Love Letters to the Universe #2: Mysterious Acceptance

7 Dec

Love Letters to the Universe #2: Mysterious Acceptance

Dear Universe,

I haven’t been totally straightforward with you. We have had a breakdown in communication. I stopped writing; you stopped making a whole lot of sense for a while. There were days when I seriously wondered if I’d write again; I told myself it was you, that you weren’t even listening. Heaven knows, that is a thought that definitely does cross a high school teacher’s mind once in a while when he’s trying to get a bunch of hormonal and over-tired adolescents to get enthused about British Romantic Poetry. However, it just isn’t true, and I know it.

It’s not you, it’s me.

I’m the one with the problem. I suppose most of humanity is afflicted with this problem most of the time. It is a drag, and I’m sure it makes us very difficult to tolerate. That’s why I want to thank you so much for sticking by us silly hairless and tailess monkeys for a while longer. You won’t be sorry. We might be horribly slow learners, but I think you could say we’ve made some real progress, haven’t we? In any case, we can be occasionally rather adorable, you have to admit.

The problem as I see it: Exclusive Insanity.

Picture this:

A freckled four year old boy with a mop of curly brown hair walks on the side of the road. It’s summer so the boy is wearing a yellow Scooby-Doo tank top  with the Mystery Machine on the front. Said boy scuffs his new sneakers to send a bunch of pebbles onto the hot road paving. He looks up to witness the results of this attempt and spies a thing which is beyond imagining.

There is a bird, but it isn’t pecking at the ants gathered there. It isn’t startling to wondrous flight upon the boy’s scuffing approach. The bird is lying so still, like a discarded toy. It’s little marble eyes are glazed in a hazy cloud. The ants crawl over the bird in a frenetic and grotesque dance.

The bird is not a bird, not anymore, it is a sign. The boy furrows his brow.

The boy understands forever. He’s waited for his mother to finish interminable conversations with old co-workers in the supermarket so he might convince her that he needs a comic book or a lollypop near the registers. He understands love, the boundless ties that cause one to study another’s every movement, to delight in their arrival. But now, he must understand something completely different.

He must understand the sign of the bird that is not a bird anymore. Some dark understanding blooms inside his head, but there is no room for it. The boy’s brain is filled with love and forever. Where would there ever be room for such a thought? How can there be room in an endless warm summer’s afternoon for such a thing on the roadside? Yet, Knowledge, as one agonized monster once said, cannot be unlearned. The sign has been read, and the boy must somehow contain both the immortal and the mortal. What happens to such a boy when he must carry both things in his mind?

He goes crazy. You’d have to go crazy, wouldn’t you? But, that’s okay; it’s a crazy world. When in Rome do as the Romans. And the Romans were very, very crazy. They weren’t the first and they sure weren’t the last. Some hairless monkeys have built amazing monuments, painted marvelous pictures, written heart-rending songs, inspired illuminating faiths, and so much more all because of that dose of crazy. Everything they did was crazy, but the world kept spinning and everything was sort of hunky dory.

Except sometimes it isn’t hunky dory. Sometimes it really isn’t all that fun at all. Usually, this leads to, or is a direct result from, exclusive insanity. The hairless monkey of the moment does not accept that he’s crazy with crazy ideas. He even begins to think that not only is everyone else crazy, but that his monkey poo really has a far more pleasant smell than had been previously reported.

Thus, hairless monkeys might believe that once a hairless monkey walked on water, or a hairless monkey had the head of an elephant, or that a hairless monkey divided a sea with a wave of his stump-poking stick, and that kind of crazy is just alright. But then the hairless monkey says that only his crazy story isn’t crazy. So this inspires the hairless monkey to yell and scream a lot, be generally an unhappy monkey, and if things go horribly wrong: kill a bunch of other hairless monkeys.

Everybody is crazy. You’re exclusively crazy when you forget this fact.

So to get back to it; I had stopped writing to you because I suffered from my own particular brand of exclusive insanity. Just as any trauma can cause one to lash out at the world or lash within, so can living cause two different kinds of exclusive insanity. The first says my way or the highway, cause I’m the only sane monkey around. The second says: everybody else must be right and sane, and I’m the broken monkey with crazy ideas about what should bring one joy.

I mean, to lock yourself away alone in a room and record your thoughts and strange little fantasy tales is surely mad, is it not? Yes, it absolutely is. Except there are millions of crazy things these hairless monkeys do. They watch other monkeys chase balls around quite a bit. They sit in front of glowing screens and push buttons in the desperate hope that another monkey, far away, might push buttons in response. Some monkeys look at birds, some stuff them, some hunt them and some watch other monkeys hunt birds on glowing screens.

Writing is insane, but then so is everything else. It happens to be a flavor of crazy for which I have a particular fondness. It brings me joy; and thus it is worth doing.

Why does it bring me joy? I have no idea. It is a total mystery to me, but that’s all right. I like the mystery. In fact, I think we have come to the remedy for the exclusively insane hairless monkey. And I thank you for that as well, lovely universe.

We must all practice Mysterious Acceptance. Life is a mystery, a crazy plot. We have no choice than to accept that fact. And by doing so, we hop aboard the proverbial mystery machine, pet the great dane and ride off into adventure.

Do what brings you joy. Enjoy the mystery, accept it. I will do so myself, and sit down in front of a glowing screen and wonder at what will come out of me, for the mystery of the universe is like a mirror reflected inside of me, as well.

What could be better than waking up each morning, to cry out “the game is afoot”, and walk out into the unfolding mystery each day? Nothing, except perhaps to walk out hand in hand with you.

Love and Peace,

Trav

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