An Existentialist’s Diurnal Quest


question marks

There are questions
(alway, there are questions)
that live and loom not in unanswerable,
impenetrable darkness
(lest one walk the world with purposefully closed, self-blinded eye),
but in twilight shadows barely beyond
the brilliant daylight of ready resolution;
where shapes, hints of solutions are beheld,
arising, breaking the distant rim of the horizon of consciousness
and, there appearing,
demanding the act, the art of thought to respond to the challenge:
“Darest thou, answer!”

The questions?
Hybrid palm frond-lily petaled death-life existential inquiries…

(now, at each moment by each moment of unceasing contemplation)
is my identity?

(as the world [and my life in it] evolves)
is my destiny?

(when, at death, my length of days no more run,
when my reason’s final, fleeting emanation is spun)
will be my legacy?

4 thoughts on “An Existentialist’s Diurnal Quest

  1. Paul,
    Thank you for this…. these are the ultimate questions for sure!!! Identity, destiny and legacy… One of the tests they use to determine if you have dementia is to give you three words and ask you to remember them…. then a few minutes later they ask you to repeat the three words back. The thought of that test has always scared me to death!!! BUT these words I believe I could remember, because they are so important…

    I’ve thought about those three words so much over this year, since I turned 60… not sure why. It could be because in my purging of stuff in my house, I’ve come across many notes and cards from people I’ve mentored or suoervised over the years who thanked me profusely for all I had brought to their lives. Some of the notes I had forgotten about and they brought tears to my eyes. The other thing I’ve thought about a lot as we approach the third anniversary of his death, is Tim. I don’t think he EVER once considered the three words in your blog during his life, YET almost daily I hear from someone who talks about what Tim meant to their lives and how they miss his enthusiasm for life and his booming laugh. I don’t think anyone would immediately think of those things as a legacy, BUT he most certainly did light up people’s lives. Totally awesome. I have no idea what folks will say my legacy was after I’m gone, BUT I’m really happy with how my life has gone and the lives I’m impacted.

    Much love…


  2. Loretta, a couple of (probably more!) thoughts/responses…

    I can picture you sitting and reading the notes of others to you who thanked you for all you were and for all you did for them. I’m happy you had saved them (even if you’d forgotten you had them!), for ’twas a grand thing for you to be reminded of the gifts and graces you embodied and imparted to and for others. Such remembrances, I believe, offer us, perhaps, the truest estimation of who we are, for that broader, bigger picture of ourselves is the handiwork of others who, in their testimonies to us, provide greater color to the portrait that is us.

    As for Tim, who I think about every day and several times each day, I don’t know whether he ever used the words identity, destiny, and legacy, but, particularly in regard to that last of the three, I have a sense that, surely, he thought about life – your life, Kendal’s life, Kim’s life, on and on – after Tim. And, I, too, with you, believe in his legacy of his stupendously wonderful effect on others…

    On this point, Friday night-Saturday morning, we had a couple stay at Clevedale. Retired military who now live in Anderson, SC, and take part in community ministry and AmeriCorps. She told me at breakfast on Saturday that she had read your book, Being My Mom’s Mom, which we had in the Westmoreland suite. She loved it. She said your blend of practical help and insights with your personal story was quite riveting and moving. As we spoke, I told her of Tim’s death. She was saddened to hear that news. When I continued speaking of your last visit, in March 2016, before Tim’s death, and talked of his impact on me – still! – I began to tear up. Yep, that man, your soulmate, your husband, and my brother had, nay, continues to have a growing legacy.



    1. Paul,
      Now you know this made me cry right?? I can’t thank you enough for sharing that story about your guests!! Wow!!! That’s so amazing!!! A great Legacy for Tim indeed!!!!!

      Much love!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep, I knew sharing this would be a tear-jerker for you! Me, too! Love


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