Saturday, July 12, 2014

La Besace de La Fontaine

After a morose litany, readers might imagine Labann only notices what’s obnoxious. They’d be wrong. Beauty and truth surface upon a sea of filth and lies; they only exist by comparison. Roses fed manure bloom above thorns, unless kept in the dark, where, like a mushroom or an unenlightened mind, they mold or remark. Anything alive will decline without absorbing energy. All life depends upon photosynthesis, you see, even if it’s predatory. Survival requires fresh air and sunshine. If you don’t first suffer, you’ll fail to spot great and take good for granted. From longing and pain arise all that’s human, including arts, magic, myths, rules, science, and spirituality. Whenever everything goes, standards cease to be necessary, but laws deter impatient idiots from causing harm daily.

So what satisfies? With normality false and nothing certain, some say only the love of a soulmate matters. Even that’s temporary before dementia sets in or sickness deprives you once again. Dogs bite their masters, do what’s instinctual, and don’t really return projected affection. Then doting masters unwittingly feed them meat byproducts and putrid substances, so people aren’t aware of all they need to know, and words do matter. Some bind themselves to a busy yoke, which can’t love back and is seldom kind. Work is often a joke, someone’s else’s delusion of privilege or progress. You can be assured of betrayal and disrespect despite all the good you share. Your outward search will barely yield much more than food at a price you can’t afford. Nature then bites back.

Bicycling boosts mood. You can bake in a car or stew on steamy days, yet rolling exposed generates its own cooling breezes. Motorists hurry to peak attractions and places to earn, whereas cyclists absorb what’s in between, bits of beauty you wouldn’t otherwise behold: cacophony of birdsong, glimpses over garden walls, scents of emerging blossoms or newly cut hay, sun on your shoulders, and taste of farm fresh fruit in season. Journey itself can be a joy. You cannot receive what world has to offer unless physically capable. Getting healthy, losing weight, meeting others, and staying fit permit everything worth experiencing. Reading alone doesn’t do it. Only through doing do insights flow and texts materialize. To imagine and plan effectively, you must know facts which can only be learned by following examples or trying yourself. Don’t be surprised if you’re not elated afterwards; experiences steady nerves and highlights barely surpass lowlights. Satisfaction can only be found within; you bring it, not find it elsewhere.

Those who feel they must list blessings are probably convinced that readers have lost touch with what’s vital. Because blooms are brief and fruit ripe for a few days, only those who stay alert and engaged get to savor them. Attend any festival surrounding natural occurrences: fish migrations, produce harvests, trees in bloom, waterfalls rushing, or whatever your bag or bindle may be. Everyone has flaws. Find fewer faults, get to know strangers, and look for good in them. Mind what fabulist La Fontaine noted, “We forgive ourselves everything, and forgive others nothing.” Ashamed, it’s easier to berate another’s foibles than confess own mistakes. Life gets what it needs, gives what it must, or goes bust.

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