In life we like to lie to ourselves about our own mortality. We make plans for the future, we look ahead, we put off today what we can do tomorrow. It is a little stated idea that we have ‘Guaranteed Time’. A fallacy that we tell ourselves to deal with the fact that we will at some point cease to exist. It is easy to live with this idea because it makes us feel comfortable that we will have that extra time to do what we want to do in our lives. When we think of our own death we picture it as a long way off, where we will have that moment of clarity to say our last words while holding the hands of our loved ones, as we peacefully drift off into the unknown. Because this is the easy way to see our lives. That yearning we have to be in control of ourselves.
But when you really think of the truth of the matter is that we do not know how long we will be here. We could live to that idyllic moment where we share our last breath with the ones we love, but in reality we could go at any second. The only guarantee is that someday near or far, we will die.
This does not mean that we need to live in fear though. Death is always tragic regardless of the way you go because we leave those that love us behind to deal with the grief of our passing or vise versa. We are the loved and the loved ones and that is just a part of our lives. Once we can accept this fact we can take better care of the life we do have.
Along with that comes responsibility on our own parts. I’ve had the moment where I’ve wished I would have just spent that extra time with someone I cared about before they were gone. It is always too late when we realize that we didn’t do as much as we could, or told those that we love just how much they meant to us. So that brings us to the project for this week.
The Guaranteed Time Project
Today, tomorrow, or whenever you read this post I want you to take a minute to catch up with those you love or have meant something to you. Even if you haven’t spoken to them in years. Call them; send them an email or a message on facebook. Whatever way you can communicate with them. Tell them why they mean so much to you, let them know that they are an important part of your life. Just let them know you are thinking of them, or have that conversation you’ve always wanted to have but were too afraid to.
Keep in mind that we are not guaranteed time. Every day could be our last, and we want to make the most of the very limited time we have in this world. Sometimes we can make a huge impact on someone when we didn’t even know they needed it. We are all in this world together, just trying to make sense of it, we only benefit by trying to make it a better place.
If you want to share that conversation you had please feel free to do it here or on your own space. But even if you don’t make sure to treat the time we have in being together and never leaving without sharing what we truly want to.
Until next time.
I’m starting out a new series that will require your participation. Through writing this blog and others I’ve met some amazing people; some that I generally consider friends (even if we haven’t met). One of the biggest things of importance are our connections that we make. The ones that mean something to us, where we are given the gift of understanding or seeing from a new point of view. Sometimes it can come from a close friend or relative, sometimes from an absolute stranger, who just so happened upon our lives when we needed it. It is the stories, the emotions, that truly bind us together. If we take that extra time to dig a little deeper, we find out we aren’t so different or alone as we may feel sometimes.
So I’m asking for your help to make this a success. I want you to respond with your own answers, so we can all learn a little bit more about each other and in turn, learn a little more about ourselves. So here’s what you will need to do:
In these projects I may pick a topic to discuss or ask you to do something: You can either answer the questions or projects here or on your own blog. I only ask that if you do, please tag the original post from my site, so I can find your answers and we can share together.
The First Project is titled: So Happy I’m Sad
With this project I want you to list one or as many items as you want of things that make you happy and sad at the same time. I also want you to give an explanation of why or why you think it makes you feel this way, and why it is important or personal to your experience.
Here are two of mine:
Walking around my parent’s home
Almost every time I visit my parents, I feel the need to walk around the perimeter of their yard. I want to look at everything, even though I’ve seen it thousands of times. It makes me happy to visit but sad at the same time. I feel like I’m visiting distant memories. Placing myself in the spots that I stood or played in years ago. If I think enough I can picture the exact place or moment I was in a specific spot. Some of the memories are of sadness, joy, shame, or more. I still remember that part of me and it makes me sad that I won’t have that chance to go back to that, or that I didn’t appreciate the experience enough when I was in it. These places that are so familiar to me can seem so distant, as if it were another lifetime.
I’ve always said my favorite season is fall. I get excited when I feel the first cool breeze of Autumn, knowing that the season is closing in. I look forward to the changing leaves, the harvest festivals, the taste of hot chicken corn soup on a cold afternoon, the deep blue skies that seem to spread out forever, everything that is synonymous with Fall. But the knowing excitement also comes with the caveat that I will become more retrospective, more nostalgic, more introverted than I normally am. Something about watching as the world prepares to go out with a brilliant display until it can emerge again makes me think about my life in a way that is deep, meaningful, and ultimately sad. Sad that I know that someday I will go through one last Fall myself. Knowing that my life will eventually end and these moments of joy will someday cease and what will be left is only snapshots of who I was, symbols that are synonymous with me.
Now I want to hear from you! What makes you happy and sad at the same time?
here is a poem I wrote for my daughter. She is the only gift I need for Father’s Day and I feel in need to celebrate her on this day.
I will never forget holding you for the first time
When I reached out to take you into my arms
It felt as if I was taking into my possession
The world’s most priceless gift
Like pulling something from between the stars
Out of the darkness you emerged and were welcomed into existence
You barely made a sound
When I held you I looked into your eyes
They looked so wide and it was as if you were pulling everything into them at once
You seemed to stare at me directly
It was from the moment that we bonded together permanently
To look at you knowing you came from me
To see that part of myself like an out of body experience
And we just continued staring at each other
You with your small features and spotless soul
We knew each other and we are each other
And you may carry me on with you someday
The code of me passed on perhaps
Along with that of my ancestors
And now years have passed on
Time, like a thief, has taken it from me
In what feels like the second I closed my eyes
Between staring at you
Though you still carry the features of that little one I held
I see the age of you becoming more and more apparent every day
You hold so much beauty in such a small frame
And your joy and your kindness moves me to tears when I think about you
The bond between you and I has grown deeper than I thought imaginable
Those moment’s that sneak up on me and hit me the deepest
The ones that are knowing and far more ethereal than of this world
You teach me more about myself than I thought would be possible
And I’m humbled to be called your father
Some nights I quietly step into your room as you lay asleep
And I watch you breath in and out
In those moments of such quiet peace
Your face looks exactly as it did when I first saw you
So beautiful, serene, and wise beyond your time
I know my bond for you will never break
You will always be my little one even when we are both older
My hope for you is that you continue to be brave
And to be the beautiful you that you are
When I am gone someday I hope you always think of me fondly
And have thousands of memories to cull up when you are sad
I will always be with you
I will always love you
I will always be your father
You will always be my daughter
You will always be the greatest part of my life
Hey guys, I’m back with another music spotlight. I feel like I’ve had a very heavy rotation of male singers in the spotlights so far, so today’s theme is going to be:
5. Fiona Apple- Sleep to Dream
4. Pat Benetar – Hell is for Children
3. Ani Difranco- Little Plastic Castle
2. Joan Jett- Bad Reputation
1. Bjork – Army of Me
Note: this is a story I submitted for NPR’s Three Minute Fiction. This is my fifth submission that has not been chosen, which at least lets me post it here when I don’t win haha! Hope you guys enjoy it.
He kept telling himself that he would put it back. He would get in the car, drive back tothat field with the giant oak, and place what he had begun to call the ‘skeleton key’ back underneath the patch of moss where he found it. He thought he might just bring a shovel and bury it as deep as he could so no one could possibly stumble upon it in the first place. That was the plan he had told himself, but he knew that even if he truly wanted to return it, he wouldn’t be able to. He had gone too far already and the point of letting it go and moving on had already passed. It now belonged to him as much as he belonged to it.
Though he referred to it as a key, it was more in the way of metaphor than literal.Physically, it reminded him of a chestnut seed pod; covered in tiny thorns, but bright blue instead of green, which was why it caught his eye in the first place. He had pulled off the road that day to go take a picture of the oak, but each photo he had taken had shown up blurry in the digital display. He felt compelled to examine the tree close up and that is when he found it. His curiosity with it won him over and he felt like it would look neat along his bookshelf. He picked it up and pricked the palm of his hand on one of its spines. It drew a bead of blood and some of the blue coating from its shell came off on his hand. He wiped his hand on the grass and walked back to the car, being careful not to jab himself again.
Later that evening he sat down to read he felt bothered and couldn’t focus on his book, which had up until that night held his full attention. A strange feeling had come over him, like bugs crawling beneath his skin, and no matter how much he scratched or rubbed his body, the feeling persisted. It was then that he noticed that the pod was glowing. Not enough to brighten a dark room, but a small twinge of light was coming from it. When he walked to it, he could see that the thing was changing. It was growing and the light getting brighter. He stared into it deeply and could see something moving inside the light. His body gave way and he passed out, crumpling to the floor.
When he awoke, the thing was in his hands. He didn’t remember touching it, but it was in his hands all the same. He had grasped it so tight that he had to pry the needles from his skin. It was then that the whispers started. First deep within his head but soon loud enough like someone with their lips pressed against his ear. A cacophony of ancient and unimaginable voices were speaking to him, through him, like some choir of the damned. He ran to the bathroom to vomit, only making it to the sink. Looking into the mirror his eyes were illuminated. He looked deep into his pupils and he could see millions of stars.
It had been two weeks since he had picked it up and now found himself holding it day and night (as he didn’t sleep anymore). The whispers were now louder and in the dark he could see everything. The thing was a key and he had opened the door to the universe. It could not be closed.