Or what's a heaven for

FTLComm - Tisdale - Thursday, January 23, 2003

"Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, Or what's a heaven for?

Robert Browning, (line 97 from Andrea del Sarto, 1855)

At 4:35AM the moon gazed at our part of this frozen planet through habitation fog, the water vapour formed as combustion takes place to heat homes and businesses here on the flat lands we call Saskatchewan.
Robert Browning first published his poetic story of the Italian renaissance painter and his unfaithful wife in a book "Men and Women" in 1855. Though Browning penned his line as part of the unhappy world he was describing the clever combination of words has been one of those phrases that captures the imagination as individuals constantly seek some reason for what they are doing or what they want to do.

At 4:35AM it seems perfectly appropriate to gaze a moon through the coal black sky of an Arctic night and ponder some reason, some explanation for the perpetual motion machine that is life. That concept of a perpetual motion machine is an interesting one as inventors have often taken a shot at making some device that will require no input once started and produce enough energy to maintain itself. The life of each individual is quite opposite to this idyllic pattern as we each watch ourselves develop, mature and advance through time toward a certain conclusion. All around us are others trapped in the sequence while our intellect offers us the opportunity to drift above the race toward infinite extinction.

For a very rare few there is a chance to make a difference, here in 2003 I am quoting a man who's breath of life went out of him in 1889 yet his stories, his clever phrases continue to interest and perhaps motivate minds alive today. Each of can not be a poet, certainly not one who will be quoted one hundred eighteen years from now, nor will many of us compose a symphony, paint a wondrous canvas, carve an object that will be kept as a significant contribution to humanity, we have to come to terms with our humble insignificance and seek some reason to make a positive contribution to our own life and those around us.

I have a friend who in his late eighties, incapacitated by a stroke, deeply depressed by his inability to care for himself, who can see no reason for his continued existence. It is pointless to argue with the man for indeed only he and he alone can manifest the reality and self awareness that gives his continued life meaning.

One of the most significant stories posted on this web site in recent time was the January 11, 2003 story by Mario deSantis titled
"An exemplified description of Systems Dynamics: Small events can have large consequences". In the first paragraph Mario tells about a student he once had who found in his teacher new ideas that sparked meaning in his life but also in the references to this story Mario mentions the remarkable Edward Lorenz, the MIT climatologist who discovered the "butterfly effect" whereby the tiniest effects can have the most remarkable consequences.

Most parents have in the back of their minds the promise and hopes they have for each of the children. My mother wanted so much for me to go into a specific vocation and alas another path was taken. For some time I was concerned that I had somehow betrayed her intent for indeed I too shared her desire for me to follow the original plan but now I realise that indeed I am fulfilling the original goal she had and because Lorenz's butterfly makes so much sense.

When you have grasped the powerful importance of the chaos theory you will realise that your life, what you do with it and every one your life impacts upon then you will realise that you do not have to be Mozart, Picasso or George Lucas. You matter as does what you do with your life a new day has begun do what you can with it.

Timothy W. Shire



Return to Ensign - Return to Saskatchewan News

This page is a story posted on Ensign and/or Saskatchewan News, both of which are daily web sites offering a variety of material from scenic images, political commentary, information and news. These publications are the work of Faster Than Light Communications . If you would like to comment on this story or you wish to contact the editor of these sites please send us email.

Editor : Timothy W. Shire
Faster Than Light Communication
Box 1776, Tisdale, Saskatchewan, Canada, S0E 1T0
306 873 2004