And when we do that avoiding and delaying are we coping with reality or coping with an illusion of it?
When reality is hard to take, do we artificially construct a less severe view, see the danger as less – not because it is less, but because we feel we can cope with that, manage that?
Time neither hesitates or speeds up.
Which begs this question for me, perhaps for others too: how much time are we wasting chasing things that will never happen vis-à-vis how much time we are making sure we taste, feel and listen to every moment?
The other day CM pointed me to a Dan Gilbert TED Talk (21 minutes) which debunks some assumptions about happiness and explains better for me, why it is Gary is happy now.
And why he was happy in September.
And why he was happy in December.
And why he’ll be happy each frightening tomorrow that arrives.
Solve or suffer. Cope, or lose hope?
I’ve been wrestling as one often does late at night. Or was it already early morning? In any case, clock was striking 4. Sleep wasn’t in the cards.
Awake while everyone else sleeps is not the same as thinking while others doze, but more a challenge of can I think clearly at all?
I’ve long scoffed at male mid-life crisis talk as something fictitious. They must have made it up. Can’t be ubiquitous because I’ve never felt it, experienced it – haven’t got it. Haven’t had it. Whatever it is or isn’t, maybe that’s what is going on now. Maybe it isn’t Gary’s cancer at all. Maybe I’m just using that as a focal point to deal with some of my own stuff.
Maybe I am re-learning old lessons or finally learning how to teach them.
I remember September. Gary was keen to go on trips. He couldn’t wait to get moved back to Edmonton from Victoria. He imagined a cruise, a group of people. It would be grand. He looked forward to it. As December arrived, that plan became ‘Mark, lets go to Vegas’. That ship sailed, he’s not strong enough for any of the things he wished to squeeze in. Now his plan is that long wanted kick-azz stereo system. Arrangements are being made for an install at his hospice. Extraordinary for someone who is awake such a short period each day. Extravagance. Not necessary. But here’s the thing – who would stand in the way of some measure of hope for someone who realistically has none? Bureaucratic operations are designed to stand in the way of things like that. He has overcome that.
Will his stereo be installed in time for him to enjoy it?
That matters more than any trip.
Grieving loss of all his expectations – all future events and family milestones he might have had – is behind him now.
He’s given that all up.
But he hasn’t given up.
His life does not appear to be moving fast at all though he has been racing to squeeze in what he can.
Hourglasses don’t get that.
Sand grains slip through inexorably at same speed all day.
For most of us that describes our schedule – living life from week to week and month to month.
Living each day fully as if it were our last is such an overworked cliché.
Unless it is . . .
column written/ published from Calgary
morning walk: 8C / 47F, treachery walking as melt water on top of ice is very slick. Gusta enjoys the change to sniff anything organic that is thawing. Eerily silent, full moon hung in the sky while a glimpse of light on eastern horizon welcomed us on the homeward leg
Would like to share... a devotional with you. It is no coincidence that the last words of the Christian story are aimed at describing the beginning of something more than we see now. Depicting the vision of “a new heaven and a new earth,” John reports a voice crying out: “See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.”, GW, Brady, Tx