"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Monday, December 31, 2018

Where do we think we're going, anyway?

"Present Tense, " December #watercolor 31 of 31
"Are we there yet?"
"Life is a journey, not a destination," has become a cliche, it seems to me of Western culture, that we have to keep moving, going doing.
It is perhaps better than "We've arrived," meaning there's no place else, life is over.
Life is indeed a journey, almost unnoticed, as we travel through the universe on a planet zooming around a star.
We're more aware of it now, as one of our old calendar  end and a new one begins tomorrow.
But can we not just stand still in present tense and savor "being," a quality of life inherent in many non-Western cultures, as well as Native Americans?
Where do we think we're going anyway?
New Year resolutions? Sure. Plans? Sure. Hopes? Sure. Changes? Sure.
I look back at most of the watercolors I painted a year ago, shudder, and am thankful for the journeys I've had since then.
But  the best of those journeys was simply enjoying present tense, soaking up just "being."
"I am that I am," declared the Old Testament God, to people who were always on the move, worried about the past, unsure of the future. 
This may be the only instance where a "to be" verb is an active verb. Think about that, for a minute. Can our "being" be action, not passive?
We still haven't learned, that eternity is always present tense. That's an ironic statement when we are "looking forward," to tomorrow's "new year," isn't it? Our obsession with moving ahead is so ingrained. As a first born Capricorn approaching another marker on a journey around the sun, I'm very aware.
We're still asking, like we did as kids on a car on a long trip, "Are we there yet?"
Translation to "I am that I am?" "We're here."

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