Be Glad to Exist

Beltane                                         Garlic Moon

A Greek bowl in the alternately wonderful and frustrating Constanta musuem of archaeology and history had this inscription:  Be Glad To Exist.  Those Greeks.  Had it going on so early.  And now?

Be glad to exist and carpe diem amount to a satisfactory life philosophy.    I finished the book Masters of the Planet, an excellent summary of current findings and theories about human evolution.  The author added this to a summation of cognitive theory:  “We are ruled by our reason, until our hormones take over.”  Fits with the Greco-Roman fortune cookie life path.

While on my way to Constanta Tuesday, I returned to Bucresti Nord and ate breakfast there.  As usually happens to me at some point on a trip like this, I do something I never do at home:  eat at McDonald’s.

It felt like being in American terrarium, eating a sausage McMuffin and drinking the still not very good version of coffee.  Inside the terrarium I looked out at a Romanian world:  a board of all the departures and arrivals for Bucresti Nord, a currency exchange shop, Schimb Valutar, Romanians going about their mornings off to work, running, sitting, waiting, flirting.

The cut of the suits, the occasional very Slavic physiognomy: eyebrows, squared off jaws, thick necks, serious all remind me of the latter days of the Soviet Union when apparatchiks still roamed the countryside, conducting the business of a centralized state and a planned economy.

It occurred to me, as it has before and like my hero Scott Nearing proposed, that the middle way would be best, a place between the grim and often inefficient (therefore grim?) Soviet communism and rapacious, winner take all, screw the little guy late stage capitalism now regnant.

In other words, let capitalism have the non-essentials designer cloths, fancy watches, restaurants, but not groceries, hotels but not homes, minute clinics but not personal health care, boutique education but not public education, a gated community or two, but not urban planning.  Give capitalism the margins and let the money enchanted compete and scrabble and become rich there.

The rest of us, whose lives themselves are our focus, those of us glad to exist, could read, write, paint, sculpt, build cars, houses, care for the health of others, teach, grow and distribute healthy food.  We might, probably would, have less material wealth, but we would have life itself.  And think how short that is.

 

 

This entry was posted in Commentary on the news, Faith and Spirituality, Family, Politics, Reimagine. Reconstruct. Reenchant., Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

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