Welcome to my World

Welcome to the domain different--to paraphrase from New Mexico's capital city of Santa Fe which bills itself "The City Different." Perhaps this space is not completely unique but my world shapes what I write as well as many other facets of my life. The four Ds figure prominently but there are many other things as well. Here you will learn what makes me tick, what thrills and inspires me, experiences that impact my life and many other antidotes, vignettes and journal notes that set the paradigm for Dierdre O'Dare and her alter ego Gwynn Morgan and the fiction and poetry they write. I sell nothing here--just share with friends and others who may wander in. There will be pictures, poems, observations, rants on occasion and sometimes even jokes. Welcome to our world!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Is that all there is?

My first lilac to bloom
There was a song by that title (*details below) some years back and while in a recent philosophical mood, I thought of how it can apply to most of us and our lives. The song portrays the singer's experiences of a number of exciting events but when each is over, s/he always asks plaintively, "Is that all there is?"

Yes, life can be like that. Especially when we experience a significant event or change such as a new job, falling in love, even a divorce, a move etc. We go into the new phase with high hopes and the expectation that somehow everything will be much better, even perfect. And of course it's not. To some degree this situation echoes the old query about the neighbors in one's new home and the answering question:  what were they like where you used to live?

The bottom line is that we basically make our own environment because so much more of our emotions and responses actually come from within us than from the external events and influences that surround us. It's all in how we respond, how we perceive and react. We can be so surly and cold that we find no friends and that is not likely to change. We can be so fearful that we become paranoid and reject any kindness with suspicion until we can clearly see that indeed, "they" are all out to get us. Or we can try to keep an open mind and heart and reach out to others instead of waiting for them to reach to us. We can seek something positive from even the least pleasant events in which we find ourselves.

Over the years I have found that happiness does tend to be a fleeting thing, ephemeral to use one of my favorite 'big' words. Still,
Another gorgeous NM sunset
if I keep my eyes, ears and spirit open and aware, each day has its small miracles and moments of transcendent beauty. There are sunrises and sunsets, flowers and birds, someone's smile or kind word, an unexpected gift, letter or call from a dear one far away. Yes, these things are brief and far too quickly gone but should that detract from their value? Should we ask, petulant as a child whose new toy broke, "Is that all there is?" Or might we better appreciate and enjoy them while they last?

I prefer the latter. True, the good, beautiful and precious things are often fleeting. Too soon the beloved dog or cat, the fine horse and even the dear friend is gone out of our life, probably forever. Nothing we love or truly enjoy stays with us as long as we might hope and wish, yet they were there--for a time ours to cherish and enjoy. Afterwards, we can hold the memories inside and keep those moments and those dear ones with us forever. Or we can fall into grief and despondency, lamenting, "Is that all there is?" until we miss other special moments, events and entities that may come our way.

I admit to having my bad moods and a tendency toward depression at times but as the years go by, I come to accept and deal with the dark days while I do my best to recall the bright times and trust that others will come my way in however many hours or years remain for me. Perhaps "that" is all there is, yet if you take in total all the good, there is a great deal of it, perhaps even more than the bad. And, since I believe we are here to learn and grow in the deepest spiritual sense, good can even come from the bad experiences. We need to use them to learn, to see where we erred and perhaps how we at least in part may have brought them into our lives.

 Details from Wikipedia: "Is That All There Is?" is a song written by American songwriting team Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller during the 1960s. It became a hit for American singer Peggy Lee and an award winner from her album in November 1969. The song was originally performed by Georgia Brown in May 1967, then recorded by Dan Daniels in March 1968, then by Leslie Uggams in August 1968, and Peggy Lee in August 1969, followed by Guy Lombardo in 1969, and Tony Bennett on 22 December 1969.[1]
Peggy Lee's version reached number 11 on the U.S. pop singles chart - becoming her first Top 40 pop hit since "Fever," 11 years earlier - and doing even better on the adult contemporary scene, topping thatBillboard chart. It won Lee the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, and then later was named to the Grammy Hall of Fame. The orchestral arrangement on the song was composed by Randy Newman[2] who also conducted the orchestra.[3]

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