Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Carpe Diem

This week I went to the 80th Birthday for my grandmother in law and the memorial service for a 26 year old friend.

It made me more conscious than ever about the fact of our mortality, here on Earth, as humans.

Life is fleeting, life is short... we hear this a lot. But so what? What do we do about it? What is the point of such truisms?
Isn't it to get us to wake up and be more thankful for the life we have, to strive to make the most of the time that we have and fully live!?

The octogenarian birthday celebration and the passing of a young man were odd contrasts to one another. An 80 year old, if lucky, will live another 5 years, perhaps 10, and if unusual, another 20 and beyond. May the latter be so for Grandmother Hayes. She is, for all intents and purposes, at the last stage of her life. A long, well-lived, joyous and useful life it has been. But a life near its end nevertheless. And this is for what we pray: to live a long, healthy, happy, useful life. This is a blessing, as opposed to the tragedy of youth stopped short by the ravages of untimely death. What does one think when a 26 year old passes away? What was their short life about? Why did they die?

And this is the question: why do people die before they grow old?

We know the practical, causal answer: a fatal disease, a car crash, gun shot, suicide, overdose, etc... All unnatural deaths.
Isn't the only natural death one eased into through sleep in old age? Anything else, a stroke, heart attack, or long and lingering degenerative and painful disease seems unnatural. But these are the ways most of our elders die. They do not drift off into that sweet and final slumber, their spirits gracefully floating up to heaven. Most of them, most of us, pass on to the great unknown and beyond from almost anything but the Thanatos doze. No, he's not a friend of Morpheus, and tends to yank us with him in other ways. The treacherous stalker waits.

Have you noticed the cruelty of young death? The violence of it? The seeming injustice and unfairness. The indicative lack of reason and sense. Inside I scream for it all. Annihilated in the thoughts of countless murdered babes for what? Glory, power, money... I cry in the face of the imbalance in the world between the haves and have nots, the starving millions, the impoverished human beings we share the planet with. And what am I doing? What should I do? What can I do? What will I do? What about you?
I can hardly paint my fingernails without choking at the grotesque bourgeiousness of it. The sin of the leisure class is that the world is suffering as we sit by with our home made pies and Sunday football and consumer consciousness/coma while children pick up guns and kill their mothers because of drug crazed war lords in the thick of it.

I vacillate between a morose awareness of the ills in the world and a consuming helplessness and devastating awe at the horror and the inane pleasure of escaping into digital entertainment, movies, gaming, scanning catalouges of goods that I think will make me feel good, goods made at the expense of others... I wallow in the marsh of hazy days spent planning and scheming for ways to make the world a better place, yet how?

I can lift more than a finger. And a finger is not for pointing, unless it's back at Self, at Source, at Cause, and summons and draws up solutions.

And in all my planning, intending, and striving to do what I can to make the world a better place, I'm left with a big yawning, gaping, widening awareness that death lingers near us at every given moment. Any breath can be our last. Any step can end our path, here, on Earth. In a sudden blink of the eye we can fly away to a new way, leaving behind grieving loved ones, tear stained faces and memories of our existence.

But what of our existence? What about right now, while we are still alive?
What are we to make of our lives? How can we live and what can we do to make it all make sense, to make it full of meaning?

I want to live usefully.
I want to be on purpose and for a reason and of benefit and help and service.
Don't you?

I mean if I were to die tomorrow, what would my life have been for?
That's what I want to know. What is my life for? I want to focus on this and become more fiercely dedicated to living my life on purpose, for something. Those of you who know me know I'm already on this path, and it's just this, the incessant call to wake up and live consciously and with meaning and for something that drives me.

I'm filled with the awareness of time pulsing through my wrists, but at the same time I have God in my blood.
I'm mortal and this body will die and return to the Earth, my Mother.
I'm immortal and this soul will transcend and return to the Divine Source, God, my Father.

While I'm gifted, blessed, charged with the miracle of life, I must and I do and I shall remain faithful to the actualization of my potential and the fulfillment of my mission here on Earth in this lifetime. What about you?

Carpe Diem

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