Monica E. Smith

Monica E. Smith

Saturday, October 01, 2011

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

As I enter the autumn of (my) life I tend to focus on the coming winter rather than allowing myself to enjoy and participate fully in the beauty of autumn. And what a shame it is when I yield to that darker side, for autumn has always been my fondest season, even as a child!
Yet I believe that each moment in our lives is a gift; the good, the bad and especially the ugly. We can make of them what we will. Take them for granted, disconnect them from our lives as just "things" that happen, discount them as unimportant; fear them, hate them for the discomfort and inconvenience they cause, mindlessly plod through them, blame them on “Someone” simply being mean or cruel or uncaring, or even wish them away. I have done most of these things at one time or another. I'm certain everyone has. It is human nature, but is it wise? I, myself, have become more concerned, at times, about the state of the world and, more intimately, the state of my life. I seem more anxious at times, wanting things to be just so, wanting and needing to make amends, to live life to the fullest, to “fight the good fight”. It is only natural to feel concern and sadness in one's life, but it can sometimes be difficult not to let everything build into a full blown weltschmerz!
I don't think we live life to the fullest, add clarity or glean the importance of a moment in time (thereby discovering how awesome life is) and reap its benefits by just tossing it aside because we don't understand it or find it distasteful. If we try to hide from the bad and the ugly, we end up not recognizing what is good (you can't have one without the other, because all of these moments are part of a whole, and each is relative to the other). We don't appreciate the value of life and lose enjoyment in even the smallest of pleasures; we become bitter and resentful and sad; Our lives are made up of the amalgamation of all three. Each of these moments, our moods, experiences and cherished—or not so cherished—memories helps us to grow into the people we are meant to be.
There is comfort in knowing that each of us has a purpose, that we are not designed to go through life alone, mucking our way through the bad and ugly to realize that purpose and find the good. ("Therefore encourage one another and build each other up..." 1 Thessalonians 5:11). We have others with whom we are connected in so many ways we do not always recognize, and who are there to help us, sometimes in ways they do not even realize. To me, life is no accident. We have a watchful Guide, leading us on the paths we have chosen to travel. What better encouragement for embracing all the facets of our extraordinary human nature. So, perhaps a proverbial word to the wise?
It is no mere adage that time (seemingly) passes more quickly as we age. It has become so precious, and while there are days less perfect than others, I will never wish away any day, no matter how bad or ugly it may seem. All of my life I have heard “with age comes wisdom”. It could be that it is more accurate to say that as we age we become more aware, thereby learning the value of time. Perhaps therein lies the wisdom.


Autumn has come quickly
It both startles and assures me
Hence I shall not be afraid,
For the path I have chosen remains
In perfect harmony with the seasons—
Unified, though each a part unto its own
Bursting forth in fluctuating hues,
From brilliant, coolest argentine
To the fiery red heat of vermilion

This mélange of moods and colors,
Experiences, memories and remnants
Of an earlier time varies from day to day,
Molding, reshaping who I am,
Enhancing my simple existence—
As a wild pumpkin might adorn
A quiet woodland patch of green

*(Along with this entry, I have made the decision to change the name of this blog from "Rantings of a Mad Poet" to "Menagerie". Since it is a collection of writings, poetry, thoughts and emotions, questions and, hopefully, some answers, I felt it should be aptly named. A complete collection of this blog may be found in book form in the bookstore at Blurb. Volumes I and II are available for purchase, and Volume III is in production now. I hope you like the name and enjoy the new setup)

*(Thank you to Connie Marcum-Wong, moderator of the PFT [Poetry for Thought] poetry group, for her poetry challenge suggestion to use the words mélange, remnant, argentine, vermilion, path, harmony, adorn, woodland, pumpkin, unified in a poem. These lovely and inspirational words led me to write "Synthesis", which, in turn, led me to deeper thinking, which led me to this blog entry. All of these actions together became, for me, another illustration that we are all somehow (and, at times, unknowingly) connected.