Sunday, October 18, 2015

Heavy On My Mind

I just watched a powerful, happy and terribly sad film.  "I'll Be Me", the documentary about musician Glen Campbell, his dealing with alzheimer disease and his final tour with the Campbell Family Band on their "Goodbye Tour".

As I watched, I was delighted to hear Glenn Campbell's music again, and struck by the sadness in the lyrics of some of his most recent songs, that touch on his condition, from his personal point of view.

It is one of those films, that fill your mind after the last frame is over.  The kind of film that opens your thoughts, as you walk them down a rabbit hole, leading from one point to the next, uncovering ideas in recesses of your mind.

I wonder at this wonderful human body, with all of its intricacies. And at how  wonderfully flawed it is, with how it breaks down so.  I consider my own body, how I used to feel, or actually how I didn't feel.  Didn't feel pain when I walked, didn't feel congested when I awoke, didn't need glasses to read, didn't feel so tired.

What are we? a collection of neurons forming a mind?  A dendretic arbor containing thoughts? When our brain breaks down and fails, so do we, as a conscious being?  Or is there really a soul there, deep inside?

And if a soul, is it within just humans? or every living thing?

I remember when I thought I knew the answers.  Life's answers. And I remember before then, when I thought I'd just discovered those answers. And even before that, when I thought that there were many high plateaus that I had to surmount, many levels of knowledge to attain.  And earliest, I remember when I was just me, when I had my original face, when I woke and slept, and ran and played, and did not worry, nor was concerned, but was only filled with young life.

This mind, fully functioning, thinking thoughts of Glenn, and everything else that is connected, from him, back to me.  And I think of this life, at a time that I again do not have the answers, a time when religion has been forsaken, and thoughts of God are faded, and the stark reality of the universe as it really exists is brightly clear before me.

Today I viewed a photograph from the Hubble telescope.  A spiral galaxy, bright white at the center, spiral arms swirling, full of bright white dots, those arms looking as if formed from a cloud.  But that wasn't a cloud, it was a swirl of stars, suns earth's own.  In the photo was other bright lights, and when looking closer, I saw that they were also whole galaxies. Eighteen hundred galaxies in this one single cluster.  And that, just a small pinch of star dust in this universe.

A universe, that men try to describe, try to place in order, with thoughts and ideas.  Ideas based many times on the truth of observation, but too many times on superstition and false presumptions, and even lies, that are built up into societies where the wonderful human experience is turned into a hammer of the gods.  Where to many false ideas are forced people, on pain of death.

My mind is a swirl of thoughts, much like the spiral galaxy, much of it unexplored, not enough time.

copyright © 2015 by Marc S. McCune