June 2nd, 2003



I'm having yet another conflict on conscience. I have been thinking about the good deeds I have been doing lately in different aspects of my life. Whether it's volunteering, lending an ear or a shoulder, advancing the furry cause, etc. I do these things because it gives me a good feeling, but I also have self interests such as the desire to meet friends and the unending quest to find a mate. So when good things happen to all around me as a result of my actions, shouldn't that be enough for me? It does give me a warm feeling, but there is the ever-present, nagging, emptiness. I'm starting to look at things like this in a karmic sense, all of my good deeds will lead to some sort of reward in this life or the next. Well frankly, screw the next life. Can I redeem some of my karmic points/coupons for a little satisfaction in this life? And does my thinking this way make my actions less/non altruistic? Or maybe I'm whining again and overlooking the other blessings that are showered on me. Maybe I'm just a few frequent karma miles away from total happiness. Then again I might be destined to forever live in my mountaintop cave as a hermit where I dispense wisdom and good vibrations to the world.

Vanilla Sky

The doors to the elevator open. A bear and an elderly gentleman in a white suit step out into the open air. They are standing on the roof of an unimaginably tall skyscraper in the center of huge metropolis. The sky is painted in pastel shades as the sun slowly sinks in the western sky. The bear sniffs the air as the cool breeze ruffles his fur.

"You have a choice before you," the old man tells the bear. "You may get down from here in one of two ways. You can turn around with me and take the elevator down to street level where you can continue to explore your destiny from the safety of the street, or you may leap from the edge of the building. If you are lucky you will sprout wings somewhere in your descent and you will be able to survey the landscape below with greater understanding of your direction. If your wings do not appear, you will plunge to the street below where you will most likely survive, but you shall be broken and battered, perhaps unable to continue your quest. But be aware that even Icarus had wings."

The bear breathes heavily as he gazes out at the incredible scene. He knows the safe path, but he has walked the streets for many years. He looks up at the old man.

A mouse clicks.

The bear lunges forward toward the edge of the building. His paws seem to be moving in slow motion. His momentum is great as he launches himself over the edge. There is a moment of terror as there is nothing but air under his paws. The world around him becomes calm and still. There is nothing but the wind in his ears. His heart is pumping madly as gravity begins to pull him downward. He stretches out and begins his freefall. It is an exhilarating experience. He has a comic vision of himself waving a cowboy hat while riding atop a hydrogen bomb while a soft drink ad plays in the background. "Yeah, it's kinda like that."

(to be continued)