Even though it was a scorching 85 degrees today, most of the leaves have fallen off the trees and the summer annual plants are either already dead or they are starting to look dry and diseased. The bugs that used to prolifically fill the ground and busily swarm around my head have slowed down and dwindled significantly in number. As a result, the spiders that used to be well fed and commonplace are now much fewer and with a much "cleaner" web than would have been the case a month ago.
I happened to be standing near two of the remaining spiders today and I wondered as i stared up at them if they knew that they were going to die soon. While I know this probably seems like something silly to ponder, I really wondered it. (Several months back I watched a spider move with great dexterity and purpose as he not only trapped, but deliberately reacted to the movements of his escaping prey. I believe they can think.) If they are somehow aware of their impending death, I wonder what compels them to keep at it.
Similarly, I have been unable to escape the recurring thoughts of meaninglessness recently. It's not like it's always been this way. In fact there have been cycles of my life in which life seemed to have great purpose...only to be followed by other cycles in my life in which life seemed to carry nothing but pain. This, I am sure is no different than the others. But the thing that sets this cycle apart is that it seems far less deliberate than the other cycles. In those times I seemed to have defined goals - whether those goals were spiritual, career oriented, or relationship driven - and as such were under my perceived control. Now I seem to be at the mercy of the wind and the waves. It's almost a helplessness where you feel compelled to do something, yet you feel as though to do it will yield an unsatisfactory result, so you do nothing. Even the work that does seem to be goal-oriented doesn't seem to carry the same satisfaction that it once did as the reward for finishing the task doesn't seem as appetizing as it once may have appeared.
I know there are still worthy pursuits in the world, and I still find joy in soul conversations. But the truth be told, I am finding less and less to talk about that actually seems to matter. It's kinda like that spider who's thinking about his impending death in two days, yet wondering what's for dinner tomorrow night? Why would he even care? I suppose it's to derive whatever joy he can from the days that he's got left.
Past cycles have told me that tomorrow is a new day and this too will soon give way to yet a new direction in my life. I'm quite anxious to see that that new day and new direction will bring, because I can deal with many things in life, but lack of purpose is not one of them.
Until then, I'll sit down like everyone else and count my Thanksgiving day blessings and try to be the man that I want to see in the world. Perhaps that's my purpose and I'm not even focusing on it.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone...