A good life

I sometimes wonder what a good life must look like. Is it a result of concerted efforts to create that wholesome, grounded space for yourself and those close to you, or is it a consequence of the willing participation and contribution from all involved? Is it feeling respected and appreciated for your contribution, or is it feeling grateful for being able to contribute? Is it the absence of drama, or the pursuit of dreams that inevitably attract drama? Or am I confusing peace with a good life?

I think this is similar to emotions. I know that there are a range of emotions that can be experienced, but I won’t know what those emotions feel like until I’ve experienced it. No explanation, no matter how detailed, of the emotional experience will give me the the ability to understand what it feels like until I’ve received such emotional expression from another. Somehow, I think this is what makes a good life familiar, or foreign, to who we are. Or is it all relative?

I think peace is relative. I think skimming the surface of the lake of life, and staying afloat is considered a successful endeavour by too many. I desperately and achingly look for resonance and companionship beneath that shimmering surface where depth and meaning abound, only to find a deafening, piercing, torturous calm that is rarely disrupted by anyone. They’re all splashing about on the surface, trying to stay afloat.

Is that peace? A shared struggle. Or is that a good life? A common delusion. Is living found in the isolation of discovery, or in the solidarity against oppression? Or is it simply in waking each morning and doing something of benefit to others with what breath you have left within? Then what of gratitude and affection? Is that why so many numb their senses in their efforts to live a good life? Surely a good life would inspire sobriety rather than impose escapism.

Given that things can always get worse, is a good life found in recognising that it’s not as bad as it could be? Is that gratitude instead? Or is it surrender? The stirring within that can never be silenced, even in the throes of death, creates the restlessness that such contemplations herald. Is that stirring the essence of life, and any efforts to subdue it then becomes the antithesis of life? Or is it the beneficial channeling of that restlessness that creates a good life, while a reckless abandon to it creates an insatiable need for contentment?

The rabbit hole is dark today.

The isolation a few grades deeper.

The surface of the lake clearly unreachable.

The vastness of not knowing as taunting as ever.

But yet, feeling human still remains elusive.

Is that perhaps the secret that death holds? The final clarity of what is, the killing of the distraction of expectation, and the understanding of what truly mattered? Is such clarity only possible when faced with the permanence of the inevitable, or do we deny ourselves even that when we transact with the after life?

There is no solace that I see, only the solitude of being me. And I wonder how many are in the depths of that lake with me, a fingertip away, shrouded by the darkness, contemplating the few shards of light that still dance on the surface of distraction.

A good life. Perhaps the luxury of contemplation is a good life, as we chase what we already have, only because we don’t know what it looks like, so we keep searching for what we think it is, not realising that we may be it for another, while not finding it for ourselves in any other.

Cryptic thoughts entertain the insanity that grows to define the struggle for a peace that is contaminated by its pursuit. Yet, I still wonder what a good life must feel like.

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