The Maid or The Cave

Note: I become more self-conscious the longer I wait to write!

I was invited (Yo, Yo Mama) to Tanglewood at nearly the last minute last Sunday (fastest group organization ever for a Don-Type Adventure) and thought the timing could not have been more perfect. We arrived mid-way through the first number by Isaac Albeniz, a piece from Suite from Iberia, settled our spread on the lawn, partly under a tree, next to the walkway from the covered pricey seats. During Lalo, Cello Concerto in D Minor, I lost my temporary front tooth in a salami sandwich – hmmmm, what omen is toothlessness at a re-birth? 😉

I was conceived, so mom says, at Lake Mohawk, post-some-concert. (I assume post, but maybe it was pre? TMI!!!) I wonder if this is the lake visible from the grounds?
lake view from Tanglewood.JPG.jpg

The Aspiring Activities Director provided true bizness high-class picnic equipment, and The Chosen One brought glassware to cradle his sweet wine. Mr. Blue (a.k.a. The Reconstituting Creative Writer) modeled rain gear from Niagara Falls. There were indeed hints of rain; the tree protected us from much of the few light sprinkles. No flowers, though – that was the only thing we neglected to prepare!
Time, as I mentioned, was already on my mind, as in timing – how life events cycle: occasionally there are returns to places one has already been, or recurrences of dynamics one has lived through. Sometimes a recurrence and a return co-occur as a repeat, and other times a pivotal choice or random development cuts across the pattern, enabling alternative trajectories.
If you visit Niagara, for instance, you can be a tourist in two different ways: ride The Maid of the Mist or go through The Cave of the Winds. The Chosen One has done them both. “What’s the difference?” asked The Therapist. “There is a change in time,” The Chosen One explained, “in the Cave you can stay as long as you want and control your own experience. The Maid is quick.”
And that just about sums up the whole dualistic continuum from existentialism to reincarnationism, don’t you think?! OK, I know it isn’t that simple. If you’re a nihilist, for instance, whether you choose the maid or the cave doesn’t matter because neither existence has more value or less purpose than the other. If, however, you’ve got any inclination towards there being some meaningfulness – even if its only transient – then you’ve got to at least consider the implications of the choice: does it come down to

  • preference (for a barrage of stimulation, say, or a leisurely exploration),
  • cost (considering a range of resources, e.g., time, money, energy), or some
  • valuation of the vector either type of experience will motivate?

There are moments of potential experience that seem designed for grasping whole and others that incline toward the longer view. The art of living, I’m thinking, relies on judgment between the two. The challenge of relationship requires their coordination.
We were reluctant to leave the gorgeous grounds with its pristine lawn and majestic trees. Surely it was the company, too, that caused us to linger as if Rachmaninoff’s final notes will never fade completely away.

4 thoughts on “(re)conception”

  1. You wrote: “I become more self-conscious the longer I wait to write….”
    Posting your gap-toothed portrait was a great step towards non-self-conscious-ness. It reminded me of Jack Nicholas in CHINATOWN.

  2. Oh dear, a cinematic reference (panic alert!) 🙂
    Maybe I saw it? (Memory where art thou?!)
    I recall a mentor say, during a group relations conference, something about not being a promise anymore (as in one’s youth), but something to the effect of, “this is what you get.” She did not elaborate, but I always took the sense to mean flaws along with all the rest.
    Hmmm. Does that make me a bloomin’ flower sans a petal or three? 😉

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