Or sometimes the night before, I make little notes.
A point or two, or a sentence – reminders, triggers, ideas – of what I might write about in this daily column.
When morning papers and breakfast are done, most days, I write about something different.
Yesterday’s notes-to-self were:
- getting below 200,000
- annoying fax from a twit
- phones that ring, but when you answer there is nobody there
Something else drives me this morning – non-erasable mental note, no need to write it down, simply: conversation with Gary
What makes you tick?
What makes me?
On my best days I think it is an evolving drive to thrive, innovate and create – to engage and stimulate, to discuss and discover, to influence and be influenced and contribute something significant to this world. Or maybe just to someone, to make things better in some important way.
On my worst days I cannot think of a single thing.
Most days I vacillate between those goal-posts.
Time goes by, flies by.
Time ticks, ticks me off. It ticks down. Not like stopwatches. More like an hourglass without enough sand. Movie-clip collage, memory moments from our lives that tries to explain ‘that which makes us tick’, and after we watch that movie, do we get it?
Sure, most of the time I think I do, but some days I don’t. Today is one of those days.
I have a deadline coming up – a writing project I keep dogging, postponing, delaying the inevitable bleeding through my forehead – something I’ve agreed to write for Gary, a letter to his son, to be delivered after Gary passes. My notes keep getting shuffled from today’s pile of things to do onto tomorrow’s pile. Yesterday I spoke briefly to Gary. He’s been moved again, this time out of hospital to a hospice.
Suddenly I was seeing that movie collage – not of my life, but of my times with Gary, events and moments of youthful extremes, laughter with Gray and Gary’s dreams, Gary’s projects and long phone conversations venting respective troubles. I called his brother who wasn’t much help in terms of having any better understanding of how much time is left or a reality grasp on what comes next. That’s not bad. I’m not sure I do either.
What makes me tick?
I’m not sure – anymore than seeing the back pulled off a Swiss watch movement tells anyone but the watchmaker what makes that clock tick. If we pulled the back of ourselves to look inside, to find out what makes us tick, what would our answer be? Complex. Many things. Interconnectedness of many things, moving parts, energy and blood flow. Those things make our body work, sure, but is that what makes us tick?
Gary’s body – if you opened it up, would include his pancreas, 10% left after surgery, and all the other parts of him wanting to function as before, but there is cancer there. It moves and grows and is killing him before his very own eyes. Helpless to stop the inevitable conclusion I sense his daily efforts are focused so much on making everyone else feel good, making everyone else happy.
He hasn’t allowed himself to die yet.
And his friends and family will all be lost for a little while, questioning everything about what makes any of us tick.
column written/ published from Calgary
morning walk: -8C/17F, downright balmy compared to must places on the continent, lightly overcast, light breeze – strange terrain on our long hill-walk; city crews plowed the walk, but then city crews plowed the street leaving the walk half filled with slush/slop again. Though mushy footing seemed to please Gusta it was quite a workout for me!
Good morning from Victoria! I hope you had a great holidays, I'm still here enjoying the weather, lol It has been around 2 years since I started reading your words, I'm not in the habit of looking back much but I have lately; I'm guessing because it’s time for me to make a decision is why I am. My point is.....your words have comforted me in the darkest times and accompany me in the happy hours ; for what I'm grateful, I understand you do not write for me, but your perspective keeps me grounded. Anyway answering your inquiry : I'm here in your beautiful country living the cultural differences, it hasn't been always easy or happy but overall I say worth it. Of course a man and a promise of love is what brought me here. I'll soon be going home where a long list of chores and a big dose of reality faithfully await for me:) And the questions linger in my brain so heavily: What are you willing to do for a relationship? Will it be worth it? One thing is clear to me now,.......no more trying for me, this relationship thing is just too much for any soul to endure! So imagine how much I sympathize with you everyday. Life is never easy or perfect we must take what we can and enjoy it while it lasts, wisdom unfortunately comes with experience and we cannot go back......if I could, the only thing I would have changed is the level of enjoyment .......perception is everything! I wish you a beautiful perception and a bigger dose of enjoyment in every quest you have the strength to pursue. And be sure that I'm reading!, AG, Playa del Carmen, Mex, (sent from beautiful British Columbia)
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