Tag: o’ahu hawaii

1,102 (2015)

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House paint and oil on canvas
30 x 40 inches

Inspired by a photograph I took of the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, O’ahu, Hawaii in June, 2014. More than 2.3 quarts of oil percolate to the surface from the battleship every day, serving as a reminder to those who visit that the site is still very active. While it’s obviously not good for the aquatic environment, I find the periodic oil blooms on the surface to be a poignant unintentional feature of the memorial; almost as if the spirits of the 1,102 people that lost their life there are acknowledging the millions of people who pay their respects each year.

An Experiential Theory on the Meaning of Life

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What are we really trying to find out when we ask, “what is the meaning of life?” Does the answer ultimately matter? Does the sense of purpose make a life better lived? Or does the question actually expose an unnecessary desire to apply purpose to everything as a prerequisite for fulfillment?

If one considers the “purpose” of this life is to simply experience it, the journey becomes much more important than any destination. This is hard for us to grasp, though, because it suggests the journey should have no end, which confuses us as a goal-oriented species.

Perhaps the answer to the ultimate question is staring us in the face, only we can’t see it because it’s not the answer we’ve trained ourselves to look for. In other words, if we think of “what” as everything in this existence within our ability to experience, then a simple punctuation change reveals the answer to the question: “What is the meaning of life.”

Daydream on a flight between Kansas City and Milwaukee, Dec. 26, 2014. I don’t think I broke any new philosophical ground here, but the exercise did help me better organize my thoughts on the matter. At any rate, it was a fun way to spend an hour-long flight.

Photo above is a shot I took at Halona Beach Cove, O’ahu, Hawaii on June 20, 2014.