Meaning of Death Feed

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I’ve stared at this blank page long enough now, and so I think it’s time to let the saving grace of stream of consciousness take over.

This reflection may be a little light on substance; a beginning, a middle, or an end, for that matter. It may in the final analysis, lack any meaningful direction, or purpose, but at this point, it doesn’t really matter.

I made a promise to myself that I would act like a professional writer. A writer who digs his ditches and writes every day. Without failure. Without excuses. No matter how I feel. No matter what life asks of me. No matter what.

But today is tough.

Today feels like quicksand.

I lost a dear friend this week, and I feel helplessly numb.

Dazed and confused.

A tiny bit disoriented.

I walk into rooms and walk out moments later, without knowing why I was there, or where I want to go. My mind wants to do something and it races in a thousand different directions, only to return as restless and as tired, as when it left.   

I haven’t had time to laugh and I haven’t been able to really cry. I remember crying my eyes raw when my father and mother died, years ago now, and so I think I’m supposed to cry a lot, but I feel I like I haven’t cried enough. I feel like I’m letting him down.

I’m not really sure how I am supposed to feel.

I’m in shock.

I’m not really sure what I’m supposed to be thinking or how I’m supposed to grieve. I’m not sure what I should be doing, or what I should not be doing.

All I know, is that I need to write. That I feel compelled to write. Like breathing.

Not because I have something significant to share, but because I made a promise to do so.

I made a vow to myself, over a year ago now. A promise to be a different man. To be open to things I was stubborn to see. A promise to live outside the comfortable cave of shadows.

I definitely know that I have many more miles to go before I sleep, but the road less traveled, seems a touch thornier today, than it did yesterday.

So, I cast these few insignificant batches of dirt in an unknown direction. I cast them without any intended aim, but with a deep sense of love.

A love that lasts forever. A love that transgresses all matter and sense of space and time.

A love that lasts. Endures. Transforms.

Today I dig my ditch as a broken man.

Hoping to wake up tomorrow and be of service to those I meet.

To redeem my brokenness.

And become a beacon of hope for others.

 


life happens when you are making other plans

 

As human animals, we have a unique habit of projecting ourselves into the future. An amazing trick really. We are trained to imagine ourselves in the future, yet can shape our lives in the present, according to our new direction.

We are all very capable of seeing this new, majestic future, so clearly, emerging just over the horizon, and anticipate its glorious days of tomorrow. We use our imagination for that very purpose. We see what tomorrow brings, and excitedly push and pull the present moment, hoping to submit the future into reality.

We try really hard.

We think hard. We feel deep. We work. We learn. We toil.

We cross our t’s and dot our i’s. We purchase insurance. We invest. We save.

Yet life makes other plans.

Life happens when we are busy making other plans.

This used to frustrate me to no end. This frail inability of mine, to conjure up my future into reality, had become a tenacious source of remarkable confusion.

The future seemed so coy. To playfully peek and smile around every corner, only to disappear, and hide itself from my sight.

I could touch it. Feel it. Taste it even. It dripped from my tongue, like honey from an overproducing hive, in a bulging honeycomb, ready for the cold days of winter.

Yet, it was not meant to be.

And yet, I’ve been better for it.

I’m not sure why we are here and our illustrious human history doesn’t help.

It seems to be nothing more than a stark reminder of the inhumanity of one person to another. Endless arguing. Endless fighting. Theft. Indecency and indignity. We seem a long way from discovering our purpose and direction in life, with very little progress to come.

Seem.

But no matter.

Human history doesn’t define us. Life does.

We draw our dignity from every rising sun and every harvest moon. From the end of things, and the joy of new beginnings.

Life humbles us.

It helps us to stay balanced and not feel too high or too low. Too comfortable or too dejected. Too wise or too ignorant.

Life happens when we least expect it.

All our seemingly unsolvable problems eventually disappear. End. Vanish. One way or another. And we always give birth or adopt new ones. We embrace a tomorrow that always comes with new joys and a series of challenges.

Life is worth living.

It’s glorious.

Unbridled. Unpredictable. Untamed.

Life becomes worth living when you let go and see it for what it is, and embrace it as it comes.

Behold all of it.

It its totality, not its unnatural broken parts.

See it for its glorious totality, and don’t subjugate it into made up fractions and meaningless pieces.

Life happens to us when we are making other plans.

This doesn’t mean you should stop imagining or avoid making other plans.

It simply means that tomorrow will not be like you imagined.

You can’t prepare for it and you should accept it when it comes.

Leap forward. Don’t resist it. Come at tomorrow with an open heart and an open mind. Be ready to turn that corner.

Life peaks at you, so you can chase after it.

It’s a perpetual childlike game of tag.

The point is not to win.

The joy is that we get to play again.

 


be kind to yourself instead

 

Somewhere between love and hate is the forgotten realm of kindness.  It is an old and noble kingdom that is often ignored and definitely taken for granted.  We often pass it by, on our way to wage war with ourselves or each other. Running back and forth between loving and hating.

So be kind to yourself instead.

Sometimes love is a very tall order, and hatred just comes a little too easy, especially since we are constantly encouraged by the choir of voices on social media, spurring us on.

But it doesn’t have to be like that.

We don’t have to dig trenches and embrace either extreme, and fight a battle that will ultimately end with an unavoidable stalemate.  A war that proves nothing, and inflicts much pain and destruction along the way.

So be kind to yourself.

To be honest, I experience loneliness very often. It feels very comfortable after so many years.

When I look around I get a sense from those I meet, that they don’t really see me, or even care to.  They talk at me, they see through me, as though my life didn’t really matter. I only serve a commercial purpose. I am nothing more than a cog in a progressive wheel. I am simply admired for keeping up my end of the bargain, and not being a financial burden on society.

I have a deep unquenchable desire to live my life with great meaning and I try to act with purpose every day. It’s just that the things I care deeply about and the things that trouble me, don’t interest most people. They seem more interested in making money, building a better home, and entertaining a new fashionable affair.

The things I care about trouble deeply, and cycle back to me over and over again.

I want to know for example why it is that we have to die. I want to know who I am and how to live a meaningful life. I want to know how to raise my children to be hopeful people, despite knowing that a day is coming, when I will have to say goodbye, and they will cry, like I did ten years ago. 

I think about my past and all the things that I could have done a little better but I also think of the things I have done well, and feel a sense of joy knowing that I have become who I am.

I try to be kind to myself. 

Kind, because I have done nothing wrong by being born. I am in a struggle like everyone else. I make mistakes like everyone else. I desire to know the mysteries of our existence, like everyone else.

I think we do ourselves a great injustice when loathe and hate ourselves, even a little. We have no right to be our own worst critic. We don’t even have the right to be a mild critic. We have no right to any criticism at all.

Our mandate is to love ourselves, but for right now, I will take a bit of kindness.

Kindness when I fall down and gossip. Kindness when I look at the shape of my body in the mirror and laugh at the futility of change. Kindness when I overeat. Make promises I cannot keep. When I get lazy. Angry. Get judgemental. Proud. Arrogant. Jealous.  Kindness, when ignore those that love me, and run back into the cold arms of loneliness.

We need love.

We need to fight hatred.

But first, we need a little bit of kindness.

 


a small fuss about the in between

 

Our experience of living is like water, cupped in palm of our hand.  The more you try in desperation to hold onto it, the more it slips between your fingers.  Luckily, there is plenty more just below your waist.  It will never be the water you once held in your hand, but all you have to do, is dip your hand back in the ocean, and draw out some more.

To be happy, you need to come to terms with the fact that you are not in control. 

Everything is borrowed and transitory.  Short term.  A tent, not a pyramid.

And that’s a good thing. 

I’m not sure how many more heartbreaks, shootings, senseless slaps across the face, disease, or people’s brokenness, numbness, and hatred I can see and hear about.

Thankfully, we are only tiny part of the universe, and thank God, for the infinite majesty of space.  Thank God for the courage not to take ourselves too seriously. 

Thank God for rule number 6.

Our very lives depend on our heart and its health, but we have so very little to do with it.  We owe a debt of gratitude to our parents for giving us a heart, and one day in the distant or not so distant future, that heart will decide to stop.  It will all end.  But in the meantime, you and I are given the task to speed it up, or to slow it down.

I think that is what life is all about.

It’s not about being born.  It’s not about dying.  It’s what you do in between.

It’s about the speeding up and the slowing down. 

Your entire life is a collection of events and memories enthroned with a continuous wave of ups and downs.  Just like a heart monitor, monitoring your pulse and blood pressure. 

Up.  Down.  Up.  Down. 

We are unhappy on either end of the monitor.  We get uncomfortable on the down swing, and we get oh so nervous on the upswing.  We dream of things getting better, and we fear things getting worse.  It seems we love the middle.  We are most comfortable and happy, right in the very middle. 

It doesn’t matter where we are, or how long we have been there; how old we are, how smart, what race, sex, orientation, or religious affiliation. 

It doesn’t seem to matter in the least. 

We all carry with us, the blinding illusion of control.  Of mine and yours.  Of right and wrong.  Of this and that.

We are stubborn and audacious.  We demand much of life, and we speak to her like a servant.  We ask her for things, like a spoiled child, and we demand quick answers.  We stomp our feet, clap our hands, and place unyielding demands on our life.

In truth, it is life that gets to ask us questions.

How do you like the changing of the seasons?  Can you change and adapt?  How do you like the people I have placed in your path?  Can you learn and grow? 

What will you do with an irregular heart beat?  With a monarch butterfly?  The discovery of new planets?  The extinction of another species?  With a disease that strips you of your immune system? 

What will you do with a drunk and violent husband?  A cold uncaring wife?  With beautifully autistic children?  An angry sister in law?  Childish presidents?  And the sudden death of beloved celebrities?

What will you do?

What will you think, when you know you are not in control.

You weren’t here once and you won’t be here, one day.

But you are here right now.

Carpe Diem.

What do you want to do?

When you get cancer, do you want to go for a run across the country?  When you are thrown in prison for twenty-seven years, do you want to become a world leader?  When your wife leaves you, do you still want to remain in a good relationship with the mother of your children?

Stop and listen.

Y our life is not a test.  Don’t believe the false illusion of dwarf minds.

Life is not a test. 

But she asks and demands answers to many questions.

Many magnificent but often painful questions.

It all leads towards something. 

It seems to point in some benevolent direction.

Take courage that you are not in control.

Let go.  Leap forward.

You get to decide.

Decide to be live.  To answer her questions, and be ready and grateful for some more.