From Where I Sit – Why Is It?

?Rhetorical (adj): 3. (of a question) asked for effect or to make a statement rather than to obtain an answer.?

Oxford Dictionary of Current English, 3rd edition

Too much solo driving lately has led to some unfettered thinking, which in turn prompts me to offer the following rhetorical questions for your consideration. Feel free to talk among yourselves. No answers required (or expected)!

Why is it that we plunk down $20 or more for a music CD because we love a single track? Perhaps we can buy the 2009 self-titled Doc Walker CD with hit after hit, including my favourite, ?If I Fall.?

How is it that skin that begins as smooth, soft, and flawless as baby Grady’s can, over a lifetime, wizen beyond recognition? Is it genetics or poor lifestyle choices (smoking, tanning, boozing)? Or was it a series of tough breaks that so deeply etched the face of a friend? She has become a woman of indeterminate but advanced years. The shock of white hair, rheumy eyes, and emaciated body added to this startling image of age and frailty.

How is it that creatures as tiny as mosquitoes can ruin a day, alter plans, and force us to take cover? We didn’t eat a birthday meal on the patio this weekend because of the hordes. I spent the entire drive to Sherwood Park squishing the tiny suckers with tissue after tissue. Last Saturday, I performed an outdoor marriage at which the toxic smell of fogging, citronella torches, mosquito coils, and repellent made me wonder whether I would croak before the bugs? Sometimes it seems as though mad swatting has become an aerobic activity.

Why is it that farmers who have dedicated their lives to working the land don’t get to enjoy the seasons like our urban cousins do? In spring, we’re tearing around trying to plant the crop instead of chilling at the lake or taking the Honda Goldwing for the first spin of the season. During the summer, we’re making hay instead of fishing. In autumn, rather than attending a harvest festival or crunching fall leaves, we’re hell-bent on getting the crop into the grain bins. Calendars and long weekends are meaningless to a farmer.

How is it that second-hand smoke can linger on my hair and clothes 10 times longer than Aveda hair products or Givenchy’s Hot Couture? Not to mention work its way into my bronchioles and cause me to cough incessantly while trying to purge the toxins.

Why is it that Nana has so much more patience with her grandson than she did with her own kids? I can spend days at a time playing with, teaching, and observing that little kid without wondering what else I could be accomplishing.

I think it was Jodie Foster who called herself a ?compulsive ruminator.? While I have no idea what she ponders endlessly, I know I’m not alone in wondering Why is it? How is it? In the end, it doesn’t really matter if answers exist; I know there is value in the asking, from where I sit.