Saturday, June 17, 2017

What May Become of a Promise?

Matt at Lake Musconetcong 2009

I posted last after midnight following the 14th on Mountain Lake. Ever since, I've kept reviewing in my mind what I wrote about promises, and I know better than to think I can promise you a full answer in this post. All of my posts are off the cuff, written in haste. Not out of any disrespect for my readers or for blogging, but because I believe blogs--web logs--are appropriately this and not a writer's most developed work. The very thought of using a Google gadget to present my best work feels absurd. But I write as well as I possibly can within this medium, and the limit I place on my time with it, without obsessively going back to improve on posts. I mostly let them be as faithful accounts of responses to events and ideas.

That most recent post features a disturbingly abrupt sentence transition. From the immense promise of Lake Musconetcong fulfilled, to "That's broken." I wrote the post just this way honestly, in light of how all of those five years of fishing the lake, many times each year with my son, came upon me whole out on Mountain Lake, but instead of my entering their memory, I let them go. Just like putting down a book. Because I know--again from experience--what it is to enter an enormous state of memory, an involvement I've learned is usually best to forego. It is, if things that need to get done in the present will get finished.

So now I pose it to you. What's the better faith perhaps? To indulgently dive into every mental state that issues from the depths, even if they imply your loved ones, or to have the mastery to let them go, knowing you're not God, but if you believe in the value of what you've done, their fulfilled promise will persist in your life, regardless of turning to present events instead of indulging past memory. Every new event is born out of past events anyway.

A clue is offered by two very wise men of the deep past, Socrates and Plato. When Matt and I fished Lake Musconetcong, the experiences were fully about the earthly beauty he and I engaged together. Except for two things. The church bell chime we heard at 6:00 p.m. almost every time out. And an ice cream truck jingle with resonance up in the hills. Our minds lifted over the present, reminded that everything is eerily eternal. I like to believe that Matt, even as a young boy, had an inkling of this. We always talked about the church bells and the ice cream truck jingle. He expressed his own feelings about this music. When he was three, I explained to him how existence must be eternal, since something cannot come from nothing, and many times he reviewed this idea with me.

Socrates believed earthly beauty reminds us of Eternal Forms in a Realm Beyond. To me, the affairs with Forms in this Realm Beyond have always seemed like a cartoon magazine. I guess for some of us, that's heaven, but even as a boy, cartoons offered me very little interest compared to books about real things here on earth. Socrates and Plato did not get the metaphysical description quite right. Besides, Plato expressed attitudes about life here on earth that always appall me. Rather than bodily life as any "prison," I assure my readers--if there is a Beyond I will awake to upon my death, I will gladly visit. But what I really want is to return here on earth, reborn. I don't mind spending another life as someone else, because a human being is a human being. Besides, if this will possibly be the case at all, something of me will remain.

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