Saturday, March 7, 2015

Koalas and life questions

http://www.clker.com/cliparts/R/9/M/M/j/X/koala-th.pngThe other Sunday I was watching an animal show at my in-laws.  Juliette loves this show, since, like all kids, she's wild about all animals.  They were showing koalas and my mother-in-law asked what they ate.  Eucalyptus leaves, my husband replied.  "What purpose does that animal serve?" she asked.  At first it seemed to be an ignorant question in my mind.  But in fact we could turn it around and ask what purpose we serve, too.We're just animals, too, after all.  Much less furry than koalas, not as cute, one could argue, too.  But what good are we really doing on this planet?  More harm than good, most of the time.  Just because we can speak and write and drive cars doesn't really mean we're better than our wilder planet-mates.  Considering all the wars we've caused and people we've decimated just because they believed in a different God than us, frankly I think the koalas are a lot more civilized.  And they're not polluting the planet at the rate we Homo sapiens are. 
 
I was woken from my revery by the shrieks of laughter coming from my husband, and parents-in-law.  They were joking about how my father-in-law has to be careful about meat and fat now and saying he seemed to have gotten it wrong and thought he should eliminate fruits and salad instead.  I don't know why it made them laugh so hard but they were all turning red and were close to tears.  Then all of a sudden my father-in-law was on the ground and his wife and Remi were trying to get him to respond.  He'd fainted for some reason, maybe from the intense laughter, and was out for a few seconds.  We got him to wake up and he seemed fine.  He had no recollection of fainting.
 
We were all a bit disturbed by the incident, and it made me think how quickly one can go in this life.  One moment you're joking around and the next you're not breathing.  Just like that.  And once again that question: what's it all for?  You work hard all your life (especially in my father-in-law's case) just to be taken down by heart disease or cancer or Alzheimer's.  If you're lucky enough it doesn't happen till you're 90.  If you're in the wrong place at the wrong time you could get hit by a rock some idiot teenager throws off a bridge.
 
Last week I saw people loading old furniture and household items into what looked like a dump truck.  It made me think it was an older person's house that they were clearing out because he or she had passed away or was now in a nursing home.  And here were all the tangible pieces of this person's life, fifty or sixty years of purchases and collections, probably headed for the recycling center.  Again it seemed so anticlimactic.  The sum of a person's life just basically thrown out. (Not that we have to keep every item a relative who has passed on owned...)
 
And so, I wonder about myself today.  I'm working, but barely.  I'm earning money, but not much.  I wonder if I made some wrong turns or wrong decisions in my life.  Not that it really matters so much anyway.  What will they remember about me or any of us, way on down the line?  We're just one little blip in history anyway.  Sometimes it just gets you thinking. 
 
So I'll leave you with one of my mom's favorite quotations (not a "quote", wink wink to Holly!), which is one that also gives me inspiration in times like these...
 

“In the best of times, our days are numbered anyway. So it would be a crime against nature for any generation to take the world crisis so solemnly, that it put off enjoying those things for which we were designed in the first place: the opportunity to do good work, to enjoy friends, to fall in love, to hit a ball, and to bounce a baby.”



Alistair Cooke

1 comment:

I Say Oui said...

Reflective. I can't say I have the answers, but it's the kind of post I like. It's funny how even knowing how we are just a blip, life can still feel pretty stressful at times.