I have found myself deep in thought many times over the past year, perhaps more often than normal. Thus begins my effort to put some of these thoughts down in words. I was never good at understanding philosophy or poetry (hence I'm a musician?). I just tried reading Also Sprach Zarathustra (I'm covering it this week with Naples Philharmonic), and I'm pretty sure I got less than half of it. So I will just put down some things that have been going through my mind, and I'll return to them over time, and see if I can refine, redefine, and be clearer in thought than Nietzsche.
Is it fatherhood?
Is it finally having some stability, albeit potentially temporary, in a career that never has stability, and thus finally having some time for thought?
Is it being far from home, and after many years, spending much more time in my own thoughts and in my own head?
Is it the geo-political calamaties, personal strife, and unimaginable horrors going on in the world every day, only some of which I hear on NPR as I drive to work?
Is it the hours of flights, looking out at the Earth from high above?
Or, am I just getting older?
Whatever the impetus, I often find myself deep in thought these days. I wonder about the same questions that have troubled/plagued/inspired humanity for as long as we have been around. I'm sure that's nothing new. I don't pretend to know the answers, and I am amazed at some who think they know better. The more I experience and learn, the more insignificant I become. The more people I meet, music I learn, stories I hear, the more respect I have for every other living creature. I don't understand the yearning for power or control. There is only one certain cause of death, and it is inescapable: birth. What we can do while we live our trivial, brief, snippets of carbon-based life on a rock hurtling around a minor star, on the outskirts of an unfathonably large galaxy, part of a far greater universe out there, is to live our lives with the humble respect to the fact that we do not have all the answers and we likely never will. I feel like a true acceptance of that fact would ease so many tensions in the world. Skin color, religion, sex, socio-economics, personal taste, language ... they don't matter.