This Is Your Life

Do you remember that segment on Sesame Street? That spoof of the 1950's  hit series? The capsule, surprise narratives of bits and pieces of a life, culminating in praise of inherent qualities and hope for the future...
Hope is important, just like ideals. When we are young, we have a tendency to take our ideals for granted; like the dear old, blind Mr. Magoo, sometimes we walk on air, without realising it. Well, travelling youth does; some youth does not move much from where it began.
The scrambling on air was my experience. I ran for my golden stag, which I knew would be invisible when I found it. Writing such a thing may make one sound "Romantic", or unrealistic.
But such fulfillment exists, though not without the less thankful legwork of learning which principles apply to the always changing contexts. Problems include: figuring out when to think and when to go with the heart; how to learn these lessons by heart - the lessons are in the heart, just like when one trains martial arts, there is no thinking when one is actually face to face with the opponent; how to deal with ugly pride and clean out the heart;  how to recognise unhelpful cultural values one has assimilated, unawares.
There will always be that little bit of emptiness: caused by mistakes, uncertainty or deep, deep questioning. It will always be there.  If you were not friends/ with the vast nothing inside,/ why would you always be casting your net/ into it, and waiting so patiently? Rumi asks. There needs to be the succession of questions for, each time, the answer is the golden stag, which enables us to answer not the Romantic question, What do you think?, but What have you learned?
I have a bone to pick with Romanticism, though I appreciate just how much of myself has been built on its words and thoughts. My bone to pick is in the exaggeration of sentiment (and we wonder where Generation X came from!), and the resulting loss of the ability to "See things as they are, and realise all there might be to them, all you can make of them; if you see both what they are and what they are not."
Life is multifaceted, and because of this, it is a funny idea to consider that one would come out victorious in all situations. How ludicrous! So what is my life, on This Is Your Life? I am thinking now that it would have a place for my exaggerations, errors, uncertainties. Those ungraceful, nerdy bruises that make us who we are. So, not the mistaken wandering, but where it leads us; not the mistakes, but what we become because of them. It is this, and not in the success, that will make us fulfilled.
"There is the constant temptation to live in the vision, rather than by the vision: to want to go to Heaven, like the Christians, or to bring Heaven here to America like the moderns, instead of living well a human life with vision. There is the temptation to demand perfection, and to condemn all existence because it falls short of what it might be, as it naturally must, instead of using the vision of perfection to discriminate between what is better and what is worse in our relatively and inevitably imperfect world...
"This, it may be, is the truth that lies behind Plato's ironical warning that the effect of poets is often bad: because men are apt to be too stupid to realise that they are poets, and to take them literally, instead of seriously." J.H. Randall, "Plato's Treatment of the Good Life and His Criticism of the Spartican Ideal."

Elements: film: volframia20.