Carpe that Diem

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Carpe that Diem ©2017 R.D. Girvan

A little while ago, this happened:  Three times in one day, I approached my computer to research… what? When I sat down, my mind was as empty as the search field. I had no idea what I had been about to Google.

Sometimes, memories scatter before me like tadpoles in the shallows, blurry black shapes highlighted against a ridged sandy shore.  This time, though, there were not even shadows darting away. Nothing. My inner eye showed only an image of blank sand under a foaming wash.

All my life, I have enjoyed my intelligence, my mind. I love puzzles, puns, cool words and finding the perfect way to turn a phrase. Making a new realization, mastering a subject, taking a mental leap and landing upon firm logic – these things delight and fascinate me.

I have always envisioned my mind as a magnifying device – a telescope or a microscope – and will mentally “dial in” my focus when I am working hard on something. And that day, my mental telescope had lost its bearings and was gawking at a black hole. My microscope, dialed in all the way, was straining hard, illuminating a blank slide.

That experience made me decide: today. I do things I want to do today.

While I still can, right? Write.

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Hearts Found on the Road

16 Hearts of Stone

Photo ©2010 R.D. Girvan
Hearts Found on the Road ©2010 R.D. Girvan

I have a thing for heart-shaped rocks.  Fascinated by their very existence, I am struck by the fact that they are by-products of slow-moving, implacable forces working to some other end entirely.  I choose to think there is a purpose, a Higher Purpose, one too significant to be revealed; a secret worth keeping.

Regardless, for all of Time, since Day One–or maybe even long before that–the forces of Nature have been working on these stones, inadvertently turning them from mountains to boulders to rocks to pebbles.

All the while, as we are busily living and dying, and our parents are doing the same and our parents’ parents’ parents’ were busily living and dying–as far back as Time goes, there were rocks being worn away into shapes that we now appreciate as symbolic and pleasing.

I find this contrast between the eternity of Nature and the immediacy of one’s daily life to be humbling and embarrassing, diminishing and yet motivating.  I have the same reaction when I gaze at stars, but the heart-rocks… these urgent reminders of my own human frailty and mortality keep appearing at my very feet.  They arrive as unearned bounty, as lucky talismans, proof of odds overcome.  It’s as if someone were saying, “Here: look.  If this is what can happen by Chance, what could be wrought if one put their mind to it?”

Am I reading too much into it?  What does it all mean?  Seriously, is there a Design, a Hidden Hand?   Considering all the immense forces of gravity, pressure and time… the Earth’s plates shifting and glacial movement across the Prairies… keeping in mind the oceans forming and then receding, mountains rising and crumbling… it makes me wonder.  Was it all meant to be?  Was all that pressure brought to bear so I could walk down my gravel driveway and discover another stone heart for my collection?  Or perhaps it is all just a happy accident, purely random–including my presence on the driveway.