Sunday, October 22, 2006

Pumpkins And The Meaning Of Life

Today I did the family thing. My wife, son, and I met Chloe and her parents at Huber's Orchard and Pumpkin Patch in southern Indiana. We went a little earlier than usual and the crowd was sparse. Of course, the temperature was in the mid forties, it was overcast, and a brisk wind was whipping through the place. In other words, it was cold! Chloe didn't seem to mind. When a gust of wind blew across our faces, she would exclaim, "Whoa!". She also seemed enthralled with all the pumpkins, scarecrows, and witches, although a few of the scarier exhibits seemed to frighten her. Chloe is becoming quite the little person. She is now self aware. Chloe knows that she is Chloe. This is significant. I am 55 years old and I still don't know who I am. I think I am Michael but who is Michael?

My Saturday was very quiet and I had lots of time to stare out the window and just think. I like to think even though sometimes I think too much. In my weekend thinking I came to the realization that everything I have written and shared in my daily thoughts all boils down to one thing. It all about the search for meaning in my life. The meaning of life, often a subject for jokes and ridicule, is really what most of us are seeking, isn't it? Don't most of us wonder why we are here? Why we do the things we do or fail to do other things? Why do we believe...or doubt...the things we do? Of course, I often find the meaning of life overwelming. I can't even figure out my own behavior most of the time. I have spent years studying psychology, the Myers-Briggs, and the Enneagram, just trying to understand my own patterns of behavior, especially the parts of me that are dysfunctional. If I don't understand my own behavior, how can I understand the meaning of life. What if Kramer was right when he looked at Jerry in a recent Seinfeld episode and said, "You think there's more to life, don't you? Well, there's not!" The truth is that I don't know the meaning of life. Much of the time life makes no sense to me. I don't understand myself or most other people. However, if life does have meaning, I think it has something to do with love. No one has to explain love. When you feel it, you know what it is. Maybe if I concentrate on understanding what love is, the rest of life will explain itself. Maybe Chloe has been trying to explain the meaning of life to me in those moments when I can't understand her.

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