Bruce Bisset: How you shine helps others


Sometimes the meaning of life - or a good approximation - hits you out of nowhere. You're driving home on a dark after-midnight road and the wife says something about children and you have to laugh, because that's it: family.

Life begets life. Simple, really.

Which starts a whole chain of thought about how blessed we are to be able to share laughter, love, and sorrow too with such a widely diverse group of people, based solely on blood-ties.

The word familiarity is perfectly apt.

But not just blood. Friends, too, are as close or closer than many legitimate relations; and when you stop to count them up, even a cave-bear like me can appreciate that the intersecting circles of the lives of those we cherish spread far indeed.

Yep, I'm counting blessings, and while that's a tough ask when the world is going to hell in a hand-basket, as New Year resolutions go it's at least aspirational. And if we don't start out on a positive note, how can we hope to improve?

Now, I know what you're thinking: he's had a hit of the wacky baccy or one too many bourbons over the festive season, and hasn't sobered up (or down) come deadline time.

And in my younger days, you'd be right.

But - tea and cigarettes aside - I've learned you don't need artificial stimulants to grok (as Robert Heinlein termed it) the subtleties of the soul.

Nor to realise that what we have, here, in this still-wonderful country of ours, is so special as to sometimes literally take your breath away. To produce a pause, a small meditation, of thanks.

Which this is.

Sure, next week I'll be back into lambasting the latest crazed greed scheme the anti-lifers have dreamed up - you know, the people who care so much for the fiction of money they have lost touch with the fundamentals of existence - but for now I'm savouring a little taste of bliss.

And wishing some on you, too.

Why not? There's no other time than now, and no other life than this. It would be a damn shame if we couldn't devote even a moment to enjoy the purity and the passion and the purpose of ourselves. And those we love.

And when you look out at the world, and see the sheer horror that overshadows and envelops so many lives, and the countless wrongs that can never be put right, and the lost souls for whom life is only a wretched solo journey unto a savage un-mourned death, you know that to be able to take that moment is to be truly blessed.

So count it well.

Out of the blue, an old friend said to me the other day she thought I was one of the most beautiful souls she had ever met. I had to chuckle, long and loud, thinking she didn't know me well, after all.

But we all do have beauty in our souls. We all can recognise it, if we try. And we all should do more to bring it forth and let it shine.

Let's go into this year with that thought. Come on, try it. It certainly cannot hurt, and it might just surprise how much that meme may work to accomplish.

I'll be working on it, though doubtless sometimes it'll be obscured. There's always smoke where there's fire. But in between the lines I hope you'll find there's a little spark of beauty trying hard to be born.

Life begets life. And how you live, how you shine, helps others to shine too.

That's the right of it.

Bruce Bisset is a freelance writer and poet.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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