I’m feeling philosophical today. I’m trying for a different job at the community college I got laid off from a year and a half ago, and I’m going to put out another application or two in the next couple of days. I like my current gig of online tutoring, but it pays bupkus, and frankly, working from home is weirder than I thought it would be. It’s starting to eat into my leisure computer time.
But a job is a job, so I can’t complain too hard. And if I get another job, maybe I’ll keep this online tutoring but do only a few hours a week. I don’t know. There’s always so much uncertainty in the world, so much uncertainty in one life. When I was in school studying Literature, I found myself most drawn to the Modernists of the early 20th century, writers like James Joyce and Virginia Woolf and John Dos Passos. The world changed so much during the first 30 years of the 20th century. Between wars and economic meltdowns, no one knew what to make of anything anymore; so many authors turned to within, trying to find a way to articulate the minds’ “stream of consciousness.” Einstein’s Theory of Relativity was turning the scientific community on its head. Art was taking a turn for the Cubist and Surreal. And folks were beginning to accept that maybe that crazy Freud guy was right about the conscious and subconscious, and the fact that maybe we didn’t always have complete control of our actions. (The conscious and subconscious was just about the only thing Freud got right, as far as I’m concerned.)
Needless to say, I have a pretty high tolerance for ambiguity. Sure, I like my routines and ruts, but that’s probably just my mild OCD talking. But my life of the mind has always been willing to see everything in shades of gray (way more than fifty, too). I’m learning to apply that tolerance to my physical life, but it’s not easy. It’s hard to roll with the punches when you’re not sure you have a paycheck coming in. It isn’t easy to shrug your shoulders and say, “That’s the way it goes” when your family is in pain. I’m pretty damn lucky in that I have a roof and food and medical care if I need it, but that doesn’t mean life is always easy.
I became familiar with “Que Sera Sera” through Alfred Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much. But Sly and the Family Stone’s version is grittier. (BTW, thanks for the suggestion, Sandee.) They turn it into a slow blues burner, filled with the resignation that “whatever will be, will be” probably isn’t going to turn out too well.
But there’s hope here, too. Things might be bad, but it just might turn around. That’s what makes the best Blues so good. Life isn’t written in stone, and thank goodness for that. Tomorrow, you might find $20 dollars on the sidewalk. Tomorrow, you might get a call or an email from a friend you haven’t seen for too long. Tomorrow, you might learn that you got that job. Or you might lose your favorite hat, forget your umbrella and get soaked on the way to work. Whatever will be, will be.