Saturday, November 26, 2016

Get busy

"Do you ever think about dying?" a friend asked today which stands in contrast to recent thanksgiving holiday conversation spent chatting about martinis and dead plants. Yes, I'm aware that we're all going to die sometime sooner than we'd like; however, I'm not as worried about dying as I am about living.

I once had a bucket list in my early twenties. In making it I realized I was better off tossing the list for some deep work on a few things. 

In the movies the villains are identified by their lack of humanity and self-serving ways; they don't need much. Villains roam about alone with every pleasure met and in command, until they are not. Life too tends to celebrates aloofness and the fruits of self-control from graduation to promotion to physical commitments. It's easy to forget that the self-serving ways and lack of humanity toward others is what does in the bad guys. That and stagnation, the refusal to grow or change. 

"Get busy living or get busy dying," said someone, Red I think, in "Shawshank Redemption." The world shakes you up, swishes you around, and spits you out. It should change something in you or at least make you want to hang on to whoever's next to you. If you keep pulling back from others, letting go, you might be busy dying. If your hands are full from encouraging and holding others, well, you might just be busy living. I aim to live like I might die in the sense that I need to be kinder, softer, and more, well, more connected. 

Connection interests me because it's at the heart of community, vitality, and it relies upon openness, trust, and an inner resilience that springs from a faith in fellow beings as helpers, encouragers, and as vectors of good. Connection is hard, it can hurt. It's scary because it makes you vulnerable, but shutting yourself off doesn't work so great either. We don't always get to be givers. Sometimes we have to receive. Ask for help. If this feels hard, then this definitely applies to you. If you're of the opposite camp, always in need of help, go help someone else.

That crack in your heart that we are all so busy protecting, yeah, somebody is going to jump on that, let it be a springboard to something good instead of a pit into a vast darkness. Death isn't exactly waiting for you to eat the salmon mousse. A little sunshine, some patience, some quiet time- ask someone to rub your feet, you'll be just fine and better for asking for it or for giving it, just get busy, living.