Why “Strange?”

strange

[streynj]

  1. unusual, extraordinary, or curious; odd; queer:  . . .
  2. estranged, alienated, etc., as a result of being out of one’s natural environment  . . .
  3. situated, belonging, or coming from outside of one’s own locality; foreign:  . . .
  4. outside of one’s previous experience; hitherto unknown; unfamiliar:  . . .
    [emphases added]
    . . .1

“So,” you may be asking, “why is this blog named A Strange Path?” Why didn’t I call it An Interesting Path, or My Strange Path; The Winning Path, or The Path to Peace? And for that matter, why would any of us want to talk or think about a path at all?

Well, to answer the last question first, I am simply using “Path” as a mental image that most of us can probably lock onto in order to illustrate a way, or direction that we use to go through our lives on Earth—sometimes easy, sometimes hard; lots of time on relatively smooth ground, once in a while downhill and easy. And for some of us (maybe more of us than would like to admit it), we experience the path as often uphill, grinding and painful; for some, apparently without signs of relief on the horizon, and for others, with only inwardly-focused certainty that their situation and frame of mind will never get better.

As to “Strange”

For quite some time now, I have experienced an ever-increasing recognition of how strangely things around me are progressing and, in some cases, digressing. In the midst of all kinds of reasons touted as hopeful for the present and future state of mankind, I see undeniable signs of despair. But in some situations, in the very places around the globe where one might expect to find the deepest hopelessness, I see blindingly bright hope. So basically we’ve got worldwide, hopefully/hopelessly interconnected and bewildering apparent contradictions between mass group states of mind, and same-group physical and emotional circumstances. All this combines to make for a dark, thick stew that is alternately either simmering or boiling over. And what is the result? As for me, I have been—and occasionally still am—tempted to conclude by observation of life around me, as well as current events near and far, that things are spinning and spiraling at light speed downward, unchecked, out of control.

I hear others make comments that suggest that they are either in this same and frequent state of temptation to give in to fear, or have already succumbed to the firm belief that the following statement is true: We, as the human race, are in trouble; very, very deep, irreversible, and terminal trouble. But, in the middle of all this mess and messiness in our best rationale and thinking about possible ways to avoid the worst scenarios . . .

A Dangerous BeautyThe farther down the paths of time, experiences, knowledge, wisdom, relationships, and consequences-of-all-kinds I go, the more I find myself in wonder at it all.
(NOTE: Let the reader here understand that for the phrase “in wonder at” he or she could also correctly and at various times replace “in wonder at” by one or more of the following: “sometimes repulsed by”, “sometimes overjoyed by”, “rarely-but-occasionally enraptured by”, “very often tempted by”, “sometimes ensnared by”, “sometimes just flat out without a clue about”, [sometimes] “profoundly saddened by”, . . . “inexpressibly happy despite”, . . . “sublimely at peace regardless of”, . . . “too often angered by”, and—amazingly and (I think) more and more frequently—“restfully trusting in spite of”. And at this also, my wonder instead of an omnipresent abject terror, I observe strangeness in my own path.)

At the top of this page, I excerpted some of Dictionary.com’s words of explanation for the word “strange.” Some of them I found particularly intriguing and emphasized them there in order to foreshadow future musings in this blog space.

So if you also are living in that place of tension in between the maddeningly frustrating now (the path of rocky, slippery, hard ground and thorns) and the beckoning, glorious and dangerous beauty, tenderness, and rightness of what life could be, what it should have been, you may find my stories, observations, theories, conclusions, or speculations stimulating [and/or, I imagine, sometimes maddeningly frustrating]. I look forward to meeting you here as often as inspiration comes, contemplation is calmly achieved, study and verification are performed, and carefully reasoned and written work on this subject are produced.


Oh, and by the way in closing, while our thinking (yours and mine) about a lot of the strangeness and wonder I’ve mentioned and hinted at here do require a heavy amount of mental effort, everybody needs a break just for fun and restoration. And so, there will be pieces that will meet your need in that area too from time to time. In fact, we may just start out with one like that on site launch day (Friday, July 7, AD 2017).

After all, as Jack Nicholson once famously, albeit maniacally typed:

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play mmakes Jack a dull boy
All work and no Play m kes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no ply mAKes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy...
  1. strange. Dictionary.com. Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. HarperCollins Publishers. http://www.dictionary.com/browse/strange (accessed: July 7, 2017). ↩︎