Panier of Plenty

The meaning of life…

February begins on a light note, with a bit of ‘philosophy’ as I finish an article
that has been underway for some time: on hold for the birth of Célestine as ‘daily
life’ has taken over from ‘time to dream’. Yet balance now returns and projects reach completion, although culinary pursuits now include purées…


Survival of the species – continuation, replication – as nature seeks to thrive and ensure a succession. Babies are born each day, whether hatched from eggs or incubated by mammals, larvae or seeds sprouting – we are familiar with life’s many forms. Our human children go through a long period of gestation, not as long as elephants, but nevertheless significant when compared to other species: developing to a blueprint, to a higher plan, harnessing the coding contained within genes, they evolve into perfect beings ready to face the world and learn about emotions as their experiences unfold.

Ours is a journey towards consciousness – awareness of our environment as we interact with it, and then responses that require the use of our faculties – intelligence and reason are seen as man’s domain, for in the animal kingdom it is ‘instinct’ that reigns. Thus we are taught and shaped, choosing our environments as we grow and adapt. Unlike many species requiring ‘certain conditions’ we can choose variety and to explore, and ‘follow ambitions’.

Venturing out we make our way, creating what we think will bring ‘enjoyment’ – for although there are rules or guidelines, we know that there are endless choices, it is only a matter of defining them. The child full of wonder and innocence must face many challenges in its journey from infancy to adulthood and beyond, navigating through a labyrinth of conflicting opinions, cultural beliefs and important decisions – looking to elders, seeking advice, working out which way to turn and questioning society. Paradoxes are as present as ‘red herrings’ and ‘the unpleasant’ – the world is full of examples that lead to confusion – it is up to us all to ‘cut through illusion’. Senses are designed to do just that; to aid discernment so we know how to act.

The boundaries are already defined, for we emerge from childhood with ‘guidance’: able to analyse what we see, and touch or feel based on the experiences we have already filed; smell comes into play and our tastes develop as we extend our palate to incorporate more ‘sophisticated’ choices. Music enters the mix and we go through phases, deciding what we like best. Likes or dislikes are therefore high on the list, for the purpose, or driving force, is the emphasis on refining ‘who we are’ as an individual, creating our own space amongst ‘the collective’. Asserting ourselves, presenting ideas, developing ‘dress sense’ as we are educated and gain ‘peers’.

Entering into a system or channel, where a path is followed from ‘schooling to career’, with expectations that mount as readily as our years, for soon the fledgling must leave the nest; they must learn to soar, riding the currents whether ‘favourable’ or poor. Stretching their wings, out on their own, emphasis is placed on creating a home, a nest, and then filling it with offspring – the next generation.

Continuing the cycle of life, our young are born to ‘take up where we left off’. Whether following in our footsteps or rejecting who we are, they in turn adapt to ‘modern society’ – whatever the age brings – far from the ‘natural habitat’ of the animal kingdom. Trends set the pace and technology, a race, as it is evident that competition is part of the mix – they must master skills that encompass ‘best’.

Performance is rated, we’re in the spotlight: more than ever before in a public domain, as social media changes the way we interact and opens up new networks of connections. Expression has evolved and come to the fore; individuals share their experiences and feed a collective force. Yet as ‘out there’ and free as this might seem, society is still based on the idea of conformity – for even by entering a password there is an ‘agreement’.

Conditions abound and information is key, as data is collected and statistics averaged – ‘monitoring’ goes on behind the scenes and whether we are aware or not, drives new trends. If we don’t keep up we are not just left behind, but alienated from the mainstream – swimming against the popular tide – for to succeed on every level, agility is tested: do we fit in, or stand out, and will we be ‘elected’? Voted for, seen, admired and liked… are others nodding as they buy our product? A marque, a brand, an attitude or style – what exactly do we have to offer, can it be categorised? Put in a box, defined in a space, easily grasped just like our face.

It is a façade that the world demands, a way to define us that sums up our charms. Rich, alternative, pretty or intelligent, each of us must sell our wares to ensure ‘representation’ or ‘celebrity’. We can’t be classified if we hide away, a voice is demanded in this present day – the louder the better if we want to attract fans. The product of this generation knows how to self-promote, no longer ‘working away studiously, satisfied with their lot’, change is the key and its constant demands – with the flick of a switch, or swipe of a touchpad we advance.

Yet what of our ‘blueprint’, is this to plan, what did nature have in mind when we joined our clan? Seeking the answers is equally intriguing, for as we go through life we search for meaning. Trying to define ‘who we are’ means questioning and forming beliefs, embracing new ideas and ‘listening to chiefs’ – we formulate responses based on conditions, or all that we ‘attract’ in the form of situations. “Does this feel right, or do I smell a rat?” – our instincts help us decide how and when to ‘act’.

When something ‘feels right’, call is gut instinct or ‘knowing’, there are many times when we must ‘wing it’, trusting a higher force or ‘inkling’. Thus it can be said, at the end of the day, in spite of opinions or trends, learned behaviour or beliefs, there is another force that keeps us in check, requiring our trust or faith if we are to become ‘adept’. Mastering what comes in the form of inspiration, enthusiasm towards all that fills us with passion, and above all else, enables us to participate in creation – as our own ‘view of the world’ is born anew in whatever fashion: constantly feeding ‘the whole’ as a ’contribution’ that is part of evolution, our goal.

To follow our heart and to bring our creations to fruition, serving mankind in general. Participating in life, respecting all that sustains us and allows us to survive, by feeding our environment and protecting our interests, just as nature enables us to thrive; ensuring a continuation so future generations will survive.

A priority, not an afterthought – “Why are we here?” – to nurture and appreciate our ‘system of support’. Using our intelligence to find ingenious ways to ‘love all that we have’ as we enjoy myriad experiences that we call ‘life’. Held in a cycle that sees us born and then dying, with much ‘in between’: the chance to make a ‘difference’, to pursue any dream. All the while mindful of the bigger picture: what are we going to leave behind for future generations… and what constitutes ‘better’? Striving, or acknowledging that ‘all is perfect’, if only we’d let nature be, and that balance is the state of all the natural kingdom – if only we’d stop interfering. Rather than struggling’ upstream’, accepting our might – entering the flow that carries us along, towards insight – forgetting about what others think, and following our ‘instincts’ instead.

Alchemical illustration: The Emerald Tablet

Alchemical illustration: The Emerald Tablet

This entry was published on February 1, 2014 at 1:17 pm. It’s filed under Antipodean, Art, Baby, bébé, Creative, Cultural Creative, Culture and Arts, Europe, Ex Advertising Creative, Expat, France, French Culture, Languedoc Roussillon, Life, Living in France, Nature, New Zealander in France, newborn, Philosophy, Pyrénées, Pyrénées-Orientales, South of France, Thoughts, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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