“I have always been a romantic, one of those people who believes that a woman in pink circus tights contains all the secrets of the universe.”
In what the Hindus call a moment of ‘satori,’ I discovered the meaning of life this morning, while smoking cigarettes and listening to country music in my car at my favorite convenience store. The meaning of life is, in fact, crawfish.
Seriously. It’s crawfish. That’s it.
I arrived at this cosmic conclusion while thinking about my plans for this weekend, which include a double date with Siria and our good friends, Don Morgan and his wife, Georgia. The plan is to hit Willie’s Ice House for the season’s first plate of steaming mud bugs. I freaking love Crawfish Season, and not simply because I love eating crawfish, or that it’s the one time of the year when I can say “suck the head!” on the radio and not get fired. Along with Crawfish Season comes the promise of Fiesta, Springtime, Summertime, and lazy river floats. Bluebonnets and BBQ, baby. That’s why San Antonio is the best place on earth.
Sitting in my car, I envisioned the waitress dumping that first steaming bucket of crawfish on the table before me. Spice and flavor and shiny carapaces redder than Valentine’s Day. Oh, Holy Jesus. Life is good.
And then I see myself picking up my first mud bug of the season, and gazing into its dead, black eyes.
That’s when it happened, the satori-thingy.
I realized that every single thing in my life thus far had to happen exactly as it did in order for me to be sitting there, staring at that crawfish. Every person I have encountered, and every choice I have made, whether, upon hindsight, I now believe those choices to be ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ the fact is ALL of it had to happen just as it did to put me at Willies with a mud bug burning my fingers in the year 2017. As someone who tends to ruminate on the past and stress about the future, this is a most cleansing and calming thought. From this perspective, there really are no ‘bad’ choices, as long as you are able to recognize the vast daisy chain of choices that were required to bring you into the best moments of your life.
Of course, this must also mean that the choices of everyone else, past and present, down through human history, are also needed in order to place that fine-ass mud bug in my hand. In fact, EVERYTHING in the freaking universe is required, including the stream or creek from which the crawfish was harvested, the land the creek runs through, the Earth itself, and all the interconnected, metabolic systems of atmosphere, geology, magnetism, energy, light, gravity, and cosmic placement that are necessary to create the circumstances in which the crawfish could even be born. Think about that shit for a second. We believe there are roughly one-hundred billion galaxies in the observable universe, and within each galaxy, about the same amount of stars. And all THAT needs to be doing exactly what it is doing, and has always done, in order for me to be able to suck the brains out of that spicy little crawfish.
Therein lies one Hell of a responsibility, and something theologians and religious prophets have known for millennia: Every choice you make, even if it is merely the choice to smile or to sneer, effects everyone’s life and every f–king thing in the universe, all at once, and forever. Think about this the next time you’re about to flip someone off in traffic, for this is where that pesky “love thy neighbor” stuff comes into play. If we all did that, all the time, everyone would live happier and more fulfilling lives. Doesn’t mean that I’m going to stop calling people douchebags if I think they are a douchebag. I am but a simple cave-dweller, and have a long way to go in my spiritual evolution. Most of us do. Still, it is a good and healthy goal to strive for, and certainly one I believe is achievable. That’s what I call ‘faith’.
Moreover, the damn dead crawfish teaches us one more about life. The bugs we’ll be eating this Saturday will be the smallest of the season, but as the harvest continues, the bugs get bigger and bigger. In fact, the best mud bugs are the last mud bugs, for they are the oldest of the harvest, and have had the longest time to grow. The universe itself is continuously expanding and evolving, just like a late-season crawfish. In other words, the more life you are blessed with, the more your awareness expands, and the tastier and more satisfying life becomes. In this way, every single moment of every single day is a gift, and something to be thankful for. Knowing this one truth, and embracing it fully within yourself, I believe, is the meaning of life, because once you figure that shit out, life is gonna be biscuits and gravy for you.
In other words, the meaning of life is, in fact, crawfish.
Not that I’m living this stuff myself. But I’ll keep trying if you will.
The Force is with us,