Mortal, Mortal, We

In Essays, The Daily Drool on May 11, 2009 at 4:31 pm

No one ever thinks they are going to get old, or infirm.  Oh, we know alright that it will, eventually happen.  But we think of it in broad terms, like “I hope my kids never stick me in a nursing home.” Or “God, it must really suck to loose your teeth.”  But eventually time it makes its descent and although this body you inhabit may be creaking and faded, the spirit – the you – is as hungry to be here as ever it was.  For this is what struck me yesterday as my father was talking to me – a man who has fought many a difficult battle for that prize called life – that we never really ever sit up all ready for doctors and hospitals – we just wind up in their midst, minds reeling from the suddenness of it all.

And it’s got me thinking – this most recent battle that has catapulted my family into the world of medicine and insurance that grows eerily more familiar if less and less understandable – it’s got me thinking about how we live.  How I live.  How I want to live – and the difference between.

I’ve always had a sort of decision breaker when faced with a paralyzing choice: “Will I regret not doing this?  Will I spend precious final moments bemoaning my lack of action, or is this an inconsequential quandary?”  Most often the really big decisions are met with a little pipsqueak of bravery from my deepest self “Yes!  You will regret letting your fear stall this course.  Take a deep breath and Leap!”  

I’m sure someone much more famous and well read than I has already said this, but I currently find myself at the helm of the sentiment – We are naught but our accumulated experiences.

We walk this Earth mostly so wrapped up in our daily trivials that we seldom remember how freakin’ blessed we are to be here.  Envision if you will the line of souls just flickering with anticipation at the possibilities to once more dip their toes into Earth’s cool grass, wrap their lips around the crisp fruity freshness of a ripened strawberry, to breathe in the scent of a lover, or to laugh, to cry, to feel it all.  Because life is a gift and we must celebrate it!  It’s the only way to live… to make the most of every moment, stare down the fears that get in your way, and live like you mean it!

And sure, it’s a tough thing to remember the joy of the miracle of life every second of every day… we are human after all.  And humans love drama and conflict, we love to climb mountains or build mountains to climb.  And we love to fill our time with gadgets and gizmos, making the pursuit of happiness mistakenly aligned with the pursuit of money – but I’m pretty confident no one gets to the end of the line only to sigh with regret over not having purchased enough stuff…  No, it’s the things you allowed yourself to put off, to ignore, to molder on an internal shelf of regrets that haunt you, and it’s the things you did, the dreams you realized, the love you shared, that offer up a cool antidote 

I suppose none of you are disagreeing with me – it’s hardly an incendiary argument.  But I’m not writing to you in the hopes of causing a revelation.  Rather, I am exploring the possibility that sometimes we need a little nudge to remind us to take a breath and live it up…  To boldly step forward into the place where you hold your passions and dance.

Because I promise you, it’s a dance you’ll never forget. 

And when you’ve gotten to that dusty place of old age and disuse, you will not cry over a life unrealized, but smile at the sunset with eyes content, soul soaring, and a heart full with the knowledge that Win, or Fail, you played the hell out of this game!


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