In many ways, context does turn out to be what one generally lives with and/or creates through personal choices for oneself. That is, the personal contexts that one brings into being. I have found, though, that many contexts–relationships, work, even friendship–have limits or limitations embedded in them. It is just a matter of time and inevitable that one will realize and encounter these limits.

And so the best contexts turn out to be the ones that are creative, that have palpable flow within them, that move one ahead, or finally free one in different, often unexpected ways. Meaning that whatever context one is in has flow possibilities which may arise naturally, sometimes through nothing more than spontaneous useless pleasures, with way leading easily and naturally unto other ways, other consciousness.

Yesterday, for instance, I, like many Katzvillians, dug out from a 30-40 cm snowstorm. Necessity, if one is to keep moving in the home context, on foot or by car. An accessibility for others and today’s Grey Cup party too. There are the immediate here-and-now things to be done in whatever context. I also dug out the two outside moving-electric-deer in the backyard for the anticipated amusement of today’s guests (and my grandson at some point). Imagination naturally considers future and likely possibilities.

With reference to the grandson, I also examined, tidied, and repaired the toboggan which has sat unused in the garage for decades. A toboggan ride on the driveway and crescent would likely be something a turning-three-year-old would enjoy. I also cleaned up the kids’ table in the living room in anticipation of Christmas visitors including 3 young children, and how they would fit into the context of the living room flow of that day. Again imagination, empathy, and anticipating other contexts, others’ interests, and inevitable living room makeover for the holiday season, involving moving many plants and putting up a tree and other decorations.

But personal time/personal context more freely and spontaneously chosen leads to whatever consciousness and entertainments within even yesterday’s homebound context. After sup, I decided to watch an old 165 minutes, 1974 blockbuster movie with many old stars like Paul Newman and Steve McQueen–The Towering Inferno. Who knows what other subconscious reasons drove me to this choice? Maybe the numerous media stories about various snowstorm rescues and deaths contributed? Something to do with my many moments of late realizing how life is simply, mostly risk? Maybe I simply needed some fire or more warmth in my day? The possibilities, whether known or subconscious, are likely many.

Movies are always a context per se, and have a flow or rhythm of their own, especially good or great ones. And though this one had its share of criticism in its day, it anticipated what it itself had predicted–that many people could potentially die in skyscrapers, that human error was often a product of ego and economics, and that heroism flows naturally in a crisis or disaster. You get the idea–the truths are many and may get proven in unexpected, unforeseen ways–e.g., the burning skyscrapers of the Twin Towers in 9/11. I could not help but remember this iconic, archetypal mass tragedy as the movie flowed and unfolded with its own specific contexts and problems. And all the way–as I have often said–characters like people have to make choices and take risks–frequently life-and-death ones.

And so within my apparently limited overall context yesterday (homebound by choice rather than mindlessly going out in public to mass-mall-rat-shop), I followed the flow of personal choice and quite accidentally found an engrossing entertainment of a thought-provoking nature. The flow of my consciousness filled whatever quiet and peace (there was a well-deserved nap after the shovelling) steadily and unpredictably as the day went on. Way led on to way amidst the different levels of flow or chi that included an interesting, truth-full movie.

There are those who feel they have to have lots o’ people around them and to network constantly in others in order to experience flow, meaning, and purpose. But the limits and limitations of that–impeding personal flow, personal consciousness, reflection, and finally person freedom–goes without saying. We ultimately, on the other hand, are all responsible for our own lives, our own flows, and our own personal freedom and daily growth. A lot simply comes down to the contexts we choose–(Updike’s “Context is all”); it is–but this doesn’t require a whole whack of others, work, or even constant contact with (only) one person. Since retirement, I personally have found that relative solitude generally works for generating the amount and kind of personal freedom and flow I have mostly and always desired, chosen, and thrived on over these many years.

It’s all there: context, positioning within context via whatever flow and personal choices, and the personal consciousness that one lives with perpetually and potentially throughout one’s life.

You see, ya can’t please everybody
So ya got to please yourself”–Rick Nelson, “Garden Party”

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