Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Money to burn - and to what end?

Well that was something - two firework displays, one next to city hall, where the festive stage is set up, and another in the Castle grounds, even more spectacular. Both amazing, beautiful, costly and, like it or not, polluting the environment - exploding tons of chemicals in the local atmosphere, and noisy enough to awaken every baby and dog for miles around. And this is happening in cities all over the country, the continent, the planet. At what cost?

Great mass entertainment, over so soon. For what that spectacle cost Cardiff, a good six figure sum no doubt, the City could fund its own local hard drug re-habilitation programme that would help end the misery of scores of people who are, frankly, an embarrassment to the pretensions of our Proud Capital City streets. Our priorities, as a species aren't governed by morality.

But what can I do, apart from curse the dark? - as the saying goes.

In newspaper colour supplements and on the Web, I often see headlines advising of 'fifty places to visit before you die', or fifty things to do/experience before you die'.

Some writers and commentators admit to mortality, that life has a timescale to it. I bet most of them are forty somethings - after half-way you have to start admitting the game of life is up, sooner or later. But, all those '
things to do' ? What does anything matter if you're still anxious about yourself or the world?

You can have seen everything worth paying to see, every wonder, and still not be at peace with yourself, afraid to die because you have unfinished business that promises to seal your existence in dark personal torment. (
Let's leave God out of this - we make our own torment far too effectively to require divine intervention for this end.)

Rather than fulfilment by achieving everything on those 'to-do' lists, I'd settle for something simpler - who do I want to
be before I die?

When life is over, it's over. There's no going back. Even if there was any truth in the notion of re-incarnation it could not be a repeat of a life we once had. The uniqueness of time takes care of that. Who
I am, or who I am becoming - to put some vitality into it - when my life in the flesh concludes, declares what I long for, not only in time but above and beyond time, eternally.

What I want to be
forever - and why be ashamed of such an unfashionable notion? - is my true self, a person complete in relationship to my Creator, the source of my being, knowing and known - a true child of the Author of being itself.

Unfortunately I have a long 'to-do' list of vanities, illusions, dysfunctions and pretensions to be rid of first, in order to get started on the path of becoming how I was meant to be.

Please lend me a little time, Lord.

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