experiences and trade them in as it were for a newer, bigger, better adventure.
Today’s quote not withstanding life goes on with us or without us. So many of us allow ourselves to get stuck in a loop. It is often the definition of “hell” this choosing to relive over and over again either a wonderful, terrible, wonderfully terrible, or terribly wonderful time in our lives. Perhaps we all do it till we are ready to move on.
My dad was an artist with words and loved cliches. One of his favorites when we were playing cards at the kitchen table, he, my mother, my brother and I, was: “Hang your heart at the door before you sit down to play.” I alway thought it meant you had to be heartless to win and perhaps that was indeed the first meaning of the cliche, but I have come to see that hanging our heart, or at least our most precious and prized memories at the door is the price of admission into a new game.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not ready to let go of this life adventure yet. But coming up soon I will begin my seventy second trip around the sun, I realize that I mostly likely have fewer laps ahead than behind. So wisely I am preparing, as best anyone can, for a future adventure by letting go those beliefs, those opinions, those memories, that no longer serve me.
Yesterday, would have been the sixty-ninth birthday a sweet girl I married six days before I left for South Vietnam almost fifty one years ago. She was seventeen and I nineteen. The cards were stacked against us and the odds won out. She found somebody else before I got back. Finally after mulling that painful memory over and over and trying to imagine what I might have done differently, I have decided to just let it go, choosing to remember the smiles and brief miles we shared. Barbara had a sweet smile, that I choose to remember more than a broken vow.
This coming Halloween will mark twenty-two years since Barbara let go this adventure to begin a new and I believe bigger brighter one. She left behind a husband, two children, family and friends, but not me for she left me long ago, except for the memory of a pretty young girl’s smile.
Your friend and fellow traveler,