Excellence Reporter: KJ, what is the meaning of life?
KJ Denhert: I really do not think I can answer whether life has a singular definable meaning. I perceive life’s meaning to be a fleeting feeling that I only think I know, as I recall a few magical moments. I can’t see how something this infrequent could really be life’s meaning. Seriously, what I am describing is probably nothing more than deep satisfaction.
What happens to me is that for some very brief period I sense that everything is good enough. I don’t need more or less of anything — I stumble onto a moment in a day when the future and the past are all perfectly balanced. I have things I love and things to look forward to therefore I can rest for a moment. I am at ease.These moments remind me of rock sculptures, the kind where large stones are balanced on top of other odd shaped stones with no straight edges. Posed like portly acrobats, using only gravity, they balance. My eyes say the stones should topple, but they do not. Could this be life’s meaning?
No, life has no explainable meaning except for what we allow ourselves to see and seek. Time is the variable that alters my definition. For example “I want to be happy”, is a great goal but for how long should I expect to be happy? In my career I have had to ask myself how long I can stand to have my prayers answered and it turned out to be a good question. Getting what you asked for or thought you wanted doesn’t seem to be life’s meaning.
I have values based on a lifetime of observation. I know what I would like life’s meaning to be. I think that is why we have movies and books and art for that matter, to help us in this quest. I love good stories that live on in my head and my heart and remind me to be nice. I wish that the meaning of life was to be nice, but I don’t think that it is (though being nice is still a very good idea whenever it is possible). I’m also quite fond of humor and laughter. If I could nominate two ideas, kindness and laughter would be my top picks for the best life has to offer.
In the world of chemistry in order to officially discover a new element like radium for instance, it had to be assigned an atomic weight. This meant radium had to be isolated and weighed, this was part of the life’s work of Madame Curie — the first woman to win a Nobel Prize. The radium she loved and kept glowing in a glass by her bed at night is believed to ultimately have killed her.
The meaning of life must be like wind — we can’t see it… we can only feel it move us like the trees in the wind and hope that we can laugh, bend and bear it.
~Karen Jeannne Denhert is a Grenadan-American urban folk-jazz artist who has won four Independent Music Award nominations and was named as one of the best female vocalists of 2009 by Jazz.com.
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