Why Are We Here?

Somebody’s got the answer and it ain’t me. And before you hit that comment button, assuming you’re human, you ain’t got it either. Even if you’re not human, it’s going to take a lot of convincing because I’m out of ideas, pissed off and confused.

Why are we here? Did some alien litter here on a picnic stop long ago and leave the building blocks, like the microbial stuff that grows in the unscrubbed toilet? Are we here to scrub the toilet? Are we actually slave bots designed for converting food into turds? Is there some enormous turd harvester due back here in another millennium or so? I’m growing tired of wondering all the time. Are we here to wonder why we’re here? What purpose does that serve? What’s the mission, over?

Is the point of all this to keep the car polished and touch up the rusty spots? Are we here to find ourselves? I sat on a cushion for 40 minutes, twice a day, for over four years looking for answers within. Somebody told me it was all in there. After three years of counting my breath and watching my thoughts go by, I started asking myself, “Who am I?” There was always an instant reply, in the form of a question: “Who is asking the question?” Okay. Got that one figured out. I’m pretty comfortable with my definition of myself, the Dondo-sized space in the universe and how I fit into it. So, now what? Why are we here? There must be more to it than figuring out who we are. Or was that it?

Some will tell me we’re here to do God’s will until such time as we’re called home to whatever form of paradise anyone’s particular scripture proscribes. Fill in the blank with nirvana, heaven, the void, 72 virgins (or raisins, depending on your translator) and what have you got? I have a lot of envy for these people who have it all sewn up, minus the occasional moment of doubt. I’m the guy with a solid basis in doubt, minus the occasional moment of desperation that helps me believe these tales of great things beyond the mortal coil. Then the phone rings and some recorded message is telling me a live, warm human…just past the touch of the one key…is waiting on the other side to deliver me from excessive credit card lending rates. One call like that and, suddenly, I’m skeptical about the great beyond all over again.

Were we like some Biblical Moses set loose among the reeds, but with the intent of being fetched later? Did cosmic Mummy and cosmic Daddy die in whatever conflict caused them to stash us? Will cosmic uncle Joey come to fetch us eventually? Will he be kind, or the creepy kind of uncle interested in our bathing suit areas? Maybe he’s found us already. I have no idea.

I’m not trying to be funny. I’m trying to point out the absurdity of so many of us working so hard to get wherever it is we think we’re going and nobody can answer, without a shadow of a doubt, why we are here. My old housemate Russ was convinced that getting laid was the ultimate motivation for everything we do…from the way we dress to the cars we drive to the jobs we work to the homes we live in. I was down with that for a while, but I’m approaching the age where I’m honestly working much harder to find a chair that doesn’t make my feet go to sleep before the movie’s over. Or is that it right there? We’re here to seek comfort…ultimate comfort. No. How about satisfaction? We’re here to sate our appetites for food, sex, power, meaning, entertainment, thirst, intoxication and scratching our stinky bits. I’m not sure. Or we’re here to ignore the weakness of our appetites and find something deeper and more meaningful. If that’s the case, I’m pissed at the gamekeeper for toying with me.

I’m tired of wrestling with this for one night. Maybe that’s why I’m here.

24 Responses to “Why Are We Here?”

  1. Aunt Kaffeen Says:

    “…restless, irritable and discontented…” BB xxviii:4, The Doctor’s Opinion

  2. Bevan Says:

    Well, I’m here to read the Captain’s Log…

    and you’re here to write it.

    Duh!

  3. Repack Rider Says:

    Took me four tries to add 9 and 6.

    The reason we are here is to walk the damn dog. Who would do that in our absence?

    Dondo goes all meta-navel-gazing on us. My philosophy of life comes from one R. Crumb panel in Zap Comix c. 1969.

    Flakey Foont: Mr. Natural, what does it all mean?

    Mr. Natural: Don’t mean shit.

    Will I see you at Kenda Fest?

  4. dondo Says:

    Uh, thanks guys. I think I’m going to stick with my former program of trying to get comfortable with not knowing.

    I was going to skip Kenda Fest until I sensed you might be there, Seekay. Might you be there? I’m like 75 minutes up the road and will rip holes in the fabric of time to be there, too.

  5. Uncle Knobby Says:

    Like Vonnegut said, “We’re here to fart around, and don’t let anybody tell you different.”
    Or, if you prefer, we’re here to learn stuff and add that knowledge somewheres, either wikipedia or the akashic record, I forget which right now, damn doppelbock.
    Me, this time around I learned to build wheels and not shoot my eye out with an M-16 and to be kind to animals that aren’t tasty. Next time, we’ll try to extend that to the tasty ones. No promises. Maybe somewheres after that, we’ll try working on liking all hu-mans, even the soft tasty ones that come in hard Hummer shells. Yum. Lip up, sweet Hummerboy, we’ll be eating you first. This time around, not shootin’ critters for fun or yankin trout away from the breakfast table will have to suffice.
    But the Vonnegut program is much easier.

  6. Uncle Knobby Says:

    “My comment is awaiting moderation?” Yeah huh, don’t hold yer breath on that one, I thought it was already pretty moderate, considering what I could say if I didn’t think Uncle Dick was reading this in his batcave.

  7. Dr. Dizzle Says:

    Dondo am I sensing a KendaFest daytrip???

  8. Rico Says:

    Another brazen young turk, gone soft, and misty-eyed in middle age. Welcom CD, what took ya so long? In your case you are here to save $ for your kids braces, an their college tuition–or their bail, depending on the kid. Good luck with all that. How’s your 401K? Your globe trotting days are long, long past, my friend. Embrace the mundane, plenty of others have. At least ya got lots of company, just look around. Cheers.

  9. El Torino Says:

    Is this what it means to have a mid life crisis? Aren’t you supposed to get a useless 2 seater sports car and then internally realize that was the shallowest thing you ever did only then to color your hair and wear dorky clothes?

  10. Stoker Says:

    Carlin already answered that … “PLASTIC!”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBRquiS1pis

    Man, I’m going to really miss that guy.

  11. dondo Says:

    Sorry about that moderation thang. In the time it took to gather seven legitimate comments from youse guys I also caught 146 chunks o SPAM in the filter.

    Yes, I’m having a mid-life crisis. Same one I’ve been having since I turned 18 and was surprised I was still alive. I’m still surprised. Thought there might be something to that.

    But I’m better now. Farting around is something worth fighting for. Onward!

  12. Rico Says:

    Ain’t nuttin’ to it…we been tellin’ ya…Hello? Now quit farting aroung and go make $ for your kids, wife, mortgage, etc. You are going to need it. You are a white-bread, Middle-class, man now–keep reminding yourself. Yer old lifestyle and ethos has been co-opted, you bought in to the American Dream. Blogging can’t change that; luckily, we are here to set you straight. At least ya don’t have to schlep around the ivory 88s for a living. Go clean yer gutters and dream of past glories–what, ya think yer the only one?

  13. Rico Says:

    At last, some red meat…CD deletes my last entry. Who says the late, near greats can’t get a wind up? Bravo CD, ‘editorial arbitration’ is all the rage, so I’m told. Why should our Gov’t have all the fun? Over and out…..

  14. Repack Rider Says:

    Dondo,

    How are the spambots getting past the math test? I had to call my brother-in-law. Again.

    Yes, I’ll be at the Feast of Kenda, and it’s probably the last chance of your young lifetime to see me East of Eden.

    The phase after wondering what it all means is the one where you wonder what it all meant. Then you wonder where it all went. Then you wonder what you were thinking at the beginning of the sentence. Then you have to pee.

  15. dondo Says:

    Beats me. Maybe the spambots have your brother-in-law’s number?

    I’ll give you a call soon. I need to know the plan. I’m assuming we’ll have bikes, but do we need guitars? I have a van, and that’s what counts.

    I have to pee now.

  16. francis Says:

    Don- pleasure seeing you at Kendafest. So I come to your site and first thing I see is Dondo staring at his own navel (using a mirror I guess).

    Nothing really wrong with it, just seems out of character.

    It reminded me of an old story about someone looking for the real meaning of life. I’ll keep it short because I’m a 2 finger typist.

    A man decides he’s going to search for the meaning of life and starts asking the wisest folks he can find “what is the meaning of life” ……..
    cutting to the chase, after seeing person after person and always being refered to the next level he finally climbs the Himilayas for an audience with the wisest of the wise.

    He enters a large room, wherein is an old man high on a golden throne staring out into space in deep reflection. He asks, ” Old man, I was sent to you, and told that you were the one man who knew the ture meaning of life. I’ve searched all over the globe, spoken to hundreds of sages, and you’re my last resort. Please tell me what is the true meaning of life?”

    Without moving an eye the old man intones “Life is a fountain!”

    At this point the seeker explodes into a rage, “I’ve wasted years searching, been all over the world, climbed this damn mountain, put up with all kinds of hardship and you have the nerve to give me this crap ‘life is a fountain?’”

    The old man turns his head, furrows his brow, and with an expression of true concern and worry asks, You mean it isn’t?”

    —————————————–

    I’ve bookmarked this site and we’ll stay in touch, regards, francis

    BTW- I left you a bottle of oil at West Hill Shop, pick it up next time you pass by.

  17. Thomas Says:

    why so angry?

  18. francis Says:

    Thomas-

    Angry? Who said I was angry? What you mistook as anger, I’m sure (or at least hope) Dondo will recognize as my dry (as in an 8 to 1 martini) sense of humor, making light of his contemplations. fb

  19. dondo Says:

    Not sure. But at least I’m not hiding behind a fake email ID. Every time I try to write back to Rico, the message comes back telling me his email addy is bogus. I’m all for responsible ranting. This guerrilla ranting is weak.

    Keep in mind, I was angry when I wrote the post. Much time has passed since then and I’ve cooled back into the comfort of being okay with not knowing. Didn’t mean to alarm anyone. Maybe was hoping for an answer, but you guys are as clueless as I am. I think that’s where I found the comfort. It’s good to be a lemming.

  20. dondo Says:

    Well, hell. I thought Thomas meant me. We all need to hang out in person. This cyber conversation stuff is short on intonation and flow.

    Francis has been challenging me on my ideas since I used to quote him on a near-monthly basis in the Marketing and Merchandising Newsletter I used to write for Bicycling Magazine. We’re good old friends and just had a chance to catch up last weekend at Kenda Fest, which I’ll write about as soon as I get a dull enough moment. Stay tuned.

    Everybody but Rico, that is. Time to take off the mask, pal. I know you’re really Lance Armstrong.

  21. Repack Rider Says:

    Dondo,

    How about a post on the bike fest? Have you seen the photo of us jamming in the tent?

  22. Chris Says:

    Hi Don, I am a voice from cycling past, 25 years anyway.
    Just stumbled on your Blog by way of the West Hill site.
    Would love the opportunity to discuss the “Why Are We Here”
    question face to face if your up for it, or just here about your family
    and what you have been up to the last couple of decades.
    Anyway if your ever in the Brattleboro area (I work there now), lunch or dinner is on me just give me a heads up a day or so in advance.
    Take Care
    CP

  23. Boris Says:

    We’re here for each other.

    ..right?

    Boris

  24. Boris Says:

    Happy Birthday

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