Dear Friends and Readers,
There is a surreal quality about today. This weekend’s madness in Orlando Florida seems a very bad nightmare. The emotional weight of that tragedy seems more profound on a Monday when there is the structure or monotony of work. Weekends, at least my weekends, are unstructured. Yes, I wake up, but there are no alarm clocks. There are no set meal times, no already scheduled activities. The window of spontaneity allows for the unexpected, the unplanned. So the unexpected tragedy of Orlando did not disrupt my day which was mostly spent outside with no television or radio or internet or computer.
Today however, the tragedy is present and more real as I realize dozens of people will not show up to where they were expected to be this morning. Oddly, I am not where I expected to be this morning. I thought that I would spend the next two days at home choosing writing contests in which to enter and which stories to submit. Instead, I am at a job that I have doubts about, a job that I left on Thursday, but which I returned to because my leaving made my employer offer me more money. Yet, I am anxious because I feel the new raise won’t last or the work I will be asked to perform will exceed the value of the raise.
Life is not certain. Nothing is certain. Which brings me to the photo I have posted on my blog. It is a picture of a giant leaf from I tree I have grown since it was 18 inches tall. I have owned this plant for 12 years. Its leaves touch the ceiling of my apartment. Yesterday when I woke up the leaf had broken far down near it’s base and it was lying on the floor. The odd thing about this leaf falling is that the day before it fell, I was considering cutting it back because the leaf was torn and the edges had browned. I didn’t cut the leaf, and by the next day it had fallen of it’s own accord. “Good,” I said to myself now I didn’t have to cut it off.
This morning to my dismay, another leaf had fallen. This leaf was beautiful and perfect. This morning’s leaf had broken close to the base and I wondered if the tree at its core was dying. This would make me sad for two reasons. The plant had been the first gift given to me by my late husband Delgardo. When I had first met him he had a Chinese Maple in his office. He was trying to bring it back to life from weeks of neglect. It was left in a business that he had temporarily closed, but had decided to re-open. He would not give me the plant, saying that he had had it since it was 12 inches tall and he was hoping to bring it back to life. Instead of the dying plant, that I thought that I could rescue he gave me an 18 inch White Bird of Paradise.
Over the past 12 years, the plant has suffered it’s share of bug infestations and one time I left it in the care of a colleague who left it front of the fireplace while a fire had been lit and it was burnt. It recovered from all of these maladies, but today it appears to be sick. Because I am a superstitious person, I believe that the plant dying has meaning. I know it does not, but in the unscientific part of my brain, I think the plant dying has significance. What significance I attach to two leaves dying will be left to my imagination. However, there is probably a more likely reason for the leaves falling like root rot or over watering.
So what does all of this mean in the scope of your lives? The real answer is whatever you choose. The truth is things happen. We attach meaning to those events. Depending upon the meaning we attach, our actions will be in alignment to the meaning. I am at least aware that I make up meaning for things in my life, but many people are not aware that they do this. Because they are not aware they are doing this, they are responding to an imaginary set of causes which can lead to unexpected results or actions which will not/can not produce the desired effect.
I use this example of the leaf falling to pose a far more serious question. What does the killing at the Orlando night club mean? Depending on the answer you posit, will be the actions you take if any. There are some that will think that the killing was a sign from “God” a retribution to the “godless.” Or it could be a man with a gun who temporarily went insane and took the lives of innocent people who were dancing.
As we go forward in our lives today and each day it would be helpful if we realize that things happen. Bad things happen. We live in a world which is very advanced in technology, but not so advanced in human emotions or human fraility. We live in a world where nature can defeat us at anytime we underestimate its power. Perhaps we can be more empowered in life if we realize that we make the meaning of senseless acts. Let us find actions and meanings based in truth and not fear and superstition.
Brianna S. Clark
The Addict Writes