Simone de Beauvoir

Thursday, March 31, 2016

A Satisfying Life

The object of this blog is to connect two women who, at first glance, have very little in common. One is deceased, the other very much alive; they are of different nationalities and lifestyles. To find similarities is a challenge; other than both being females, they seem to have little in common. This struggle is real. It also involves research into the life of Simone and self-reflection.

What were her thoughts on a particular issue and what are mine is then the basic premise of this blog.

So in order to write the next post, I need to do figure out a topic Simone's written about and then figure out my thoughts on it.

To be honest, this is the explanation for infrequent blogs. There's a lot going on in my life and frankly, time to read another of her books works is virtually non-existent. Sadly, I can't email her for an explanations or clarifications if I did read another one. Nor can I call her.  As much as I would have loved to, I don't have the option to spend the afternoon in her apartment talking nor can we head to the local Starbucks and discuss life over lattes. I can't call her loved ones, companions and writing muses for a variety of reasons including their deaths and a lack of ability to speak/understand their native French.

I often turn to articles written by others about her as they're informative, often contain quotes form her and are easier to read. Simone often wrote at length about political issues of her time, most, if not all, of which I am unable to connect. When one has an existentialist view of the world like de Beauvoir, it's tough for me to relate to it.

Random thought: Can you imagine a blog written by Simone? From what I've read, she's a 'pen and paper' kinda gal and would detest the internet. 

I did however, find that illusive common thread that I seem only capable of finding when I'm about to toss in the preverbial towel and terminate this blog. Permanently. Again.

Madeleine Gobeil interviewed de Beauvoir which was published in the Spring/Summer 1965 issue of The Paris Review  during which de Beauvoir says that she doesn't envy anyone.

The statement struck me as odd. Doesn't everyone envy someone at some point? How could she say she didn't envy anyone? Envy has been around since biblical times, so it wasn't a matter of not existing. Envy exists today, no doubt. In fact, I believe it's the cause of cyber-bullying, tax fraud, and other criminal behavior. I'd even go so far as to connect it with bankruptcies and prison terms as people attempt to keep up with the Joneses at any cost.

So how was Simone not envious of anyone you might ask? Further reading provided insight.

"I'm perfectly satisfied with what my life has been, that I've kept all my promises and that consequently if I had my life to live over again I wouldn't live it any differently," de Beauvoir said.

So I paused to reflect on my life. When I did, I realized that I, too, am satisfied with how my life has been. I want to continue that satisfaction for all my remaining years. What could I do to accomplish that? Plenty! Travel (hike the AT,Europe, Alaska for starters) and learn to paint with water colors for starters.

Meanwhile, I'm grateful for everything I have: loved ones, a God of my understanding who loves me, the ability to see sunrises and sunsets and kept promises.

Mostly, though, I'm satisfied.