Or they misread the obvious even when it’s right in front of their noses. Reminds me of the old joke about the two Irish ditch diggers digging a ditch directly across from a house of ill repute. Suddenly, they see a rabbi walk up to the brothel’s front door. He glances about and ducks inside. “Ah, will you look at that?” one ditch digger says to the other. “What’s our world comin’ to when men of th’ cloth are visitin’ such places?”
“Half of life,” Woody Allen said,“is just showing up.” So at the end of another year, rather than invoke the same old tired retrospectives or conjure up another list of empty resolutions, I ruminate instead on the messiness of life – – – the half of life that happens after showing up.
On the verge of a New Year, friends will get divorced. Some will lose their homes. Others will face daunting business reversals or will have to work past difficult professional challenges. Some will continue facing fearful illnesses and others will deal with the tragic eventual loss of loved ones. Paraphrasing what either Bette Davis or Art Linkletter said about old age – “Life is not for sissies.”
And examined or unexamined, it’s messy. And you don’t have to be Socrates to know that.
And while the messiness of life means as C.S. Lewis wrote, that hearts get “wrung and possibly broken.” It beats a tidy life free of entanglements, which while“casket-safe, dark, motionless, airless” – – – is no life at all.