My mother made my brother and me beanbag bunnies fifty years ago, an Easter gift. The guy with the dark glasses is a beatnik,
the other fellow is a hobo. I choose them as the backdrop to this post. It’s hard to believe I've lived upon this earth fifty three and a half years. It's difficult for me to believe I'm ‘old’. Such a lesson in life! Once recently, I mentioned something to my mom about being middle aged, and she said “middle aged”? “Are you expecting to live to be one hundred and six years old”? Smile~~ No I'm not!
I spoke with a fellow blog sister Jenny Fillius recently. We discussed many things…. our appreciation for music, how her daughter wrote a special poem that profoundly touched another, my mother’s radiant health and resilience, our artworks, but most importantly we took on the topic of death, our own to be precise. She and I agree, that for some reason our culture in the United States seems to run away and pretend death doesn’t exist, hides it under the rug. We agree that death should be considered and embraced. It seems, people fill their days doing things to escape thinking about death.
Last year Jenny nearly died and when I was a teenager I might have died, twice. It will change your life forever when you have an experience like this. Once my friend Margaret said “We are one day closer to the last day of our life”. That hit and made me think about how I can appreciate life, especially Mother Nature, about kindness, accepting a smile or kind word or giving one, feeling well and taking good care….the little things. Trying to live in the moment. I remind myself to adjust my focus, so that I have eyes to see the beauty that surrounds. The thing about it is, we only have a short amount of time and the older you get the faster time flies.
I remember my father and my friends who have died and offer a prayer. For me a living will is imperative! Yes, I do think about death, but the blessing is, that it makes me appreciate life. What about you? Do you think about death?
Thank you for taking the time to leave such poignant thoughts and comments. Each of you have expressed thoughts that I relate to. In the middle of the night I cosidered deleating this post (I don't know exactly why). Perhaps I didn't think it would resonate with anyone, but now that I read your experiences, I'm glad left it where it was and thank you.
When you part from your friend, you grieve not; For that which you love most in her may be clearer in her absence, as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain. And let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit. For love that seeks aught but the disclosure of its own mystery is not love but a net cast forth: and only the unprofitable is caught. And let your best be for your friend. If she must know the ebb of your tide, let her know its flood also. For what is your friend that you should seek her with hours to kill? Seek her always with hours to live. For it is hers to fill your need, but not your emptiness. And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.
Excerpt from the poem Friendship by: Khalil Gibran (I changed the he's to she)
Photo montage recounts our going away celebration for Noëlle last weekend. Guests were asked to dress in Indian inspired attire. I brought ensembles for Noëlle to choose from.Each of us made part of the meal and also wrote down special wishes for our friend that we read aloud after dinner. Scissors were passed and each of us snipped off a tiny piece of our hair which we combined for Noëlle to carry as she journeys forth. She and I will see each other one more time next weekend, then I'm learning to scype!
Twenty years ago I didn't want a roommate, but I needed to get one. I vividly recall my mother telling me: "Constance, you never know. You may meet someone who will edify your life"!
A German friend Willy, told me about a young woman, Noëlle who had just moved back to the States from Paris. We met one afternoon at my duplex for lunch. I remember making a Fritata and we talked. She ended up moving in a few weeks later and we had many a fine times, in those years leaning back in our chairs with our feet propped up on my round butcher block table, talking about life and sipping coffee or wine. The first week we lived together, it most impressed me that she had a date with a juggler and a lawyer! Also amazing, she has always found a way to maintain friendships with her old boyfriends (so unlike me)! Soon after we met I was introduced to her high school boyfriend Craig one night at a party. He took one look at me and said: "I do believe Noelle's has met her match"! What he meant is, that in many ways we are alike. I would say we are both outgoing, stubborn, we enjoy different types experiences and types of people of all ages, we are artistic and thrifty.
Noëlle knew me before I met my husband, and was happy for me when I ran off to live with him in California and then was there to celebrate our marriage. She was my lifeline when we moved from place to place for many years. She was there when my father died and my mother had to have a major operation. We were together the night her house almost burned down and then I got to be there when she met her husband and had her children.
Now, Noëlle and her family are moving to India in just a few weeks and I will be part her going away celebration this weekend. Some people think INDIA???? But not Noëlle and not me. That is one thing we have in common!! It's going to be a great experience!! She is thinking about starting a blog about her time in Mumbai. Hope she will. I'll keep you posted!
For their sweet eyes, kind and gentle faces, for perfect imperfection, I treasure these things. Empathy and compassion are learned from imperfection, a common dimoniator that binds us all together. At least that's been my experience, what do you think?