Sunday, July 23, 2006

Back to Survey I (subtitled, "Well, at least I tried," with regards to the authors of the original In-laws movie and the Bay of Pigs)

Dear Cate,

"A willingness to be uncertain or to allow for uncertainty. To suspend your own perspective or "bracket". To differentiate between good and evil in what you act on."

A while ago we talked and I imposed my ongoing survey upon you. Your answer (above) was, characteristic of your intellect and consistent depth of thought, one of the most provocative of all the answers I have received to date.

{Note to Readers: Please add your thoughts.}

It seems that you actually packed three or four answers into one. First, a willingness to be uncertain. Well, I'm uncertain, ergo, I'm good?!?! Well, maybe not. My uncertainties, as you well know, don't sustain themselves during the course of my interactions with others. I'm sure my uncertain little heart presents itself as a know-it-all one more often than I would like to believe.

And to allow for uncertainty, ah, how difficult that is. To be patient with that loved one who is simply and perhaps quietly unsure, yes, that does take a good person indeed. I know that it has been beyond my grasp at times when my dear children are seemingly floundering. "I will set you straight. I will point out the right path for you. All will be well if you believe what I say." Dear friend, can you just hear the inflection of my voice. And I am even well intentioned. In one of my favorite movies, (the original In-Laws) Peter Falk explains the presence of a photo of JFK hanging on his office walls inscribed with the words, "Well, at least we tried." "The Bay of Pigs," he says, "That was my idea." Sometimes I feel like my ideas are just about that good.

As you may recall you tried to explain to me the psychological concept of bracketing, which I am not sure I could define here if you gave me a quiz, but that I appreciated and will continue to think about. To suspend my own perspective. I have been working on this one. My perspective has been such a narrow one all of these many years. Barry Goldwater once wrote a book entitled, "The Conscience of a Conservative." The conservative conscience is a narrow one and prescribed. So the outline of the content of my conscience is short. Betsy's shorter catechism. I have tried to trash this in hopes of developing a better catechism of life. I don't mean that I won't rescue the good points from the old cathechism, but it all needs such a review in the light of my survey.

Finally, you are not one to leave out the practical application, are you? "So then, in light of what we have learned here today, go do it." I will try, I will try.

See you soon, my beloved friend. I look forward to it.



brd said...

I am exhausted. I have never had so many intense and serious conversations in the course of just 4 days in all my life. I am certainly glad you don't charge for this therapy.

Love ya.


Love, Cate said...

You are fascinating. The intricacies of your thoughts are a curiosity to me. Your thoughts are rich and stimulating. You are a "micro"-thinker. I suppose that goes with your ability and desire to be a "mirco"-lover. No wonder you are exhausted. No wonder you cannot(?), no, do not aspire to love your animals. And anyway, their thoughts (I do believe they have them, though I make no claim to assuming they are parallel to their human friends) concern the temporal. They are, or a least appear to be, beings-in-the-moment. That's what makes them so endearing to me, I think. But you yearn to transform the temporal into the eternal. Not all of it of course, but like Thoreau, you strive for the marrow.

I have been experiencing a drought and you provide water--as you always have. I am demanding.
Thank you for being who you are and who you want to be.

brd said...

Dear Friend,

I do love you. And I thank God that you love me too.