Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Grass is Always Greener


They say that the grass is always greener in the next universe. The groove is always funkier. The water is sweeter and the sun is warmer. The tears are not as salty and don’t fall as swiftly. Maybe the multiverse theory is just a way for cosmic theorists to mathematically validate their fantasies. In the past we had Walter Mitty, the Land of Oz and other fantastical escapes. Now we have actual numerical theories which posit the possibility of an infinite number of universes, where every possibility is a reality.

Religious believers employ this “grass is always greener” concept when they put all their hopes in the idea of a heaven, whether that heaven is lined with gold streets and dead relatives or has ninety-nine virgins waiting for the next crazy suicide bomber. You don’t need to be a member of a church to feel spiritual and you don’t need to be a monk to find enlightenment. False hopes lead to dead ends and a lifeless existence. Stop and look around you. The beauty of life is astounding, from the colors and scents of flowers to the bird songs of robins, chickadees and the common flicker. Breathe it all in and savor the universe we find ourselves in.

Robert Fulghum, author of that classic book "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten" put it this way: "The grass is not, in fact, always greener on the other side of the fence. No, not at all. Fences have nothing to do with it. The grass is greenest where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you are."

If the theoretical physicists are correct then there very well may be another universe, where I am rich and famous, but not nearly as good looking as I am here and now. If we all hunker down here in this world, obeying archaic patriarchal laws, we’ll die old and unfilled. Sometimes reality feels like a foot on our face, not allowing us to get on with our deepest desires. This is my path and those Marks in the multiple universes, like bubbles in soapy water, have their own paths with their own ups and downs.

We all have a bit of Walter Mitty in us, imagining ourselves in some bigger and shinier reality. Here I barely have time to write trivial blog posts, never mind fantasize about what other Marks are doing in the multiverse. Those Marks need to take of their own problems, cash their own checks and marry or divorce as they see fit. I can only attempt to control my own destiny and that’s a futile task. Control is out of my hands. The sooner I realize that the better off I’ll be.

Mindfulness is all the rage these days and it teaches that there is only this moment. We might as well all agree that there is also only this universe. All other universes are theoretical at this point and even if there were evidence for their existence, we have no way to take a vacation in a parallel universe. We have this moment in this space in time, and we all have to make the best of it.

1 comment:

Dana Gaskin Wenig said...

Love it. The piece, the absolutely perfect accompanying music video. :) You have cheered my morning and reminded me to be here now. ;)