Death Perspective

July 3, 2012 § 2 Comments

The twists in the river of life never cease to surprise and delight me. Sometimes I lie in bed at night, curled up under my mosquito net, and marvel at my life, whispering to myself, “I am in Africa. I am in Africa. Wow, I am in Africa.” But then, everywhere I go I feel amazed that I am there. It was the same in Iowa, it was the same in Arizona, it will be the same in France, Ireland, Austria and wherever I go next.

My approach seems to rely primarily on trust. Trust in what, I’m not entirely sure. Not trust in god, since I’m not religious in the way most people seem to be or not be. Not trust in myself, since I worry, fret and doubt like everyone else ever. Not trust in other people managing my life for me, since I’ve been making my life decisions independently for a long time now. Not trust in society or normalcy, since I definitely haven’t taken a linear or sensical path. Not trust that tomorrow will be like today, because, ha, I can’t remember the last time I knew what was going to happen next. But still, whenever I’m trying to decide where life will take me next, I feel trust. Trust and deep faith that wherever I go, it will be wonderful. Maybe part of it is trust in the belief that 90% of people are genuinely good and loving in their hearts.

Honestly, I think I feel relaxed because I trust in one thing more than anything else. I trust that I will die. This experience, my life and my self as I currently understand it, will end. What happens after isn’t as important to me as the certain knowledge that it will, most certainly, end. I will die. You will die. Everyone and everything will eventually pass out of current form.

Death doesn’t feel morbid to me. It gives me peace. For me, embracing the certainty of death is freedom. I can do anything, try anything, look stupid, make mistakes, embarrass myself, mess up, experiment, fail, because, one day, I will die. And when I arrive at the end of my life here, I will have lived as much as I knew how at the time.

So what if I’m a spastic dancer or an off-key singer? Dancing and singing feel good. So what if it took me a little longer to finish college or my life isn’t tidy on paper? I’ve been busy learning about the world and savoring it in ways that are much harder to document. So what if my body isn’t perfect? It’s healthy and strong and it’s mine. It carries me through this world safely and allows me to reach out and join in.

Here’s what I want out of life: I want to feel love. I want deep friendships, fast romances, true love, a big, boisterous family that anybody can join, babies, mothers, sisters, brothers, fathers, friends.

I want to laugh. And laugh. And laugh. And laugh.

I want to try to touch god, or my soul, or whatever that mysterious power is many of us sense at the edges of our beings. So I will go to mosques, churches, temples, forests, oceans and mountain peaks.

I want to use my body in every way it will let me. I want it to dance to drum beats in the firelight, taste briny saltwater in the ocean, strain and sweat with the exertion of reaching new heights, relax and melt, grow life, save life, protect life and enjoy life.

I want to grow my hair long, because long hair is fun. I want to cut it all off, because short hair is fun too.

I want to make other people feel good, as often as possible, because that feels better than anything.

I want my heart to race, my breath to quicken, my toes to wiggle in the mud and my fingers to dance across canvas. I want to learn, from experiences, books and people.

I want to appreciate this world, this heaven, I have been given as a home and all the wonders is contains.

Because one day, any day, I will move on. And what I don’t want is to waste a golden opportunity like this.

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