Thursday, April 7, 2016

Filling the Void

As distinguishable as are youth and maturity, employment and retirement, ups and downs and almost any other binary juxtaposition one might assemble to describe the polarities of life, the components which have filled the void of my own life are oddly constant. If any difference exits it is largely characterized by my having more time now than formerly to dwell upon my ambitions.  For example I have always sought a degree of excellence not only in what I performed but also in what I experienced. While this may resonate with a degree of haughtiness it is in fact no different from those who dedicate themselves to a lifetime of economy (though obviously the products of the two inertia are frequently at different ends of the scale). My father couldn't bring himself to rationalize the utility of sterling service, RenĂ© Lalique crystal or Crown Derby china, much less Breitling watches or yew tree furniture. I on the other hand could never succeed to rationalize the compromise of quality for the sake of austerity (even though I knew it propelled me to a destiny of perpetual fiscal misfortune).

Lest I am accused of flagrant materialism (which frankly I confess), I have also always valued superior moral standards.  From my earliest days (when I was approximately 5 years old) I can recall being in a state of turmoil for having hidden from my mother some indiscretion. I honestly cannot recollect what horror I had committed but I do remember crawling back to my parents' study where my mother was seated to confess my guilt. In later years as a lawyer this identical absorption of full disclosure landed me in a troublesome dilemma when I had to choose between hiding my Client's imperfection from the opposing solicitor or disclosing it.  In that instance the conundrum was somewhat more easily resolved on the legal basis of solicitor-client privilege but I can tell you that the mechanics of implementation were no less tortuous.

In the middle of these two extremes - materialism and morality - exists the less glorified world of everyday living, matters calculated to appease our elemental needs and passions, reft of the glamorous overtones of spiritualism and philosophy. Yet the fecundity of the daily drudge must not be diminished. It is perhaps the greatest transition in life I have accomplished to delight in the transparency of life's underlying causes. For one, I am hopelessly dedicated to beauty.  Beauty in all its manifestations utterly melts me!  I further rejoice in the admission that beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder, a qualification which merely enhances the thrill of it. At times I discover overwhelming beauty in people and things I know have no appeal whatsoever to many others since their demonstration may border on garish or earthy. Likewise I have a passion for stark contradiction, whether competing ideas or black and white photographs, a seeming paradox I have always attributed to congenital duality.

In line with more rudimentary aspirations I continue today as I have done throughout my life to excite myself with clothing, jewelry and cars. I complement these sometimes greedy passions with favourable features (also constant in my life) such as sunshine, exercise, nutrition and oils (olive oil, butter, fat, tanning oils, body lotions and greasy hair products). Technology -  a more intellectual bent - has afforded me endless hours of happiness to the point where it becomes "like a drug". The incomparable precision of technology stimulates me. Faster and more powerful are never lost on me!  Already I am contemplating the latest iPhone!

If there has been any alteration or amortization over the years, I would say it comes down to quantity.  Though my bulging girth belies universal reduction, in most other matters I have actively sought to narrow my erstwhile attraction to prodigality. It is perhaps an eagerness for singularity which prompts the constriction. If nothing else refinement aids one's focus. Multiplicity only complicates choice. Because the basic features of everything I like are identical I am capable of appeasing my appetites through illustrative models. Even in cooking I have discovered that less is more.

What propels me these days is supreme satisfaction.  Everything we do is strangely rewarding and its import is seemingly magnified by added doses of all that I have loved over the years. Surely I am occasionally haunted by the prospect of reversal but it is thankfully little more than an academic issue which has not taken root in my being.  I continue to be grateful for all that we have and share.  I cannot imagine a more fluid and gratifying way to fill the void!

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