Creation | Awareness: Life

‘A Reason’

Johnny R. O'Neill
3 min readDec 14, 2021
Steering to Nevada (2010) by author

Imagine a universe of two things, you, and a medium for creation. Maybe it’s a sandbox, or toy drum. Maybe it’s paper and crayons.

So, with your crayons you draw a picture, and you take it to your mommy and show it to her, and she asks, ‘But Honey, why did you make the sun purple?’

And you answer, ‘I like purple, Mommy. It looks pretty.’ Or, maybe you say, ‘I couldn’t find the yellow crayon. But we have two purple crayons. So, I made it purple!

Good reason!

Even if you don’t know ’a reason’ for the things of your world, even if you can’t find ‘a reason,’ even in those moments when things just flow and for better or worse your mind gets put aside — like, when you’re six — there is still ‘a reason.’ That reason is embodied in who you are, the wave of Life that manifests as you.

Nothing exists in a vacuum. Everything exists in context. If a thing exists, there is a reason for it to exist, as it is, where it is, in the condition in which it is. There is a reason. To me, that is nothing less than a truism because as we compose, order, change, prioritize and ponder the meanings of our world, don’t we do so, always, within a world bounded by ‘a reason’? Even a stupid reason is a reason. Even if we don’t know the reason, we assume there is a reason, somewhere. ‘God’ has served as ‘a reason,’ albeit without explanation, for millennia, and still does for many of us (‘God knows’).

And really, isn’t that what faith in any god is all about? A reason? Faith that there is a reason? That there is meaning? We don’t know the reason, but we have faith that there is one?

We use ‘a reason’ to build a story, each of us does, of who we are, how we got to where we are, to discover, predict, experience who we are. Having ‘a reason’ is our way of making sense of ourselves. Without it…what are we?

‘A reason,’ in a sense, is our anchor, or maybe better, our keel, that thing that holds us upright through the storms of Life, and indeed allows us to steer against those winds and tides when we need, or go with the flow as required, to find our own destination.

If we don’t have that keel called ‘a reason,’ then all we can do is drift on the currents. At which point, having drifted, even if we find ourselves in that most perfect of places, what is it that keeps us there? For inevitably the tide will come in and launch us again. The wind will rise and push us off. And all we can do is wave goodbye to that most perfect of places in which we, somehow, found ourselves, but with no way of guiding ourselves back, or even, truly, of knowing where we were or how we got there.

Happenstance? Is that our being? Is that who we are?

‘A reason’ eliminates happenstance. And whether the course ‘a reason’ tells us to steer is right or wrong, it does give us a course to steer, and courses can be corrected. It does give us a chart to consult, and charts can be updated.

It gives us a plan. And plans can be changed. Because there is a way.

Keep trying. Keep learning. Keep failing. Keep at it.

“Never say never. Don’t say that word!” Henri the pigeon, in ‘An American Tail’ (1986)