Life is full of problems.
I cannot express how much of an understatement that is. I cannot, also, even begin to delineate how accurate the five-word sentence is. I like word counting; it opens up information about a phrase that is otherwise unnoticeable; even hidden. I am not saying that briefness is perfection – if such a thing as perfection exists. I am saying that the beauty of a single sentence can drive a point much better than the complexity of many. Further, a really good statement may very well be composed of many, many such little phrases. Unfortunately, it is becoming harder and harder to express thought in the enclosed bubble of a sentence; it is even more vexing to try.
The reason is obvious. We do not appreciate the circular eternity of a well-composed statement anymore. We don’t appreciate such completion because it makes us face our own lack of completion. We have decided that, in order to be smart we must be open-ended, mysterious, and dangling; like a preposition at the end of a phrase. We have trained ourselves to identify a problem that does not exist. We ponder the meaning of things we never thought of. We worry about grammatical issues we never cared for. Dangling prepositions are beautiful, and many ideas we seek to convey are not only properly handled in such a way, but also better left if left dangling at the end of a sentence, wondering if they will fall victim to the edge that has become an ending to the writer’s train of thought.
In the beginning, when we wrote, we wrote for the sake of an idea. We wrote to express an emotion, a problem of life, our very trains of thoughts which, though not derailed, had gone hopelessly out of control and could not be stopped. Those thoughts, although metaphorical and subverted to the will of the communicator, were understood thanks to the willingness of the listener to dissect, analyze, and reconstruct meaning from the looseness of the individual mind and its musings; this willingness is no longer there. We have been, spoon-fed, indoctrinated with this idea that a good thought is universal and universally understood. We have been told there is a formula to writing which dictates what can and cannot be said in order for a sentence to make sense. In a way, that is true. I mean that unless there is structure there cannot be anything structured, cohesive, and therefore communicable. Although, we have arrived at a point in which something is constructed and, instead of trying to obtain its meaning, we correct the shape of a particular window rather than the beauty of the whole that is seen. We pile error upon error -not errors made but noticed- not to make the building more communicative, but for the very sake of correcting it, then complaining it does not convey anything new nor innovative. We have stripped meaning from every strand of thought given us and labeled it plain and uninteresting; condemned it to a lifetime lived in seclusion by the very rules we have concocted for ourselves so as to simplify our daily wanderings through language.
Simplicity. The idea once meant efficiency. Now it means having a very small measuring stick so that anything too big for our simplified minds can be labeled ‘useless.’ Uselessness that is too quickly associated with Stupidity. Stupidity too broad to understand the problem lies not in the how-to of communication but in labels. How have formulas become not the mark of genius but the excuse of simplicity! How far we have come in our enlightenment that complexity is the very mark of irregularity! How low we have stooped ourselves, reversing the very course of nature, to have offended evolution itself!
Life is full of problems.
Subject. Verb. Possessive Adjective with an Object Noun.
We strip bare the Object, trashing its noun, and we have the following:
Life is problems.
However, we know, life is other things. Life is joy, and sadness; freedom and slavery; pain and gain… hence life cannot be [only] problems. Life cannot be full of problems, for other things make it full; other things make it life.
Problems are part of life.
Hope is part of life as well, if given due place; it can become a small ray of sunshine in an otherwise dark and gloomy perspective. No life, no matter how complex or sad, is full of problems. Life is full, like sentences with grammar problems, of other things, in combination, not in isolation. Find out what those other things are. Enjoy them to the fullest. For even a life with 99.99% of problems has a 0.01% of something else.
I meant to write ‘I was rear-ended this Wednesday while stopped at a light. Life is full of problems.’ Then I realized the insignificance of my first statement. Cars get fixed, bodies get fixed. Our minds, however, if broken, are infinitely harder to recover.
Here’s to the randomness of thinking.