Sometimes words invade my head like a catchy tune – and the only way to exorcise them is to sing them out loud. And for two days now, a single, tuneless phrase has played itself over and over in my mind:
"If I were to die, tomorrow, here is what I know right now..."
I know, kind of morbid, right? But don't you think it's also kind of beautiful?
Now, God willing, I won’t die tomorrow. I have no reason to think I would, but I have ceased believing that I can predict what comes next on this earthly plane.
And I would much prefer to stick around! I have a 7 year old boy who has a good chance of becoming a more fully realized human being than me. More than anything else in the world I wish for the privilege of watching him become.
But if tragedy did strike, and my life was cut short for reasons unknowable, here is what I know right now:
I know that I have, thus far, raised a young boy who can still genuinely feel the rings and tings of his heart without having to clamor or dig under any thick-sad armor of pretense, shame, or anger. I know that my son still believes it is safe to feel his feelings.
I know I have made a difference in people’s lives. I have spent my adult life working with a population entirely dependent on others for their safety, health and comfort and that’s pretty cool. I know that at my place of employment there are a handful of lives that would have been very different had I not come their way – maybe better, maybe worse, who knows. I’m simply saying the intersection of our lives has been wholly unique to our “we.”
I know that I am exceptionally imperfect, but I’m also hopeful about my odds for personal improvement in the long run. Spiritual practice takes practice, so I practice.
I know that I have experienced deep, life-altering love. Twice. (And I do mean the sex kind. I do I do I do) I know that real love is a sacred covenent sent from another dimension, and that I was pure and forthright during those emotional tsunamis. I know I treated those inward explosions with as much kindness and respect as I could manage under that unrelenting pressure against my soul.
(Well….the second time, anyway. The first time I kind of fucked up. Meh. Live and learn, right? There is always more ahead.)
RE: love - I know that I am a monogamous person. I know that I am loyal. Over time I have come to understand that I am worth absolute reciprocity. I know that it is not up to me to decide if and when that ever happens, and I’m fine with that.
If my life was to be cut short, I would know that at the time of my passing I was ready and willing to lose my past over the direction of the country’s future.
I know that there was no way I was ever going to like beets or Hobbits.
I know that there was no way I was ever going to NOT like beer.
If I died, tomorrow, I would be proud of the people I chose to surround myself with - those good, good folks with whom I presently walk shoulder-to-shoulder. My small inner circle is pure bad-assery. My “reflection” in their faces is a beautiful thing to behold.
If I died, I would give myself a high-five and an afterlife-blue-ribbon for being right about my soul’s post-death-life, and I would be glad that I had made the decision to never give up chasing down those things that brought me joy because you can take it with you – it just looks different on the other side.
And if, God Willing, I don’t die tomorrow, all of the above still holds true.
Now if you will excuse me, I have to drive home -- verrrrrry carefully.
That's my piece, and that's my peace. Thank you for taking the time to read my silly words. It truly means the world.
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