Saturday, April 29, 2017

Post hoc...

I don’t know why “The grapes are sour” is seen as a cautionary tale. It is, for most of us, an accurate representation of how to cope. Of how to make sense of the little injustices, the little inadequacies, while still somehow holding on.

I’d go as far as to say that this is exactly how we’ve been taught to think about life.
There lies little hope, little prospect for redemption in the ostensibly fatalist assumption that every defeat, no matter how trivial, is somehow dependent upon accepting progressively harsher truths that take away from one’s sense of being.

Sure, in a perfectly ideal world, everyone learns from their mistakes. There is any number of second chances, as there are any number of first loves.

Of course, the reality is that allowing for the cold discomfort of what can easily be a hostile interpretation of the truth is something that piles on fairly quickly.
In contrast, a benign interpretation, as long as it does not distance itself from reality in a ridiculous manner, affords at least a little comfort. The chance to center one’s self without going through all those stages of grief. I’ve come to learn that is a precious thing indeed.

Let’s go down this road a little further, while still holding on to moderation. Disappointment from (sometimes unwarranted) expectation is a rite of passage into comprehension. Again, in a perfectly ideal world, we’d learn to temper said expectations. Keep them firmly within that narrow range where they may be kissed, or killed depending on how the dice roll. Since we’re all aware by now that this isn’t a perfect world, the case can be made that being able to separate the very human need to succumb to the optimism of expectations; without necessarily having to deal with the aftermath of those times when they aren’t met, is a indeed a positive thing.
This goes further into not needing external validation from any number of things. People who claim to love you, people who claim to care, and especially people who would do you the utter injustice of not lying to you about either of those things.

“The grapes are sour” is also how, in so many ways, we think about death. There’s frequently some element of “mukti” or freedom of suffering about the description of the passage of an elderly relative. This when we work so very hard (and sometimes hardest just before) to prolong the inevitability of said demise.
And in the case of death that is, or is the result of meaningless evil, well, it’s usually so far outside most ways of relating to everyday reality that it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t claw at one’s sense of right and wrong. The grapes are sour, and they’re further away.

My point is, it’s alright to not deride someone who’s trying to convince themselves of some version “It doesn’t matter. It didn’t matter”. It’s alright to hold their hand.
All of us will have occasion to find ourselves there at one time or another; and I know all of us would like to be part of a world where there is any number of second chances, as there are any number of first loves.

So yes, the grapes are sour. That’s perfectly alright. We’ll make wine.