October 24, 2011

Tonight I’ve lit my weekly candle for the brother of my brother Mark’s widow, who is in the last stages of his battle against cancer. He’s under hospice care now, and life must be moving very rapidly for him right now. May the angels of God’s mercy, comfort and strength surround him in his final hours and open the door to His eternal light and love.

Funny as it seems, I think about death often – I always have, as long as I can remember – but not in any kind of morbid way. I don’t seek it, would rather it took its time coming to me. I’m well aware that the things I do for my own pleasure and entertainment – for example, designing a colorful, Caribbean-style patio – are for my own temporal enjoyment in this life. Even while constructing this passion of pleasure I know at some point in time there will be others who will live in this house long after me and make this house and configure its surroundings into their own happy hacienda. Which is OK by me – everyone ought to have their own place and time in the sun. There have been those far better than me who have come and gone with nothing more than blip on the grand scheme of human existence, and I’m good with that. And so on and so on and so on…

Some people feel the need of having children to maintain their legacy. I’ve never felt that and cared about that. After all, just because you father children is no guarantee your legacy will continue long after you’re gone or will do so in a way that brings your seed honor. Me, I came into the world without the human race even ushering but a sigh; if the same happens when my time comes that’s OK by me. I’ve had a great life, have had the absolute best of parents and family, traveled to places I never would have thought possible, and immersed myself in music from people and places I never would have even thought possible, so all is good.

I think the point I’m making here is that we’re all here for but the equivalent of a sigh, at least in terms of human existence. We’ve all touched the lives of untold people for better or for worse (the “It’s A Wonderful Life” scenario, I call it) and hopefully tried to do the best we could under the circumstances we’ve been born into. I have no doubt that my own life has been no better or no worse than some tribal dude in Papua New Guinea who has lived his or her own life given the cultural esthetics, boundaries, and limitations they were born into. I know I’ve fallen hopelessly short in God’s eyes as to my innate abilities and what I’ve given to the humankind I’ve been surrounded with during my own lifetime, but I think most people feel the same way. At any rate, I have faith in a merciful God that knows full well about these kinds of things and don’t think I’m a whole lot better or worse then millions upon millions of those who will have come before me or after me.

I’m not sure what this post is really about. I feel for my sister-in-law’s brother; when time starts moving that fast before your very eyes there’s not a whole lot you can do except to pray. But even that’s OK, I know God knows our desires and needs far more than we do ourselves. We who are fortunate to see life passing before us in a more languid fashion should appreciate it for what it is, recognizing that most surely our time will come as well.

Martin Scorcese’s recent film about George Harrison touched me deeply, for Harrison was someone with both feet firmly entrenched upon the temporal and the eternal. He loved the things the world offered him in terms of fame and wealth and all that went along with it, but he also had the other firmly planted in the eternal. He was keenly aware of the need to prepare his soul for the moment of death so that when eternity beckoned he could have all his ducks in order. Me, I’m the same way. I love being alive and all the gifts my not-so-incredible talents and accomplishments have allowed me to experience in this world, but there’s a part of me that wishes I were some monastic at West Park whose only calling was to pray for this world, pure and simple.

Ahh, enough about this kind of stuff. I’m not sure how to end this post. Think I’ll pour myself a chilled glass (or two) of Pinot Grigio and sit under happy pineapple lights on the patio to get ready for another long, hard work week. Remembering, of course, that having the family and friends (both Goodboys and non-Goodboys) I’ve been graced with I’m the luckiest guy in the world.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:29 | Comments Off on Mortality
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