I’ve been thinking, this morning, about how quickly one’s perspective can change, often through illness or a sudden event that causes us to focus on what’s important. I have often listened to people who have faced trauma or long-term, serious illness and been inspired by their views. Then, inevitably, I have thought ‘What if it didn’t take something so huge and catastrophic to force us to re-evaluate our lives and our values?’ I had an awful dose of tonsillitis just before the summer. I was at home, off work, for almost a week, in a lot of pain, shivering, sweating
This comes with gratitude since, for a brief while, you saw something within me that resonated within you. And isn’t that life, entirely?
Time fills up like a water balloon or a swollen summer moon then slips between the cracks in the hours, leaving nothing and owing the same. O, tarry never. Never again.
I have wanted to be with you for so long. The dream of you diluting my days into perfunctory conversations and people and chores I could do without. But these autumn weeks have been strange. Changing my focus onto more pressing things, less wishing I were far away. The boy stood up today and recited his first poem. Someone I barely know hand-delivered a card with the sweetest words scrawled in blue. The sick girl fell asleep on my arm. And the woman I love above all else squeezed me tight and said Thank God you’re here, Thank God you’re
One would not, upon the stars, dream of placing a temporary condition of the heart; a means by which they could become fuller, more beautiful, more complete. Yet you, of stardust and stillness, made of the very same things, swill the air and the waves into chaos not knowing there is an eternal ocean beneath where all of your restlessness can have its moment and then pass, honoured but not believed. Be not afraid. Lay your tender heart open. All in nature is complete, and cannot be broken.
Love shall not end Though wild eyes close And swollen hearts Cease to beat. They are complete, Your soul and mine, And shall be forever Entwined in this dance. When lips cannot speak And feet remain still Beneath stiff white sheets, We will sweep across That glossed oak floor Like tender flames, A brackish sea-breeze, A throng of mountain birds. Whirled in every great song And sweet turn of phrase We’ve ever heard.
I have thought lately that perhaps the duty of life is to make each of us more familiar with death. Not just the image of it, nor the concept, nor the loitering shadow in the slick alleyway, but the solid, sensual reality. The smoke, the metallic taste, the frosted heat, the overwhelming fullness and the falling emptiness, the smiling kiss, the wink and the graze of rough tarmac on your knee. The more I know life, the more I am forced to acknowledge death. I suppose, in this way, she is doing her job– though I question her methods on
I’ve come to realise, in my quest to live more intentionally and healthfully, that there is a phrase that tends to sway me from my path and leaves me feeling guilty and frustrated. Two short words. You may hear and use them often. F–k it. They are simply a license to do things we know we’ll regret. Think about it. We never say ‘f–k it’ when we are about to do something that is good for us. As one comedian put it, “No one ever said ‘F–k it, I’m gonna have a carrot!’” F–k it means freedom. Hedonism. Wildness. Spontaneity.
“There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.” — Hamlet At first glance, this idea seems silly. Of course there are bad things. Tragic, horrific, terrible things that one would not dare to label as anything else. And then there are wonderful things. Lucky breaks, opportunities and successes that seem nothing but positive. But Eckhart Tolle, and many Buddhist spiritual teachers, speak a lot on this subject. The idea is not to deny that life has its ups and downs, but simply to point out two things: 1. That the impact of the event is dependent