Perspective: What's It All About?

Sep 22, 2020

Life. What's it all about?

This question steamrolls over me now and then.

Alan Watts in his 1951 essay on finding meaning in reality said: “If the universe is meaningless, so is the statement that it is so… The meaning and purpose of dancing is the dance.”

I think I get it. Perhaps it's as simple as the small photo I hold. A photo that got me thinking about this life stuff. It was taken 28 years ago. A family reunion shot. Marking the day many of us we were together ... at least for a while.

That was many years ago, which is part of the ache I feel now. The pull of that question: What's it all about?

We huddled between great-great-grandmothers and babes in arms. All smiling.

Time has eaten away at the image. That happy moment. I count 33 people in the photo.

Then I imagine an X over some of the faces. Crossed off. Because they are gone now. Seven have passed. Still in the picture, but only as memories.

Then I realize I can wave this photo as evidence, and say, "This. This is what it's all about."

Call it family, I guess. Our small group linked with many other groups. Families everywhere. Bonded by blood and the chemistry that begot us. Adapting to the task of surviving.

I see survival in my photo. The natural flow of things. Generations. Families expanding. That's what it's all about. Propelling life.

"The meaning and purpose of dancing is the dance.”

And we are the dance.

I’m Lonny Cain … and that’s my Perspective.