I tasted life yesterday – as much, as well, as good as ever it could be.
I was safe.
I was well.
I was alive.
I got stuck.
I got towed.
I walked my dog.
I talked with my dad.
I talked to dear friends.
I spent time with family.
I went on a short road trip.
I mourned loss of my friend.
I had a visit and meal with an old friend.
I held a 1-day old child – I held the child of my child and found that Alex is magnificent in every way a soft tiny eating, sleeping, peeing and pooping machine can be – and he held us all spellbound with his magic.
I felt love yesterday – giving and getting.
I felt magic of life’s bookends, life’s DASH, life’s best-before dates, life’s magic, life’s fragility, life’s short-fuse, life’s endless capacity to amaze and engage us in emotional education.
So lucky that I can do all these things.
Are we good, are we whole, are we living – thriving as we could, as we should – or do we hold back, shrink from our own place in the universe because of some reasons of feeling not deserving?
Dreaming to have what others have, or where they’ve been, envying green grass growing on the unreachable side of fences – poaching every clichéd version of idyllic. Grasping value from life – drinking from that goodness cup, nourished by feasting on bounty – everyone’s wish I suppose, to sit back in a comfy chair at the end of a journeyed day and say, “ah, the good life!”
So much to see, to do, to experience.
I likely won’t climb Kilimanjaro. But I’ve known people who did. I likely won’t visit the Galapagos but I’ve met people who’ve been. Sites, events and experiences are fabulous for sharing – we can learn about so many of them without having visited there. And, when we have, we get to be teacher, telling others about our experience, what was important about it, what it meant to us.
My day yesterday was awesome and tearful, relaxed – not fearful. Not to say I don’t have concerns of any mid-life male who hasn’t taken best of care – that having a friend die so horribly, so young, so incomplete in his own view of doing important things he desired to do. Looking back, I think he did the important things and left many of the desired untried items to waste away on his to-do list, they are dead things now on his bucket-list.
I’m not sure I like the bucket-list notion of filling out the rest of my life.
I’d be content to live the rest of my life anywhere my path takes me, because it isn’t about places or site-seeing, isn’t about passport stamps and bragging rights. OK, warm would be nice.
We can search everywhere for answers – different ones to satisfy each of us. Pick your pro or prose – Seligman, Brown, Kübler-Ross, Sartre or Nin, Lao Tzu – or you. Yes, you. You have the answers. They aren’t locked inside requiring a can opener. They ooze out, leak out, speak out and fill out every part of your being. Yes they do.
I tasted life at its fullest yesterday.
It is difficult to imagine – no matter where I travel, what I see or who I meet – a better day than that.
P.S.: thanks so much to so many of you for kind and thoughtful notes and calls. I got to wondering – on the subject that Gary’s family aren’t having a memorial service for him which I think is wrong-headed. I went looking around the internet for site/resources for people to connect with each other in that kind of situation to reach out and remember someone without waiting for someone to hold an event. I found none. I wondered, “what would Gary do?”. I know he would register a domain, then register everything similar - build a website and start a business around that idea, as he did with great success several times. So, I registered a domain . . . more on that idea another day.
column written/ published from Calgary
morning walk: -6 C/21F, strong gusty winds, snowy cold forecast for today and tomorrow, clear, light snow on top of yesterday’s big melt, birds singing in cemetery trees, Gusta wishing she had studded-paws for the hill
By now you have probably held the newest member of your legacy and have a proud Grandpa's smile on your face. Though it may not fully stretch from ear-to-ear because of your knowledge of the passing of your dear friend. I will give you some hopeful, I hope, words regarding Gary. These words I read many years ago in a book that I no longer remember the title to by an author whose name escapes me. "Like the butterfly, in order to live we first must die". Picture Gary as a gloriously painted butterfly floating above the earth carefree and joyous in the warm sun. GW, soon to be Bon Wier, Tx.
Welcome to Grampahood ! I am really excited for you . I know you must be tickled pink ! I am also sad for you today after reading that your friend of many years had passed on . I enjoyed what you wrote about him and I could tell that you were very close. My thoughts are with you as you go through this difficult time. Take care , CC, Calgary, AB
Mark, A big congratulations on your new grandson. You sound like a very proud Granpa (yes, I left the “d” out on purpose, who says Grand-pa). And, then again I’m so sorry for your loss of your great friend, Gary. Your “Musing” today was quite poignant! Such JOY and much sorrow, VH, Helmville, MT
Mark, I'm so sorry to know of your friend Gary's passing. I have no words that can take away the pain you and his family share at this time. Honour him by remembering the good times you shared. On another note, "Congratulations" for the second time for being the proud grandfather of precious Alex! May he grow strong and healthy, and become a great writer like his granpa! CR, Victoria, BC
Mark - It must be a roller-coaster of emotions for you. So sad to loose a good and long lasting friend but how excited you must also be to have new grandson, Alex. The outcome of serious cancer is inevitable - a f---ing curse. It touches so many people and unfortunately mostly negatively. But on the other hand, you have a new grandson to cheer on, mentor and love - just like you will and do with Isla. Weird to say at the same time congrats and my sympathy to you, Regards, MK, Calgary, AB
I'm so sorry, Mark. The world seems emptier when we lose dear friends. I'm glad you have the little ones in your life. Sometimes they are the antidote for tough times. "In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on." - Robert Frost. Hug, MO, Monterey, CA
Oh boy is right!!! Congratulations a day late. Just now reading e-mails from yesterday. What excitement you must be feeling. Ironic how life works though, isn't it? Gaining one friend and losing another. The cycle of life gives us both joy and sadness at the same time as if to force us to choose between the two. Choose joy! GW, soon to be Bon Wier, Tx.