Salt: Soup, Attitude, and the Meaning of Life

Have just connected this to linkedin, and--on the very off chance that anyone scrolls this far down, clicks, and finds themselves looking at this blog--I humbly request your patience. This is all rather new to me: I hope to be adding a few bells and whistles (but not too many) in the near future, but I'm still learning.

That being said, the long-term goal of this little blog is to create something worth coming back to--some "thing" that is visually appealing, some words that are worth your time...some idea that sticks, whether it's for your home or your life or your next two and a half minutes.

In a nutshell:

I believe that life is wonderful and good and grand, but it is not easy. All that "wonderful and good and grand" is salted with moments (and sometimes months or years) of difficulty. I find myself (again, for it seems to be a recurring theme in anything I write) comparing life to soup. Tasty soup almost always has salt in it, doesn't it? In life, the salt may be of tears or sweat or the ocean behind our little house in Haliewa (circa 1961).

Salted with difficulty, life is not easier, but--if we allow it to be--it is tastier.

It would be quite nice to deliver, in this blog, good "soup" as often as possible. Yummy, worth waiting for; sweet, salty, memorable...worth coming back for. Blog soup that might add--even if in the most infinitesimal way--a little more meaning to life.

On that note...

Have been reading Viktor Frankl's book, "Man's Search for Meaning," again. In one chapter, he writes of a young woman--a fellow prisoner at the concentration camp--and the meaning she found, during her last days, in the lone branch of a chestnut tree outside her window. The entire section (entire book, really) is wonderful...a bit of it follows:

"An active life serves the purpose of giving man the opportunity to realize values in creative work, while a passive life of enjoyment affords him the opportunity to obtain fulfillment in experiencing beauty, art, or nature.

But there is also purpose to that life which is almost barren of both creation and enjoyment and which admits of but one possibility of high moral behavior: namely, in man's attitude to his existence, an existence restricted by external forces...

The way in which a man accepts his fate and all the suffering it entails...gives him ample opportunity...to add a deeper meaning to his life. {One} may remain brave, dignified and unselfish...man {has the chance to} either make use of or forgo the opportunities of attaining the moral values that a difficult situation may afford him."

What of the chestnut tree?

On the lone branch--the one thing the young woman could see through her window--were two blossoms. She often conversed with the tree--"the only friend I have in my loneliness." Frankl, anxious for her, and concerned that she was hallucinating, asked her if the tree talked back to her.


It is in the tree's answer that I find hope: brave, dignified, unselfish hope.

The salt from tears. The ocean in our backyard. Two blossoms on a chestnut tree. A good bowl of soup. Hope.

The answer from the chestnut tree? "I am here--I am here--I am life..."