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Thursday, 01 August 2013

On the Meaning of Life

By Marc Leavitt of Marc Leavitt's Blog

A young man had a question that he pondered every day,
No matter what he tried to do, it wouldn’t go away.
He struggled with the matter, each morning, noon, and night,
And he couldn’t let it go, he just had to get it right.

He never found an answer, although he knew one must exist,
He pledged that he would solve it; it was first upon his list.
The question burned inside him, and it stabbed him like a knife;
What does it mean, what’s it about, what is this thing called life?

He knew that they could tell him, though he knew not who they were,
The project needed lots of work, with whom should he confer?
He started with his parents, mother, father, all the rest;
Surely they would have the answer; surely, they’d know it best.

His mom referred him to his dad, as father should know best
How to clear up the conundrum and satisfy his quest,
But father disappointed him, he said he didn’t know,
And counseled that he ask his teacher’s help on where to go.

Next Monday, at the end of class, the young man made his plea,
Dumbfounded, teacher shook her head, “Why are you asking me?
I’ve asked that question lots myself; I still don’t have a clue.
It might suffice to ask your rabbi, that’s what I would do.”

That made sense, who better knew, than leaders of the spirit?
He’d get an answer to his question when the rabbi’d hear it.
Next weekend after services, the young man made his pitch;
“Please tell me rabbi, what is life; please help me scratch this itch.”

The rabbi paused and stroked his beard, and shrugged with great regret.
“The question’s bothered me as well; it’s something I don’t get.”
Exasperated on that day, the youth would not give in
The library became his refuge, he resolved to win.

The long years passed, so fast, so fast, and still he sought his aim.
He traveled far in constant search; results were still the same,
And then, one day he had some luck, he learned about a man
Who could answer all his questions on life’s purported plan.

In the mighty Himalayas, the wise man had his lair,
And meditated day and night, consuming simple fare.
He sold his worldly goods and flew to Nepal to resolve
The burning question that the wise man finally would solve.

He trekked the Himalayas, tracking down his saintly prey,
And found him squatting by his cave on that joyous day.
Wearing but a loin cloth, lotus-posed the old man waited,
Meditating on the questions nature has created.

The young man felt ecstatic, he’d reached his destination,
The years of study had paid off, trembling with elation,
“Quickly,” the young man asked this simulacrum of Gandhi,
“Is there a meaning to this life? Please, tell me, if it’s handy.”

A smile lit up the old man’s face, he gestured with his palm,
“I’m glad to help a pilgrim find the truth and make him calm.
The meaning of this voyage? I’m not a Pollyanna;
I learned it many years ago - life is a banana.”

The young man’s face went deathly white, and then it flushed bright red.
He sputtered at a loss for words, and finally he said,
“You’re telling me, after all this work to solve my query,
That life is just a piece of fruit? That’s all? I shouldn’t worry?

The old man frowned in puzzlement to see him so upset.
“You mean it’s not? I got it wrong? That’s dumb as I could get.
You’re telling me I’m not right? I am a Pollyanna!
You look sincere, but are you sure it’s not a banana?

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Please read instructions for submitting.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


Oh my gosh, what a clever poet!
It's amazing to me that YOU even know it!
I found the truth in nearby Indiana,
But, Marc it's a peach and not a banana!

Very clever indeed, Marc, but also profound. I can empathize with this young man's search because ever since I can remember I've pondered why some people are so good and some are so evil.

I don't think that anyone has the entire answer although many wise people have pondered the question.

Well done!

Oh, how funny. I'm with the guy who thinks life is a banana. The way some of my days go, that's just as good an explanation as anything.

I think you're all bananas. Life is a bowl of cherries. Beautiful and sweet, but then,of course, there are the pits.

Thoughtful and humorous, Marc.

Very clever.
you are a genius with words

Very well done. But I guess I am not quite with it. I will just stick with the mundane saying, " Life is a journey".

i always thought life was a bowl of cherries, but if you want it to be bananas, peaches or whatever, ok.

When asked, "If you had it to do over would you change anything about you life?" My answer was "No".

My mantra for life as always been to take advantage of your opportunies, follow your passions, and never stop learning.

Life is what you make it, so it's been said. I think by now at age eighty one, I can say that so far, I've had a life well lived.

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