“The past is never where you think you left it.” –Katherine Anne Porter
One mystery is solved: There is life before life as we know it.
“Life is sexually transmitted.” –Anonymous
One mystery remains: Is there also life after life as we know it? There are several ways to find out. Wait and see could be hopeful, if you light the lamp.
“Hope is patience with the lamp lit.” –Tertullian
Should you catch shpilkes, the 24-second bug that causes impatience, you could put in a call to someone who dies for a living, such as the 14th Dalai Lama. Only, if you catch him at his hobby (repairing watches and clocks collected as the 13th) or his day job (laughing with the gods), you might be on hold till he’s the 15th. Even if you connect right away, he’d probably just make you plotz.
“The purpose of our life is to be happy.” –14th Dalai Lama
Just being on hold, though, could take a load off your mind.
“When you are on the phone or on the air you have no body.” –Marshall McLuhan
Weightless, you could beam yourself back to the garden, and observe the grasshoppers.
“Children are natural Zen masters. Their world is brand new in each and every moment.” –John Bradshaw
Or, you could take a quantum leap through A Brief History of Time.
“The laws of science do not distinguish between the past and future.” –Stephen Hawking
Do mortals ignore nature and science – not to mention our best day ever – by distinguishing the night before, say, New Year’s Eve, from the morning after?
“Every man regards his own life as the New Year’s Eve of time.” –Jean Paul
To solve the mystery, at least in this writer’s story – a metaphorical voyage with the gods of happiness (humanity’s archetypes of timeless truth and beauty, permanent love and contentment, abiding humor and good fortune) – we are idling our boat in the beauty spot of past and future.
“Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in.” –Henry David Thoreau
At this writing, we are idling on an imaginary dotty line, just like the International Date Line, where the distinction between yesterday, today, and tomorrow is, well, imaginary.
“Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It is already tomorrow in Australia.” –Charles M. Schulz
The lamp’s light illuminates creative imagination, where hindsight and foresight come together as insight.
“I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present.” –Alan Watts
Whence this writer’s labor of love: idling upon a timeless stream of consciousness between the lines.
“There’s an old proverb that says just about whatever you want it to.” –Anonymous
The pearls of wisdom we glean from a sea of thought, illuminate the mystery of life before, during and after life as we know it.
“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” –Robert Frost
Our own words are the thoughts we weave into artifacts of immortality.
“Write a wise saying and your name will live forever.” –Anonymous
The art of immortality is focusing conscious attention on the truth that always is.
“Forever is composed of nows.” –Emily Dickenson
While dancing and laughing.
“We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh.” –Friedrich Nietzche
But don’t take our good news as gospel. Just idle the boat you are in, and imagine life imitating artifact and art, as you focus attention on The Big Picture.