Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday Monday, so good to me,

Monday Monday, so good to me,

Monday Monday, it was all I hoped it would be
Oh Monday morning, Monday morning couldn't guarantee
That Monday evening you would still be here with me.

Oh, those Mamas and Papas - they're words just get into my head and then what? I don't really have this feeling about Monday. No one, that I can think of, has left me on a Monday. I think what catches me is the word 'guarantee'. What an odd word.
Love guarantee - we absolutely guarantee that your love will be reciprocated without impunity or immunity for 90 days/the length of the marriage/ or forever - whichever comes first. All that you hope , that your intended goodness and or accessibility to you, is absolutely guaranteed with full satisfaction or your heart back.
Yeah, right. We live in a very bizarre world - a world where we are encouraged to believe that we have a right to happiness. You Yanks even put the pursuit of it in your most important document. The strange thing, as I see it, is that the pursuit of happiness is what leads to unhappiness. If we know that everything is fleeting, impermanent and perhaps not even real (whatever that means) then why are we hell bent on courting sadness by pretending that our friends are forever, our marriages last until death, our stocks are with upstanding companies that wouldn't think of rooking us, our duly elected officials are only interested in our well-being, and so on. I'm not advocating cynical thoughts here either - in case that's what you're thinking. I've got my Pollyanna badge and wear it proudly - it is just that stupid 'guarantee' word.

Let's see if we can get rid of it. When the person at the travel agency guarantees us the best trip we've ever had for the lowest price - let's stop her or him right there - "Sweetheart," we'll begin, "don't do it. Let's just try and have a reasonably good time here - you do your best and that will be great. If I wanted a guarantee I wouldn't travel because I'm absolutely guaranteed to have something go awry on any trip. I insist on it."

The only thing that I can imagine being guaranteed is that we are absolutely guaranteed to move through endless cycles - whether they are the gloriousness of today's spring weather (yes - finally!) that will turn to nice hot summer days, beautiful brisk autumn ones and then back into winter's chill - or the cycle of love, of the body holding out, of the eggs and chicks and hens and eggs and chicks - well it is all the same, really.

How might this sentiment work as a writer? Well, when I think that if I work really hard I will be guaranteed with success. I know this isn't true. The only guarantee that I can make is to myself - I guarantee that I want to write no matter what the outcome. That I can live with.

How about you? Are you willing to give up the illusion of the guarantee for  the cycle of impermanence? It is genuinely liberating.


KarenG said...

I had similar thoughts this morning, you wrote it so well. I was thinking about a sense of entitlement that keeps people from working as hard as they should or could to realize their potential. Gotta love the Mamas and the Papas!

Karen Walker said...

Jan, these are such wise words. There are no guarantees in this life because everything can change in one second and we can't predict those changes. The only guarantee is that we will die some day. So how do we choose to live each day. Thanks for sharing this today.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

How well I remember The Mamma's and Papa's and that song. being retired unless I go on a holiday life can be a drag, but the pc and blogsphere is a Godsend to me.

Thanks for the visit and comment
It was a wonderful vacation just one more poem of my travels then I will do a "Reflection" of my vacation on what I saw and ate and so on.

Have a good day.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Such a good approach to life, Jan!~ I think I'm a little cynical, which I used to think was a detriment, but now I wonder if maybe it's really realism? I don't know. I do know that happiness isn't linear and success isn't linear...there are set-backs and we're not always happy with the results we get.

Richard said...

If there's one thing writers learn early on, it's that there are no guarantees.

Carol Kilgore said...

You said this better than I could. Neither life nor writing come with guarantees. We get out of it what we put into it, and we can choose to begin the day with a smile and positive attitude. Other than that, we really have no control. And absolutely no one can guarantee anything.

Rae said...

Well said! We should all be reminded and to just do our best- in both our writing and our everyday lives.

Jan Morrison said...

ent – we are the deserving whether it is oranges from Israel or an agent when desired!

Thanks you, Karen W.! That is right – nothing to count on but nothing.

Yvonne – that’s good and yes, I love the Mamas and the Papas.

Elizabeth – thanks – are you cynical? Not how I think of you – rational yes but not cynical. You couldn’t continue to write and be such a support in the writing world if you were truly cynical.

Richard – just writers? Mums and mechanics and teachers and dreamers too. True though that writers seem to get the lesson drilled into them!!

Carol – My lojong card that I pulled today was “Apply only a Joyful Mind” perfect!

Rae – yes, do our best – nothing else – especially to ourselves.

GigglesandGuns said...

I guarantee there are no real guarantees.
Life is more exciting with the unknowns.

Elspeth Antonelli said...

Yes, it's selfish, but I'd *like* some guarantees. I'd settle for some control; but in writing, sooner or later you've got to let that little bird out of the nest.

Clarissa Draper said...

I'm willing to give it up! Just when I think that things should go my way, it doesn't. So just be happy with where you are and if you don't like where you are, change it until you are. Great post.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

That's in line with the only thing we can control - ourselves! We can't control others or circumstances, but we can control us and our attitude.

Happiness is the journey, not the destination.

Theresa Milstein said...

Did you know it the US Constitution was originally supposed to guarantee property, like The Enlightenment Thinker, John Locke had said? But they changed it to 'happiness', figuring that promising everyone property would open up problems in the future.

I think writing success is a mix of hard work and luck. And even that can't guarantee happiness. Who says writers are happy?

Arlee Bird said...

That "happiness" clause in the constitution is a peculiar one. Happiness is ill-defined by most people. It's not dependent on any person or anything that we have, but it's a state of mind that we choose for ourselves. The person in the most miserable of circumstances can be happy if that is their choice, just as the wealthy individual who has just about anything they want in material goods and experiences can still be depressed and sad. We all can pursue our happiness, but no government or individual can guarantee it for us or give it to us.

Tossing It Out

Words A Day said...

Yes, Yes, Yes!
This is my life:Today.
I'm finished chasing my tail and Happiness and Success!
And yes, it's liberating:)
Love the spirit and content and wavelenght of this post!

The Tame Lion said...

The blogger above (Words A Day) had said what I wanted to say, I'm now vigorously nodding my head in agreement.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

There are no guarantees in life. That's what makes it so interesting!

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