The world keeps turning.
3There’s a fire going in the living room (in the fireplace), and we don’t have any working alarms in this house. There’s a magnetic strip above the stove that holds all our butcher knives, and I can’t help but think it gives the impression of being too…convenient.
Details, details. They’ll get you. Like the scent of your grandmother’s living room when Sam, the labrador, was still alive, and when your grandpa still bowled. She used to keep the dog biscuits in a canister, letting you take two out every day to help encourage a sit or handshake.
The view from the upstairs window of the house where you lived for two years.
Talking to the neighbor girl through wire fencing in the back yard.
Onion paper Bible pages. Fanning through them, creating a current of wind across your face.
I’ve got a piece of advice for you. Stop whatever your doing to get through life. Please. Stop waiting to go to college. Stop getting up to go to work everyday. Don’t count the days till retirement. Don’t forge ahead toward a career or position. Stop trying to get there. Stop it. For a while sit down, and think about what you’re doing. We’re dying. No matter your religious affiliation, you will be dead someday. You’ll keel over, or you’ll get pierced through the heart with a spear, or cancer will start eating you, or you’ll just get old and your body will give up.
We’re going to die. Are you helping people? Is that how you feel good about your life? Well they’re going to die too, sooner or later, no matter what. Forever compared with 70 years, and that’s if you’re lucky. Forever.
This is no fire and brimstone sermon, this is the irreducible fact. Death has no scruples. You graduated summa cum laude from Harvard Law, established a non profit firm and bettered the lives of countless minorities? You’ll die, and so will they.
I never thought about it that way. Ever since I was a child I knew my body wasn’t the only journey I was designed to take. But my Christian faith aside, this fact hit me: I’m going to die. Just because I’m washed in the blood and forgiven doesn’t mean I’m incapable of missing the point. So many times I do things for here, not for later. 70 years. And I marvel at the hoards of people who populate successful jobs and prestigious universities, the people who try so hard.
The bum playing video games is the one being honest; if you don’t have a reason to thrive, why should you?
What makes you do what you’re doing?
I have a friend who’s a prophet. Sincere, talks to God prophet. I remember a time when the peak of our excitement involved silly putty and my little ponies. She made a comment recently – “It’s funny. I’m walking down the street and people don’t even know who I am- a prophet.” My immediate mental response to that was, What’s even funnier is when I walk down the street and realize people don’t even know who they are. They don’t know what they have been made for.
Who are you? Why do you try so hard at life? What is life to you? Everything is dying, and you’re trying to so hard to live before time runs out. Most of that comes from lack of reference- it’s harder to remember life is fleeting when you’re young. 69 is a bit different.
This is stuff that pokes at my brain at night, or while ordering dessert, riding in the backseat of the car after a movie. I’ll look up to the stars and remember how small I am, because no one can see me from a gazillion miles away. Go read Ecclesiastes, preferably in the King James; Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.
I remember when my cat caught a pheasant, and I grasped the skin at the back of his neck and watched as vibrant plumage of golds and browns and reds burst forth from his sharp teeth. Memories of life. Why do we hold on to it? Why did that bird flee to safety?
Man, I’m so tired…