Pondering Fate as I approach Seventy Revolutions around the Sun
Transition time again?
Normally it’s about once a decade and it’s only been nine years. Perhaps it’s only the beginning of a transition … although it feels a bit more climactic.
So, … what to do?
I’ve been feeling dissatisfied and restless most of the year, wondering if a more passive existence might not be what my personal growth requires: more writing and thinking, developing culturally; music and art; on the other hand, civic activities clamor for attention, as does teaching and counseling and mentoring. On the third hand (now that would be useful), professionally I’m starting to feel very disturbing pressure to conform to others’ political currents and to ignore political practices of which I disapprove; I’ve never been willing to do that but suddenly, repercussions are being made more and more clear. Or, on the fourth hand (as in the case of Hindu gods and goddesses) is that just something I’m imagining; a way to rationalize changes I’m not fond of, a refusal to recognize that I’m just not as useful as I once was?
Still, perhaps all of the foregoing are just destiny’s way of telling me it’s time for change?
So, a bit dizzy, I ponder:
The world seems in terrible shape and is only getting worse, here, there, everywhere. For strange, perhaps disturbingly sanctimonious reasons, I feel very motivated to act, to somehow help to make things better. Here in Colombia I find myself in a crucible boiling over, a fulcrum in time and space spinning with myriad possibilities for very divergent futures, most bad but some incredibly beautiful. In the United States, the situation seems almost, but not quite hopeless. Europe, the Middle East and even Latin America seem drifting towards disaster. But why are they my concerns? After all, I’m just one person. Why can’t I be like The United States and most of Europe when Jews were the victims rather than what Zionists have become today?
Shouldn’t that lesson teach me that, as Hegel believed and some of my oldest friends point out, attempts to shift the tides of history are futile? If so, why is it so painful for me to see people I love and respect urging me to accept the inevitable and consider the lesser evil; … a mantra I’ve heard in every electoral cycle during my lifetime. It’s as though they’re saying “… relax, … your eyes are getting heavier, … you are getting sleepier, ….sleepier”. Are they right?
But I ponder: What happens when I wake, what kind of a world will I have left my children?
In response I hear a distant whisperer saying “relax, it’s not your problem, what difference can one person make, the world won’t end. How do you know you’re right and all of us are wrong” and it’s echoing over and over.
Again I ponder: “What’s best for all the values I profess to hold, what’s best for me? In the long term, right now? What’s best for my children, for my students, current and former (who are also like sons and daughters to me)? Will I finally sell out? Is financial security what I need to focus on at my age, is it time to start savoring life; or, should I stubbornly keep swimming against the current, certain I’ll reach what may only be a mirage? Am I just incredibly vain and self-centered, a victim of a Jesus complex (possible among way too many others)?”
Frequently, writing is a way for my wiser inner self to communicate with my somewhat more naïve exterior, I think that’s what I’m trying to do right now.
I wonder what it is that I’ll conclude?
© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2016; all rights reserved